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Pakistan overcome Australia in thriller

Pakistan held their nerve to claim their first Test victory against Australia in 15 years in a tense fourth-day finish at Headingley on Saturday.

cricket Updated: Jul 24, 2010 23:04 IST

Pakistan held their nerve to claim their first Test victory against Australia in 15 years in a tense fourth-day finish at Headingley on Saturday.

Pakistan, set 180 to win, lost four wickets for 40 before finishing on 180 for 7 and a three-wicket win as they levelled this two-Test series 1-1.

Pakistan were still five short when Australia’s Michael Hussey appealed for a gully catch against Kamran Akmal on 13, off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson but replays were inconclusive.

And then Mohammad Aamer, who took seven wickets in the match, edged Ben Hilfehnaus through the slips for four to tie the scores.

But there was one more twist with Kamran Akmal brilliantly caught by Hussey off Johnson. Gul, though, hammered his first ball from Johnson through the offside and Pakistan had won with more than a day and two sessions to spare.

Ultimately, Australia paid the price for being bowled out for just 88 in their first innings - their lowest Test total since they were dismissed for 76 by the West Indies at Perth in 1984

Australia ‘held’ Pakistan to 258, with medium-pacer Watson taking a Test-best 6 for 33, following his previous best of 5 for 40 in the first at Lord’s last week, after the frontline quicks had been mostly ineffective.

And Australia then made 349 with Michael Clarke and Steven Smith, in his second Test, both making 77. Australia captain Ricky Ponting contributed 66 as he became only the second batsman, after India’s Sachin Tendulkar, to score 12,000 Test runs. But Aamer still managed to take four for 86, giving the 18-year-old Test best match figures of seven for 106. Aamer and Watson won their teams’ respective man-of-the-match awards. Pakistan now have a short turnaround before a four-Test series against England starts at Trent Bridge on July 29.

Australia have two Tests away to India in October before attempting to regain the Ashes from England on home soil, in a five-Test campaign that starts in November. This series was played in England after international cricket in Pakistan was suspended after a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March last year.