Sunday, December 27, 2009

Liveblogging Pakistan Vs. Australia 1st Test Day 3

1:01 a.m. And that's the end of play. Australia have a lead of 307 with seven wickets in hand. If we can take this game halfway through the fifth day, we would've done really well. Anyway, I'm exhausted and going to sleep. Good night and good luck.

12:59 a.m. Well, I said we'd do well to restrict their lead to 300 before the end of play. It's 306 right now. We've tried hard, but 196 is too many runs. It's just too many to give up. You can't get away with scoring sub-300 scores again and again, especially against teams as good as Australia.

12:57 a.m. These Aussies love reminiscing about all the times they screwed everyone. Now Slats, Heals and Warney are sharing a laugh at the time they messed with Basit Ali before the last ball of the day, when Warne snuck one between his pads. I'm sure it must be fun to have all those successful memories. I mean when you think about it, these guys were unbeatable from about 1995 to 2005. What an era it was.

12:49 a.m. Quiet over from Aamer, who bowled his heart out today. For anyone who didn't see it, you missed some thrilling cricket. Those first fifteen overs between him and Asif were a joy to watch. But that's the thing: that's all it was. It wasn't sustained because Rauf is crap and our selection was stupid. Similar to our batting, there were some nice highlights, but nothing consistent. And that's why we're going to Sydney one nil down.

12:44 a.m. Crap. Watson smacks Ajmal over long on for six. There was a man back, but it went well over him. We look completely deflated now. Lead's up to 297.

12:41 a.m. Excellent over from Aamer. Quick, direct, and on target. Unfortunately the batsmen are now set on a good batting wicket, and they really don't look like getting out.

12:38 a.m. Well, his first ball is 142 km/h, so I could be wrong. Let's see what happens.

12:36 a.m. Aamer replaces the absolute rubbish Rauf, but I seriously doubt he'll have much left in the tank after his fiery spell early on.

12:35 a.m. Ajmal bowling round the wicket, and darting it down the leg side. It's not really stopping them scoring, and he's certainly not a threat to get a wicket, so I don't really see the point. Anyway, it's 94/3, a lead of 290.

12:31 a.m. This is depressing. I don't even feel like typing anymore. Test cricket is so hard on its viewers, never mind the players. I mean, you get so involved and so enthusiastic...and then have your spirit sucked out of you, slowly but surely. These Aussies just wear you down, and never beat themselves. That's the difference.

12:27 a.m. It's amazing Mark Nicholas can find the time to talk, what with Watson's cock in his mouth all day.

12:26 a.m. And Watson the bastard gets his fifty with a tennis forehand to wide long on off Ajmal. I think I'm going to be sick.

12:25 a.m. 82/3 by the way. Lead of 278.

12:22 a.m. Yeah, they're well and truly on top now. Rauf has done nothing, and Ajmal has been countered well by Clark in particular. For this we can only blame our selection. Even if you consider Rauf an "all-rounder", then you play him as the fifth bowler, not the fourth. Indeed, that's the point of an all-rounder: to give you five bowlers, not to give you eight batsmen. But the minute Kaneria got injured, Gullee should've retained his spot. I would've supported a Asif-Aamer-Rauf-Kaneria-Ajmal attack. But if you're going to have four bowlers, it has to be Gullee over Rauf. The latter is shambolic.

12:18 a.m. "They're pretty good, these guys," says Mark Nicholas about Billy Doctrove and Rudi. That might be one of the five dumbest things I've ever heard a cricket commentator say (excluding Ramiz Raja, who gets his own list). I wish he could see some of the decisions Rudi made in NZ.

12:13 a.m. And now four through backward point. Sigh. I miss Gullee. The decision to drop him in favor of Rauf is one of the more, shall we say, curious that I have seen in a while.

12:12 a.m. Rauf is serving up utter crap here. Four more through the leg-side. We're basically playing with three bowlers and ten batsmen. So I suppose in a way, Rauf very much is an all-rounder.

12:11 a.m. And I was right.

12:09 a.m. Well, that's a wasted review. I can tell from here that's not out.

12:07 a.m. Nice, very nice. Clark is truly excellent against spin, particularly his foot work. A little shimmy down, and he gets to the pitch, and pushes it wide of mid off for four. Vital partnership for OZ, this. I fear that they are not only shutting and locking the door, but throwing away the key.

12:06 a.m. Shot. It was a touch short, but good footwork made it look shorter than it was. Three to deep square.

12:06 a.m. Ajmal continuing to a watchful Watson.

12:04 a.m. Two balls down the led side, two well wide of off stump and two on a good line. So I guess on average, Rauf bowled the perfect over there.

12:02 a.m. Rubbish from Rauf. This is a Mohammad Sami line.

11:59 p.m. Clark using his feet well to Ajmal, killing the spin. Probably their best player of spin, Clark. Anyway, two off the over. 58/3, as a sense of normalcy returns to proceedings.

11:58 p.m. Why the hell is long off back? Yousuf's made some strange decisions today.

11:58 p.m. Well bowled, kid. Finishes the over strong with one that started outside off and came in to beat Clark. See? It's not that hard. If you're trying to bowl in-swing, start from outside off. Not terribly complicated.

11:56 p.m. Rubbish bowling so far. Down the leg side every ball.

11:53 p.m. Alright, Rauf. Don't fuck this shit up. You hear me? DO NOT FUCK THIS UP.

11:52 p.m. The W says good night. I am sure there are times when she thinks I am certifiably insane. I had to explain to her that I was watching test cricket for the whole day today. She just gave me one of those looks that only a woman can give. Good times.

11:51 p.m. Drifting down the leg side for the most part in this over, Ajmal. Come on, don't release the pressure here.

11:49 p.m. Good change from Yousuf, bypassing Rauf and bringing Ajmal in to replace the highly impressive Aamer. Get him a rest of about an hour, and then bring him back for a three over burst before the close.

11:48 p.m. Argh, I could see what he was trying to do, but ill-directed. Asif wants to keep bowling stock deliveries and then follow with their a bouncer or a yorker. There he tried the latter but it became a leg stump full toss, and Clark, who had been stuck on 1 for a long time, gets three to deep midwicket. End of the over. 53/3 in 17 overs.

11:46 p.m. Am I the only one who thinks Bill Lawry, Michael Slater and Tony Grieg are passing around a fat joint right now?

11:45 p.m. Their fifty is up, by the way. We've also clearly decided that we can't walk past Watson without saying a word or ten to him.

11:43 p.m. Asif to continue. How many has he bowled here? Eight or nine?

11:41 p.m. The game's cooled off a little bit in the last ten or fifteen minutes. It had to happen -- we couldn't keep that intensity up forever. Still good bowling, mind, but I do think these guys are running out of steam. Mr. Rauf, what do you have in store for us?

11:39 p.m. Watson edges it through the vacant third slip region for four. It went on the ground, and it was a touch deliberate, but that's a dangerous shot right now.

11:38 p.m. And another maiden from Asif. OZ stay at 44-3. Come on, Aamer. Rip another out, right here.

11:38 p.m. Asif is getting this ball to nibble a little bit, just a touch in to Clark.

11:37 p.m. And now we're diving around and saving runs. We're such an impulsive side, it's not funny. One thing goes right and things start falling into place.

11:36 p.m. Clark has a job to do here. Ever since his debut, he's been thought of as the next big thing in Australian cricket, the guy to take over Ponting's talismanic role in the side. Let's see it now, Pup.

11:33 p.m. It's all happening here. Aamer screams one past Watson's hook was just too quick for the madarchod. Hit his helmet on the way through to Akmal, everyone goes up, Doctrove says not out, they think about a review but smartly decide against it. Aamer is bowling one of the great spells of his career here. In fact, it might be his best. I've never seen him bowl with this much hostility and pace. And again...there's no swing. It's just pace and bounce.

11:31 p.m. Oooooh. Aamer has Watson in all sorts of trouble. He gets one to bite and kick, and has him jumping (giving him the maila air kiss too). Next ball he draws him forward, and beats him again. "He wants the scalp of Watson," says Heals. Yes he does. This is personal.

11:29 p.m. Asif's plan to Watson seems to be to keep it just back of a length on the off stump, and giving him the odd ball, maybe one every over, to pull or hook to see if he'll hit it down someone's throat on the boundary. Nothing doing yet though. Anyway, that's the over bowled, 44-3 after 13. Effectively 240-3.

11:27 p.m. Asif the metronome continues to keep it tight. He's got 1-10 in his seventh over.

11:24 p.m. 42/3. Does Asif have one more in him? Wicket I mean, not over.

11:23 p.m. Yeah, give it to him, Aamer. A short ball thuds into Watson's shoulder blade. He then gets an earful from Aamer. Watson is a Class A prick. He needs to get some back, the cunt.

11:22 p.m. Aamer is not bowling slower than 145 km/h.

11:21 p.m. "Well, the game''s suddenly come alive." Yes, Warney, it has.

11:21 p.m. Clark in.

11:20 p.m. I still can't believe how good this spell has been from both these two.

11:19 p.m. There is nothing, nothing in the world, that warms Pakistani hearts like top quality quick bowling. Asif and Aamer are putting on a clinic here. They might be getting tired -- both have bowled six overs -- but I'm sure their adrenaline will carry them through for a few more. It's drinks, by the way.

11:17 p.m. And another! Aamer sneaks it through Hussey, whose feet went nowhere. It came in sharply, caught on the crease, hit on the flap, and he's gone. Calls for a review, it was close, but the umpire's call stands. Man, this is thrilling stuff. Pakistan fast bowlers bowling well in tandem...who knew we still had it? Australia slightly wobbly here. And on the door metaphor? Well let's say we have a hand on the knob, and are starting to twist it.

11:15 p.m. Ah, Asif. Over pitches, and Watson handsomely drives wide of mid off for four. Come on guys. Smoke one more, right here.

11:13 p.m. Couple close-ish LBW shouts. Man, Asif examines your technique like no one else. Watson just about surviving here. Well, at the very least, we're battling, which is more than we did in the first innings.

11:10 p.m. Fucking hell. Aamer just smokes one past Hussey, who had no idea. Slipped it in between his inside edge and off stump. Cranking it up here, Aamer -- that was 147 km/h. Great cricket.

11:09 p.m. Edged through the cordon for four. For fuck's sake Yousuf, get three slips in. They're 30-2!

11:08 p.m. What a huge wicket that was. Aamer's had a good day. Get Hussey soonish, and it'll become a great day.

11:07 p.m. Gone! Unbelievable. Aamer bowls short again, Ponting pulls again, this time edges it, and it goes straight to deep square. Messrs Benaud and Warne -- not to mention myself -- wanted him to stop the short stuff. Well, there you go: we're all idiots. OZ two down now, and while I wouldn't say the door is ajar for us, I would say we've at least unlocked it. Anyone care to turn the knob?

11:05 p.m. Aamer's losing it here. Drops it short, and Ponting pulls him for four. He's raced away here.

11:03 p.m. Couple no-balls from Aamer here. I think he might getting a touch over excited. Someone just needs to go talk to him, and tell him to keep it simple and be relaxed.

11:03 p.m. Ah, shot. Over pitched from Aamer, and a classic on drive from Ponting. Just a beautiful stroke.

11:02 p.m. Another decent over from Asif. OZ are 20-1. Man, what I would do for another wicket right here.

11:00 p.m. Drop and run from Watson. I honestly can't remember a single time our guys did that. Not once.

10:59 p.m. Yousuf has one slip and one gully for Watson. For his best bowler. I'm at a loss for words.

10:57 p.m. Well, that was an eventful over. Aamer had Ponting in trouble, no doubt about that, but that referral was so unbelievably stupid that I don't know what else to say. It pitched at least a foot outside leg stump. At least a foot. Anyway, it's 18/1. Asif to continue.

10:55 p.m. Well, if idiotic referrals was a criterion for a champion side, we'd be a mutant combination of Bradman's Invincibles, Viv's Windies, and Waugh's Aussies.

10:54 p.m. God, that was stupid. It was MILES outside leg. Idiots.

10:53 p.m. What the fuck are these idiots thinking? IF IT PITCHES OUTSIDE LEG, IT CAN'T BE LBW. STOP WASTING REVIEWS, YOU DIPSHITS.

10:51 p.m. Two short balls to follow, the last of which Ponting pulls for a single. He'll face Aamer then. I really hope we don't get carried away with the whole "Ponting is vulnerable to the short ball" theory based solely on the fact that he got hit there once. Just keep it up, and keep him driving.

10:50 p.m. Yorker first up. Smart stuff.

10:50 p.m. Good thing Akmal caught that, because it was going straight to Misbah, who would've dropped it, no doubt. Alright, here we go.

10:48 p.m. Gone! Asif gets Katich with one that just nibbled away, and Akmal takes a smart diving catch. Great bowling, typical Asif dismissal. He's so good to left-handers, it's not funny. We needed that, if only to feel good about ourselves. Now come on, Yousuf. Give Ponting three slips and a least. I don't care how good you are, playing Asif with the new ball is no joke.

10:45 p.m. Two more. I really hope this is not a sign of things to come and that this over is just an aberration.

10:44 p.m. Here we go. Another boundary, as Aamer drops it short and Watson pulls for four.

10:44 p.m. Shot. Drives Aamer straight through the line. Again, this ball is doing nothing. An opener should not be able to play that shot from a left arm over the wicket bowler in the sixth over of the innings.

10:43 p.m. Oooh. Beaten outside off, and Akmal drops it. If that had been a nick, I would have taken the next flight to Melbourne to personally slap Akmal.

10:41 p.m. I'd really like Yousuf to take out cover and put a third slip in, especially while OZ aren't racing off. You'd hate to see one go through that gap. Anyway, Watson swivels and pulls Asif's last ball down to fine leg for one. So he'll face Aamer for the first time. 5-0.

10:39 p.m. Asif zeroing in on Watson's pads here, round about middle stump. Let's see if it pays off.

10:38 p.m. This ball is doing nothing whatsoever.

10:37 p.m. I was wrong about Aamer striking Katich on the glove. It actually hit him smack on the elbow, and he's called for some medical attention.

10:37 p.m. I definitely like the headband look from Aamer. Good retro touch.

10:36 p.m. So 4-0 after four overs, with the lead a round 200. Come on guys. Let's try and get one or two wickets here.

10:34 p.m. And now Katich is away, one ball after being struck on the glove with one that sharply moved in, he tucks Aamer behind square for two. Not much swing for these two, and it looks like the Aussies are just biding their time. I feel like Rauf will be the subject of a serious onslaught.

10:31 p.m. Ooh, just off. Watson just gets an inside edge on to pads off Asif, else that would've been close. First runs for OZ, 2-0 after three overs.

10:29 p.m. Asif continues the good tight work. Something might give here.

10:27 p.m. Nice, very nice. Two maidens to start. If we can keep their lead under 300 by the end of the day, we would've done really well.

10:26 p.m. Nice and solid from Aamer here. Keeping it on and around off stump. Finish the over strong.

10:25 p.m. Pretty defensive field from Yousuf, with just two slips and a gully. Can't blame him, to be honest. It's already a 196 run lead!

10:23 p.m. And a maiden to start. Our bowlers have a job to do here -- not let them get off to a flier and completely demoralize us. We have to go in to day 4 thinking we still have a shot of saving it, even if we don't.

10:21 p.m. Safe enough outside off first couple of balls. 40 overs to go in the day. OZ could be ahead by 350 or so by the end of the day, as Mark Taylor says.

10:17 p.m. And we're back. You know, at the end of that innings, almost by impulse, I was thinking to myself: only if more players in our team displayed the type of grit Ajmal did. And then I thought: wait a minute, that's completely wrong. I'm so used to our players throwing away their wickets and not showing any determination, that it's almost second-nature to cast aspersions on their toughness. In this innings, however, it was the opposite problem. They showed plenty of fight and putting a price on their wicket, they just forgot to score runs. Yes, it would be ideal if they could find the balance between attack and defense. But I'd rather have them keep teams out there for 90+ overs than score 300 all out in 75 overs. Baby steps. Look, Australia are a much better team than us. It's not a surprise that they're dominating us. But these are encouraging signs -- Imran Farhat scoring 9 off 40 balls, Butt making 40 odd at a strike rate of 35? Better this than sparkling 20s. Anyway, Asif to Watson first up.

9:59 p.m. No, he cannot, sadly enough. Johnson comes round the wicket, and cleans up Ajmal, knocking back his off stump. Pakistan all out for 258. That's the 11th time in the last 13 innings that we haven't crossed 350 in a test innings, usually considered the bare minimum for batting sides. Australia have a huge lead of 196, and tea will now be taken. They'll probably smash us all over for a couple sessions, and put us in some time tomorrow afternoon. Be back in twenty.

9:58 p.m. Silly bowling from Johnson here, wasting his bouncers early on in the over, thereby not allowing him to use it to keep Misbah on strike at the end. Anyway, Misbah works a single to deep square off the fifth ball. Ajmal on strike...can he survive one ball?

9:57 p.m. Waiting game here, as Misbah is seemingly content on just getting one an over by not doing anything for 66% of it.

9:54 p.m. Well done. Misbah gives Ajmal one ball to face off Hauritz, and he lunges at it, as if to say: you may get me out, but I sure as hell am not getting LBW. Another over negotiated. 257/9.

9:51 p.m. And a cut through backward point for two gets us past the follow on figure. As Mark Taylor says, now we have to get as many as possible.

9:50 p.m. Nicely done. Misbah plays out five dot balls again, and gets another single off the last ball. The second half of his innings has been much better than the first. He's played smartly, Misbah. 254/9.

9:46 p.m. Haha. Hilarious. Five dot balls. On the sixth, the field comes in, and with just three to avoid the follow on, he goes for a boundary. He skies it over mid on, they could've gotten two, but Misbah is sent back by Ajmal who has the presence of mind to keep Misbah on strike for the next over.

9:43 p.m. This should be interesting. Hauritz into the attack. Field spread all over the place.

9:42 p.m. Ajmal survives. 252/9.

9:41 p.m. Hmm. Thought they had two, but they didn't. Ajmal forced to face up the majority of the over thanks to that single.

9:39 p.m. Johnson continuing to Misbah.

9:38 p.m. And Ajmal survives another last ball...just. He jumps, defends Siddle to short leg, and Katich, well, I guess you could say he dropped that, but it really wasn't a chance, it was off the middle of the bat. Still, another decent over, with seven off it.

9:35 p.m. And now slashes that dick Siddle behind square for four. Two more to follow up. 249/9.

9:33 p.m. 243/9.

9:32 p.m. Bullshit technique or not, I really like Ajmal. He's got tons of heart. I really like him.

9:29 p.m. Johnson back into the attack.

9:28 p.m. And Ajmal keeps out the one ball he was meant to keep out. I ask again: why wasn't Misbah playing this way from the minute Kamran got out? He gave Rauf WAY too many balls to face, and he had no sense of urgency whatsoever as far as boundaries were concerned. Did he think Rauf and Asif could hang around?

9:27 p.m. Fifty for Misbah. Decent innings, it's fair to say.

9:27 p.m. Our last thirteen test match innings, including this one, in reverse order (i.e. starting from this one): 241/9, 455, 223, 239, 264, 218, 332, 425/9d, 299, 320, 90, 117, 342. That's test matches by the way.

9:26 p.m. Two more off an inside edge to fine leg. Siddle is pissed.

9:25 p.m. Smart from Misbah, just working Siddle into the vacant square leg region for two. Ajmal hurries back. Good stuff.

9:20 p.m. Misbah smashes Bollinger through midwicket for four, moving across his stumps well. Like I said, too little, too late. He should've done this the minute Akmal got out.

9:19 p.m. Bunch of fucking bullies, the Aussies. Look at them have a go at Ajmal. Oh, I'm sorry the guy can't play bouncers. He's a fucking number 11. You must have massive balls, Siddle. Cunt.

9:18 p.m. Well if you're going to fend uncomfortably off your hips and shoulders, at least make it go for four. Well done, Ajmal. At least he's not scared of the ball, unlike Rauf.

9:16 p.m. Wow, our tail can't play short bowling for shit. Ajmal looks lost. Not as lost as Rauf, mind, but lost nonetheless.

9:12 p.m. Nope. Ajmal will have to face Siddle. Probably the last over of this innings then, but after the drinks break.

9:11 p.m. Another four, this to third man off an edge. One ball to go. Single?

9:09 p.m. Finally, Misbah realizes he's batting with the tail, and hits a boundary down the ground. About half an hour too late.

9:08 p.m. 220/9 by the way.

9:06 p.m. This is a bloody procession. Asif edges Siddle off his third ball straightforwardly to third slip. A duck for Asif. Ajmal in.

9:03 p.m. Meanwhile Misbah do nothing. Nothing at all.

9:02 p.m. Asif in.

9:00 p.m. And he's finally put out of his misery, as Bollinger pitches it up, a simple nick, and a simple catch to first slip. What a torturous innings that was.

8:59 p.m. This guy should not be batting ahead of Ajmal and Asif. He's a joke. I really hope he doesn't play at Sydney. He's a waste of a spot.

8:57 p.m. Keep in mind that Australia are thrashing us without three of their best players -- Clark, North and Haddin -- doing anything.

8:55 p.m. The commies are actually laughing at us. Can't blame them. Rauf looks like a boy amongst men.

8:53 p.m. We're so pathetic. We're just a pathetic bunch of pathetic batsmen and pathetic bowlers and really pathetic fielders.

8:53 p.m. Siddle coming round the wicket to Rauf, who's legitimately scared of the ball.

8:52 p.m. Hey, Misbah! Here's an idea: try taking a run every now and then! How about that?

8:50 p.m. I have no idea what these commentators are talking about.

8:48 p.m. A Sami sighting! To think that this guy's career has been resurrected. What a team we have.

8:45 p.m. Wow, Rauf is actually backing away to square leg. Some all-rounder.

8:44 p.m. By the way, Rauf is in. Remember, he was basically preferred over Gullee for his batting, because it sure as hell couldn't have been for his bowling. Let's see you bat now, kid.

8:43 p.m. Well, there you go. Bollinger's had a wicket in each of his first two overs with the new ball. God, this has been a pathetic batting performance.

8:41 p.m. Ah, crap. Got carried away, Kamran, trying to drive a ball not there to drive. Nicks it to Haddin, and we're well and truly fucked now. 215/7, and the question now becomes how soon Australia will be into bat again. They're not going to enforce the follow on, I don't think.

8:39 p.m. And one more, this time a better shot, all along the ground. He's moved to 12.

8:38 p.m. Kamran works Bollinger behind point for four. Thrill a minute stuff from him at the moment.

8:37 p.m. And a good, probing over ends with no runs.

8:34 p.m. Siddle from the other end, to Misbah.

8:32 p.m. And then a short one, as Akmal decides at the last minute to not pull. Great cricket. 207/6. Can we get to 300? Well, let's put it this way: they're not going to get much help from Asif, Ajmal or Rauf.

8:32 p.m. Beaten next ball outside off, with one that stayed a touch low. Engrossing stuff, this.

8:31 p.m. Hahahaha. After fiddling around with his grip and gloves for an eternity before facing up, he smacks Bollinger through the covers for four first up. Didn't bother running either. These Akmal brothers' balls are just plus sized.

8:28 p.m. Well, he's gone now. Aamer's determined struggle comes to a close, as he edges one to first slip off the back foot. Regulation stuff. Did his job, Aamer, batting all of the morning session. Kamran Akmal in.

8:27 p.m. Edged and falls short of Ponting at second slip. Richie Benaud, who's been harping on the slips' positioning through the morning, has a "I told you so" tone to his voice right now. Come up, he keeps saying.

8:26 p.m. And Ponting's not wasting any time, taking the new ball right away. Johnson might feel aggrieved that despite bowling well, he's been taken off in favor of Bollinger. Aamer to face up.

8:25 p.m. And two more to fine leg, as Misbah continues ticking it over. New ball is now available. 203/5, still 250 runs behind Australia.

8:24 p.m. Misbah works Hauritz for two behind square, to get us up to 200.

8:22 p.m. And now a slash through gully for four. Dangerous, but I'll take it. We've never put Ponting in a position of having to take out slips and gullies, because we simply haven't been aggressive enough. I doubt it'll happen in this session, mainly because we don't have the wickets to play with, but let this be a lesson: these guys aren't monsters and McGraths and Warnes. They're human, and you can get after them (like Umar did).

8:20 p.m. Oooh. Johnson gets one to bite off a back of a length, Aamer tries to ride it but gloves it. Could've gone anywhere, but as it stands, it looped safely to third slip on the bounce.

8:17 p.m. Nice batting from Misbah, it must be said, as he laps Hauritz for four to fine leg.

8:16 p.m. And first runs after lunch, as Aamer works it to square leg for a single. Misbah on strike. Square leg and midwicket half way back to the boundary.

8:15 p.m. Interesting move, as Hauritz to bowl from the other end. I wonder how Misbah will play him. Aamer to face up though.

8:14 p.m. And a maiden to start.

8:09 p.m. And we're back. By the way, Umar Akmal has now played seven innings of test cricket, all away from home, all in relatively challenging conditions. He has scored less than 46 once. Anyway, let's talk about the present: Misbah and Aamer to continue to grind it out. Mitchell Johnson to continue.

7:31 p.m. The crowd's still buzzing about that drop. Anyway, as Aamer plays out a maiden from Hauritz, that's lunch. Normally if we were 90-1 in any session against OZ, I'd give it to us, but that one was it's theirs by a country mile. Be back in forty.

7:29 p.m. You couldn't have dropped Umar when he edged it to you off the same bowler, Punter? Really? You took that nice and easy, and decided to drop Misbah instead? Thanks man.

7:28 p.m. Unbelievable. As soon as I say that, Misbah nicks Johnson to Ponting...who drops it. Ricky Ponting just dropped a catch. Wow.

7:26 p.m. Wow, Misbah gets a two down to third man. I'm shocked. He's actually ticking it over, somehow making it to 22.

7:24 p.m. What a bastard Ponting is. Throws it at Aamer from silly point, it hits him in the throat, and the madarchod laughs about it. I hope Aamer wraps his bat around Ponting's neck.

7:23 p.m. Another slog sweep, this for four.

7:22 p.m. Haha. Typical Misbah. Block, block, block, slog. This time he connected, and it goes for six. Please remember what happened when he tried it against Vettori at Napier.

7:20 p.m. The runs have dried up again. It really is amazing the extent to which batsmen not named Akmal can't score runs for us. They can hang around at times, but they can't actually make runs. Anyway, Hauritz into the attack with ten minutes to go before lunch.

7:18 p.m. Oooh, late on that, Aamer. If he survives till lunch, it would be a really excellent effort from him. Remember, he's supposed to be a bowler.

7:14 p.m. You know how it's sort of out of the ordinary for frontline batsmen to play and a miss, and consequently the commentators and fielding side get excited when it happens? With Misbah, wouldn't it make sense if those reactions are engendered by his actually connecting?

7:13 p.m. You know what my biggest regret is about this morning? That Umar didn't get to bat against Hauritz. That would've been hilarious.

7:11 p.m. This is how entertaining the cricket is right now: the commentators are talking about Asif Iqbal's running between the wickets. No, seriously. 177/5 by the way.

7:08 p.m. Oh, for fuck's sake. That's a run. Take the single. Both were asleep there.

7:07 p.m. Hahahahahaha. Misbah is such a bad batsman. I can't believe he's ever made runs at the international level. That was the worst shot I've ever seen. His feet went absolutely nowhere to a 130 km/h bowler. The fact that it went through the vacant third slip region for four is besides the point: he's a terrible player.

7:05 p.m. Tony Grieg cannot pronounce the word "Akmal". He makes it sound like akkhhhhhmal. Idiot.

7:03 p.m. Feed issues. Hang on.

7:00 p.m. Aamer punches Watson down the ground for three. First runs in about three overs. Warney is right: our entire mindset has been much too defensive, particularly from the top three.

6:57 p.m. Give credit to Aamer. Despite his faulty technique, he's showing great determination to gut it out.

6:55 p.m. At best -- at absolute best -- we will be able to bat till tea. Assuming we do, we'll probably end up with a score of around 300. Again, that's assuming things go really, really well, and Kamran goes a little crazy in the afternoon session. OZ will then probably bat two and a half sessions, giving us between 400 and 500 to win in a day and a half. We'll lose early on the fifth day. Which, again, is the best case scenario.

6:46 p.m. You'll notice I'm not saying much. It's because nothing's happening. Although Misbah did just glance Johnson for four. 169/5.

6:39 p.m. Misbah gets off the mark with a single to mid on off Bollinger, who's back into the attack. Even his calling for a single annoys me.

6:38 p.m. Anyway, let's move on. Aamer is still hanging around, soon to be joined by Kamran Akmal, no doubt. 164/5.

6:34 p.m. I remember a passage from Bill Simmons' book on Charles Oakley. He -- Simmons, that is -- asked an unnamed NBA player what made Oakley so intimidating. The player responded, "There's a lot of tough guys in the league, but Oak...he just don't give a fuck." And that's Umar's batting -- he just doesn't give a fuck. It's the most exciting thing about Pakistani cricket since Asif's rise in the first half of 2006. So he got out today playing a big shot. Big fucking deal. He's 19. It shouldn't be on his shoulders to play the responsible elder statesman, anyway.

6:32 p.m. It has to be said, that was perhaps a little too attacking a shot for the last ball before drinks. But as Mark Taylor says, that's the way he plays. You can't get upset at him for playing his natural game. Sigh. We'll see you again soon, Umar. Probably later today in fact.

6:31 p.m. Quite possibly the most useless man alive, Misbah-ul-Haq, comes in.

6:29 p.m. Wow, that hurt. Just as he was getting going and we were getting some momentum. God, he looked good. God, that hurt.

6:27 p.m. Gone! Umar's gone. I'm not going to describe it to you because I don't feel like. Shit.

6:26 p.m. Heart-in-mouth stuff, as Umar edges Johnson through the slips for four. Ponting just has a slip and a gully in, so it's a big gap, but man, was that scary. Brings up his fifty though.

6:22 p.m. Ooh, play and a miss, as he tries to dink it for a single off the last ball. 154/4 then. Aamer will face up for the first time in a while to Mitchell Johnson, who's replaced the motor mouth Siddle.

6:20 p.m. This is obviously messing with Watson's head, as he loses his line, goes down legside, and Umar just glances him for four. Highest score of the innings now, Umar.

6:19 p.m. Haddin's gone back, and so Umar goes back to advancing down against Watson to nullify the swing. Cat and mouse here.

6:17 p.m. And another four. He's got the commentators talking now, Umar. This guy's talent gives me goose-bumps. Smart enough to work a single off the last ball too, giving him 19 off the over. Don't think Siddle will be talking too much shit for a while.

6:16 p.m. My goodness, me. Siddle drops it short again, and Umar just short arm jabs it for six. Remember, this is the MCG -- these boundaries are long. That just sailed over.

6:14 p.m. Yeah, Umar. He just clears his front leg and smashes Siddle wide off mid on for four. Next ball is dropped short and he pulls it handsomely. The Aussie crowd is oohing and aahing.

6:13 p.m. Oyyyeee! Umar almost chops Siddle down. Goes back and across, gets an under edge, it hits his foot, and almost rolls on to the stumps. Too close for comfort.

6:13 p.m. Steady going so far this morning, then. 131/4.

6:09 p.m. I missed four byes there, because my feed was acting funny. Hey, cricket feed guy: don't mess around with me today. Please.

6:06 p.m. Play and a miss. I don't see Aamer surviving long here.

6:04 p.m. Fucking hell. Aamer slashes Siddle, it drops just short of Ponting at second slip, Umar hares down, is sent back, and is almost run out. Almost two dismissals in one ball. Come on, Aamer. Keep the bat STRAIGHT. Not angled. STRAIGHT.

6:03 p.m. Thankfully nothing happened. 126/4.

6:01 p.m. Aargh. Feed problems. Gimme a second.

5:59 p.m. This Umar is something else. He's coming eight feet down the wicket to a 135 km/h bowler, and then tucks it behind square for two. Watson just looks bemused, and Haddin comes up to the stumps. He did this yesterday too, mainly to negate the reverse Watson was getting.

5:58 p.m. And a single to keep the strike. Half an hour successfully negotiated then. That's how we have to look at today: half hour increments. Anyway, Watson replaces Bollinger.

5:57 p.m. It's all happening, as Bill Lawry would say. Umar spanks Siddle down the ground for four, and the next ball ducks into one that stays low. Yikes, that was ugly. The super slo-mo shows the helmet bobbling about on his head. Ugh. He seems okay though, just shaken up.

5:55 p.m. Hahaha. These Aussies are such bastards. Umar plays an air-pull, and Watson and short mid-wicket yells at him "Yes, I'd like to see that." Umar just laughs. Next ball Siddle follows up with a volley of abuse to a perfectly innocuous delivery.

5:54 p.m. Siddle cranking it up here, up to 146 km/h. Umar steady.

5:52 p.m. A maiden from Bollinger, mixing it up well to Aamer with inswingers, balls pitched up, and a short one to finish. Aamer was up to it though. Still 118/4.

5:47 p.m. Aamer glides Siddle dangerously to the slips. It's his most obvious weakness, the open face when defending. Gets a single out of it though.

5:45 p.m. Hahaha. The OZ commentators -- especially Bill Lawry and Heals -- think our batting line up is "very strong" and they "don't know how good they are". Hilarious. They clearly haven't seen Misbah bat yet.

5:43 p.m. Tony Greig is giving "all the mums out there" advice on how to clean cricket whites. Okay. Anyway, Umar gets a single off the last ball to retain the strike.

5:41 p.m. Haha. Listen, Umar. Just because you really want to get on strike doesn't mean you run Aamer out on his first ball. Just a thought.

5:39 p.m. Shut up, Siddle. Don't you dare say a word to our prince. Over bowled, by the way. 114/4.

5:36 p.m. Bang! Siddle ovetpitches and Umar pings him through the covers. Heals calls him a mix of "Sachin Tendulkar and Javed Miandad". Calm down, kids. Calm down.

5:34 p.m. First runs of the morning then, as Bollinger drifts down Umar's pads and there's a single to fine leg. Siddle to open the attack from the other end.

5:33 p.m. Man, 454 seems a long way off right now. Long, long way off.

5:32 p.m. Ooh. Beaten outside off.

5:32 p.m. Left safely alone outside off. We need Umar to bat two sessions today. That might actually get this game to the fifth day.

5:31 p.m. Bollinger will open up to Umar. Alright, here we go.

5:30 p.m. Come on, Umar. Show these guys you're no fluke.

5:27 p.m. Wow, hearing Aamir Sohail bitch and moan about anything and everything under the sun is not fun, that's for sure. I'd rather do the bitching and moaning myself, thanks. And that's what the next seven hours are for; Lord knows our team will give me plenty to bitch and moan about.

Hello and welcome to Rs.5's coverage of the third day's play between Pakistan and Australia. As always, all times are local (i.e. Chicago).


Umair Javed said...

Thats the problem whenever we dare to dream about the team...our world becomes a lot more fragile....the glass just shattered at Akmal's dismissal

Farooq said...

If Aamer ran out that kutta Misbah, he'd be the man of the match for me.

Umair Javed said...

Amen to that....

Farooq said...

Hah! Misbah walking down the wicket. For a second there he figured he had talent.

Umair Javed said...

hahahahaha...showing the full face of the bat...and the ball travels 2 yards down the pitch

Farooq said...

Did anyone hear Taylor/Warne talking about the natural attacking ability of our top 3 batsmen? I hope to God THOSE 3 didn't hear it.

Umair Javed said...

yeah they were talking about how the batsmen should have taken the game to the bowlers...amazing really how aimless flashing and slashing is translated into natural attacking ability

Farooq said...

The Misbah of old is back. I take back everything I said. Drop Umar Akmal. Play an extra bowler.

Umair Javed said...

I reckon he's just about the most brainless twit ever to hold a bat...this guy makes Sami look intelligent

Farooq said...

Hah! Serves Ponting right for trying to crack Aamer's throat.

Amyn said...

mark nicholas yesterday: "faisal iqbal's a rare talent."

he was dead serious

Umair Javed said...

a part of me wished it had stuck....

Raza said...

misbah is seriously dominating. last time he played australia, he didn't have a single 20+ score.

Raza said...

fuck! that's a real fucking downer on a sunday night.

F-Machine said...

We hit Katich on the elbow! We hit Katich on the elbow! We hit Katich on the elbow! Moral victory!

Anonymous said...


F-Machine said...

uh bad review call that pitched outside leg

AKS said...

Can someone please teach these chooths the rules governing lbw? Complete waste of a referral.

Raza said...

what's aamir trying to do here? is he trying to bounce out the world's best puller of a cricket ball? is he trying to get LBW him by bowling outswingers?

F-Machine said...

hahahahah stupid commentators.. harping on for two overs about how that fielder was useless.. dicks

Raza said...

my. bad.

Raza said...


sana said...

loving the aggression from aamer. what's up with ian healy suggesting our sledging is getting out of hand? i mean, seriously?

F-Machine said...

Watson Vs. Aamer again.. I expect something to give

AKS said...

so we've already given up on Rauf now, a short career he's had.

Raza said...

Gul wouldn't have bowled any better than this--he's bowled pure shit since sri lanka (he was going for like five an over for no wicket in the warm up game where rauf got 2 wickets). having said that, these are probably the last rites of Rauf's international cricket careert.

mcphisto said...

keeping aside the fact how shambolic our performance has been overall during this match, those few moments of brilliance we had were stuff of dreams.

but man, your commentary is the BEST thing ever. Now only if our team can conjure up some magic and overcome all the disaster they find themselves into right now and give YOU, and us, some much needed cheer after listening to zardari's speech yesterday :)

Anonymous said...

misbah on his 65, umar akmal and mohammad aamer:

Sikander Hayat said...

Pakistan's problem is the top three batsmen. unless they start scoring centuries, Pakistan will always struggle to beat the good teams like Australia.

rabbitt said...

is there anybody more negative than aamir sohail???! can't stand him blaming our bowling (and specifically asif and aamer!) as opposed to our batsmen. it's not their fault they were supported by ineffectual crap like rauf and, let's face it, ajmal. and excellent fielding.