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Pakistan on top on day one Published: 13 July 2010

Pakistan seized the early advantage after day one of the MCC Spirit of Cricket Test Match against Australia at Lord's.

After a start delayed by a slightly damp outfield and then some gloomy light conditions, play finally got underway at midday.

Shahid Afridi, as the 'home' captain, tossed the coin no doubt hoping to bowl with conditions still cloudy. Ricky Ponting made the call, lost the toss and Afridi rapidly chose to insert the Aussies.

The Pakistan seamers were rubbing their hands and not just because of the cool temperatures.

In just the third over, Simon Katich almost played onto this own stumps. Just two overs later Mohammed Amir had Watson in all sorts of trouble with movement off the seam.

Watson was fortunate not to be given out LBW once but with the very next ball Amir got the verdict - but as umpire Ian Gould's finger went up the ball also trickled onto the stumps. Either way, Watson was out.

Ricky Ponting settled Australian nerves as they survived a nerve-jangling few overs until lunch.

Solid partnership

After the break Afridi rotated his bowlers, rapidly putting himself into then taking himself out of the attack.

Just as Ponting started to look set, chasing a rare high score at the Home of Cricket (his best here just 42) he fell to a very sharp catch from Umar Amin at short-leg - another wicket for Amir.

Vice-captain Michael Clarke was promoted to bat at four for this Test as the Aussies look ahead to the Ashes.

Clarke and Katich bedded down quickly and Clarke especially started to score rapidly, seemingly moving the game away from Pakistan.

They steered the total past 100, then 150 building a solid partnership of over 100 runs.

Asif likes Tea

As the Tea interval loomed Australia looked to have clawed their way back into the match. Perhaps the famous Lord's Tea was on Clarke's mind as he fell LBW to the very last ball before the interval.

That gave Pakistan a real boost and swung the match back in their favour.

Mohammad Asif took that wicket and straight after Tea he took two more wickets in his first over back.

Katich went for a doubty 80, caught behind by Kamran Akmal and Marcus North went for a duck, clean bowled.

From 171-2 Australia wobbled to 174-5. Pakistan had their tails up and the pendulum of the Test Match had swung firmly in their favour.

Leg-spinner Kaneria and seamer Umar Gul cranked up the pressure with a burst of maidens.

Mike Hussey freed his arms though to hoist an excellent six and then a four from successive balls.

Test debutant Tim Paine looked relaxed, sharing jokes with Hussey but it was Gul who had the biggest smile as he joined the wicket show, tempting Paine into a feathered edge to Akmal.

Hot Danish

The captain, Afridi, aside it was only Kaneria who had yet to take a wicket a situation he soon remedied as the second Australian Test debutant came out to bat. Kaneria's fellow leg-spinner Steve Smith was the victim of a close LBW decision.

In his next over Kaneria had a second, cleaning up Mitchell Johnson with an excellent dipping, darting delivery which spun back past the batsman.

Amir took a third wicket to clinch his place as the bowler of the day, shattering the wicket of tail-ender Ben Hilfenhaus.

Hussey and Bollinger dug in as the gloom closed in again. As Kaneria, Amir and then Asif bowled increasingly tight overs Pakistan looked likely to wrap up the Australia innings inside the first day.

The batsmen held on, the umpires conferred and the players went off. Australia closed on 229-9 and Pakistan can be pleased with their first day at their temporary home at the Home of Cricket.


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