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Records set on day three

A number of firsts and Test bests were completed on day three of the MCC Spirit of Cricket Test Match between Pakistan and Australia at Lord's.

Pakistan deflated

Australia started the day resuming on 100-4 already ahead by 205 runs and looking to build a sizeable target.

They did just that, leaving Pakistan needing a world-record fourth innings score of 440 runs to win the Test.

Simon Katich bested his first innings score of 80, eventually out for 83. He and Mitchell Johnson, sent in as a nightwatchman yesterday, frustrated Pakistan further with a partnership worth more than 50.

Pakistan limped along to lunch with Australia 188-5 - the host team looked deflated to say the least.

Shahid Afridi had his side out on the field early after the interval for a long team talk.

Whatever was said worked wonders.

Two wickets fell without an addition to the score in the first two overs after lunch. Umar Gul cleaned up Katich and then Mohammad Asif had Marcus North caught behind. 188-5 was suddenly 188-7 and Pakistan looked a renewed side.

With Test debutants Tim Paine and Steve Smith at the crease and both on nought once again they appeared to have bowled their way back into the match.

When Danish Kaneria had Smith trapped LBW for the second time in the match they exposed the Aussie tail with only just over 200 runs on the board. An achievable target of just over 300 looked within reach.

Ominous signs

Paine and Hilfenhaus had other ideas. In his first Test Match, wicket-keeper Paine looked set for a half century. With number ten batsman Hilfenhaus for company the pair added 74 runs.

Pakistan visibly deflated - the captain Afridi's shoulders slumping as Hilfenhaus and Paine continued to not only survive but score runs.

Finally Afridi got Paine, with a fuller delivery but already the target was 387. That looked difficult - Hilfenhaus and Bollinger made it almost impossible.

Before this match Hilfenhaus' Test best score was just 20, Bollinger's only nine.

Ominous signs were there for Pakistan when Hilfenhaus hoisted a delivery from Umar Gul into the stands for six.

An outstanding last wicket stand between the two seamers was worth 52 runs, Hilfenhaus turning his Test best score into a half century, loudly cheered around Lord's not least on the Australia team's balcony.

Skipper Ricky Ponting may have had a rueful smile. The second highest scorer in Test cricket has a Test best of 42 at Lord's and here was his number ten showing how it could be done.

Enormous target

That impossibly large target for victory was now 440 runs.

After their erratic batting in the first innings it would have to be a quite different performance from Pakistan if they were to reach 200 nevermind more than 400.

Openers Imran Farhat and Salman Butt, who top scored with 63 in the first innings, set about the chase as if there were only a day left to bat, not two. At one point they scored five boundary 4s in just two overs.

As they reached fifty and Butt and the young Farhat were starting to show signs of batting with the restraint needed.

Then, a rush of blood for Farhat made him lunge forward to a somewhat loose delivery from Smith and Shane Watson took a simple catch to unsettle Pakistan's reply.

Another Test debutant, Azhar Ali was the next man out to bat - an innings of maturity required from the 25-year-old. And he delivered it too.

By the close he had partnered Butt to the vice captain's second half century of the match, ending the day himself unbeaten on 28.

At 114-1 at the close Pakistan are not even half-way towards that rather distant looking victory target but they'll feel a great deal better about their batting after today.

Whether it has improved enough to set a world-record looks unlikely but they may well cause a nerve-jangling day for Australia tomorrow trying.

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