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Honours to Watson on day two Published: 14 July 2010

Shane Watson became the first bowler on the new neutral Test Lord's Honours Boards as the MCC Spirit of Cricket Test Match see-sawed between Australia and Pakistan.

Pakistan frustrated

Australia resumed on 229-9. With Mike Hussey joined at the crease by number 11 batsman Doug Bollinger the Aussie tail wasn't expected to last long against a Pakistan bowling attack in good form.

They lasted for six overs frustrating the 'home' team and adding 24 runs for the last wicket.

Bollinger swapped bat for ball as Pakistan started their reply to Australia's 253.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting juggled his bowlers early on, moving new ball bowlers Ben Hilfenhaus and Bollinger around to bowl from opposite ends to those he initially gave them.

The change worked and Hilfenhaus got Farhat and then the Test debutant, Azhar Ali. Pakistan 49-2 at lunch.

As overhead conditions at Lord's became gloomy the first of several fleeting interuptions in play broke up the innings after lunch.

Mitchell Johnson took a third wicket in the first over after lunch.

Joyous Watson

Salman Butt was offering the only real resistance. As he scored a clutch of boundaries Ponting turned to all-rounder Shane Watson to bowl.

Three overs later the much maligned Watson had three wickets.

Both Akmal brothers rather gave away their wickets - Umar and then Kamran stepping across their stumps and offering simple LBW decisions to a joyous Watson.

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi came out and batted in the only way he knows how - throwing the bat at everything, plundering 4s and a huge 6 into the stands as he appeared to be trying to hit Watson out of the attack.

Watson persevered and earned Afridi's wicket with a clever change of pace - the Pakistan captain holing out to Johnson after a quick-fire 31 from just 15 balls.

The rapid run-scoring did move Pakistan from 83-5 to 117-6 but Pakistan needed a partnership to anchor the innings.

Butt was left with a long lookinng tail and Doug Bollinger picked up the wickets of Mohammed Amir and Umar Gul to leave Pakistan on the brink at 129-8.

Wastson's fourth wicket for the valuable scalp of the only possible Pakistani saviour - Butt cleaned out by a yorker-length delivery for 63.

Another short rain delay threatened to bring a halt to Watson's quest for a five-for but again, one over after the resumption he had Danish Kaneria caught in the slips to become the first bowler in the new neutral Test Honours Boards.

Spirits boosted

With a lead of 105 runs it looked all set for Australia to build a big lead.

Simon Katich, who scored 80 in the first innings, and man-of-the-moment Watson set about the Pakistan attack, scoring rapidly taking the lead up over 150.

Pakistan started to look defeated, shoulders were slumped in the field no doubt disappointed with their batting display.

Mohammed Asif got a spirit boosting breakthrough, Watson caught in the slips.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting got a warm reception in what could be his last Test innings at Lord's.

He was soon on his way back to the Pavilion, LBW for a duck to Asif offering no shot. Australia 73-2 ahead by 178.

Pakistan suddenly looked a different team, jumping, clapping and cheering one another on in the field.

Six overs later Afridi turned to Umar Gul. Six balls later Michael Clarke was gone closely followed by Mike Hussey - out for a golden duck.

Clarke too was the victim of his own poor judgement, leaving a ball that hit the stumps.

With Hussey out and Gul on a hat-trick Pakistan were bouncing.

Australia sent out Mitchell Johnson as a nightwatchman. He and Katich just about hung on, Australia reached the close at 100-4, a lead of 205.

Pakistan's bowling, once again, seemed to have dragged them back into the match. If the weather is changeable again tomorrow they will fancy their chances of getting Australia out for a reachable target.

After the match vice-captain Butt set that target: "If we get them out for anything under 300 we'll be happy." he said.

If Pakistan are to chase more than 400 runs on days four and five they'll have to bat considerably better than they did on day two.


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