Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Liveblogging Pakistan Vs. Australia 1st Test Day 5

7:30 p.m. And that's lunch, as Ajmal edges it between keeper and first slip. At 249/8, we're going to score less than 350 for the 12th time in our last 14 innings. You can't win test matches if you can't make the bare minimum standard score required of test match batting line ups. I hope Younis helps, but honestly, he hasn't played a significant international innings since the Sri Lanka tour in the summer. Anyhow, that's it from me, since there's no point waiting for the last rites. Kudos to Aamer for a great performance and well done to Yousuf for his second innings and finding form. Bye for now.

7:28 p.m. Well, unless something disastrous happens in this over -- and with our morning, why wouldn't it? -- we'll make it through lunch. I'll say it again: if someone had told you at the close of play on the second day that we'll get to lunch on the fifth day, you would've laughed. We've fought hard, we just didn't keep it going for all five days. Hopefully we can improve going forward.

7:27 p.m. Calm down, Mark Nicholas. He's beating Ajmal outside the off stump, not Tendulkar. Keep it in your pants.

7:23 p.m. Ajmal sweeps Hauritz for three. His three wickets in this innings are an absolute abomination. Not one of them was deserved. Well, I guess the Aamer delivery was a good one, getting some bounce. But the Faisal and Akmal dismissals were brought about by how bad a bowler he is, not how good a bowler he is. They took him too lightly and both did something over ambitious. I guess the good thing is he will play at Sydney. I hope we take him apart there.

7:19 p.m. Haha. I love Ajmal. No one in this team has more heart and backbone than him.

7:11 p.m. 229/8. The thing is, other than Kamran, you can't really get mad at anyone. They just bowled well, and we weren't ready. I don't know if a win by two hundred runs is a fair reflection of the difference between the sides -- I think we were closer than that -- but what're you going to do? Keep in mind they declared twice, it could've been worse.

7:05 p.m. You've got to feel for Yousuf here, as Tony Greig says. I mean he's been playing well, he needed one partner to stick with him for a session. Just one. Alas.

7:02 p.m. Rauf is such a waste of space. After being dropped, he gets bowled off his pads of Bollinger. He really has no idea of what to do with the bat in his hand. And our team? Well, we've lost 50/5 this morning.

7:00 p.m. At 5:29 p.m., I said we should first try and get the target below 200 without the loss of a further wicket. We need 201 to win. We've lost four. So I guess that didn't turn out well.

6:58 p.m. My understanding is that most cricket fans in Pakistan generally wake up for the second and third sessions. I'd love to see the expressions on their faces when they get up during lunch time and realize the match is over. So much hope, so little done. I mean people were legitimately hopeful this morning.

6:58 p.m. Tries to smack it again, and gets lucky again. This Rauf is completely useless.

6:56 p.m. Hilarious. Ponting had eight guys around the bat for the hat trick, and Rauf tries to smack a loopy one outside the ground. He edges it, it goes straight up, but there's no one to take the catch because everyone's around the bat! Farcical.

6:54 p.m. And another! Hauritz gets Aamer first ball, launching forward, gets it on the shoulder of the bat, and it goes straight to Katich at short leg. That's the second hat trick chance of the morning. If it's okay with you, this live blog will stop at lunch time (if we can get there, remember it's still 35 minutes away).

6:52 p.m. Hahahaha. That is the worst shot I've ever seen. Kamran dances down at least six feet, swings like a rusty gate, misses by a long way, and Haddin could've had a beer before choosing to take the bails off. His head was not still at all playing that shot, he got too excited, and that's that. Absolutely no chance to save this game now. Aamer in.

6:49 p.m. Well, despite all our trouble, at least the runs are now coming. Akmal gets a no ball from Bollinger squeezed backward of gully for three. The first hour we scored ten runs, the next 20 minutes we've scored 35. It's now 214/5. Hauritz to continue.

6:48 p.m. Just as I say that, Bollinger gifts one down the leg side which Yousuf works away for one. Australia have bowled really well this morning, no doubt about it. Except for Hauritz that is.

6:47 p.m. Stat of the morning: it's been 36 minutes since Yousuf has scored.

6:45 p.m. Heart in mouth stuff. Bollinger appeals for LBW against Yousuf. It looked close first up, but Rudi gives it not out. Ponting asks for a review, and it's an inside edge on to his pad. Phew.

6:43 p.m. Well, Akmal is still playing his shots. Gets a two and a four with little paddle sweeps off Hauritz. The problem is (a) there's no one after this partnership that can score runs, and (b) there are no runs coming from the other end because their pacers are bowling well.

6:39 p.m. One good indicator of how lopsided a game is the extent to which the commentators start cracking jokes and having a go at each other. By that measure, it is safe to say we're barely going to make it to lunch.

6:34 p.m. It's obvious that our players think Hauritz is absolute shite. They give him no respect whatsoever.

6:33 p.m. Haha. So much for chilling out. He dances down and smacks Hauritz's last ball for six. Well, if you're going to attack, do it straight, don't cut and sweep. That was a nice shot. 200 up, 202/5.

6:31 p.m. I don't know what Kamran is doing. First he tries to sweep Hauritz from four feet outside off, misses it, and gets four byes for his troubles. Next ball he cuts one, it goes uppishly, evades the short third man, and gets a boundary. DUDE. Chill out.

6:28 p.m. Kamran flays Bollinger through the covers. First of all, that's a dangerous shot, because there's a catcher in front of square close in. Second, if you're going to get it through the infield, RUN HARD. They could have easily run four there, but only ended up with three. Anyway, it's 188/5. In the first hour of play today, there have been 18 runs scored for the loss of two wickets. So yeah, it was Australia's hour.

6:26 p.m. Double change, with Bollinger replacing Siddle.

6:23 p.m. Uh, Yousuf? You might want to put away the late cut for a while. There's a first slip, there's rough outside the off stump from the three left arm quicks in the test, and we're five down on a fifth day. For fuck's sake.

6:22 p.m. Hauritz replaces Johnson. It is one of my big regrets that Umar Akmal hasn't gotten a real bat against Hauritz. He didn't bat against him at all in the first innings. He had a little spell last night and looked really attacking. Anyway, he'll bowl to a sedate Yousuf and iffy Kamran.

6:17 p.m. Shot. Akmal drives Siddle for four through the covers. First bit of assured strokeplay from him.

6:12 p.m. Yousuf living very dangerously here. To be fair, Siddle's bowling well. The commies are right: they've just come really hard at us. They were ready and pumped, we were asleep.

6:10 p.m. Beats him again. This could get ugly very quickly.

6:10 p.m. Jaffer. Siddle bowls one that comes in and then leaves Yousuf. Can't play those, can only hope to miss 'em.

6:07 p.m. Kamran, after half an hour at the crease and twenty deliveries, gets off the mark finally. With a flashy drive backward of point. I hope that settles him, because he's looked all over the place this morning.

6:04 p.m. And Yousuf brings up his fifty with a dicey single. He's played well, Yousuf. Really well.

5:58 p.m. In hindsight, the day's close yesterday could not have come at a worse time. Both Umar and Yousuf were batting really well and had good momentum going. Having to reset today basically cost us big. Anyway, Siddle continuing.

5:58 p.m. Haha. The betting odds tell their own story. We were $4.40 to win at the beginning of the day. We're above $20 now.

5:57 p.m. As I say that, Yousuf squeezes Johnson for two behind point off the back foot. Reaches 49.

5:56 p.m. I don't think we've scored a run in about four overs.

5:54 p.m. I guess they're going to try to play out for the draw now, which is going to be very hard, because now that Ponting has no fear of us winning, he can pack the field with catchers and close fielders.

5:51 p.m. Kamran looks very jumpy. Can't blame him to be honest. I'm shell shocked, and I'm not even playing. Can you imagine what the dressing room feels like right now?

5:46 p.m. Alright, silver lining time. At the end of day 2, when they had piled on 450 and we were 100/4, having lost Yousuf to the second last ball of the day, who thought we'd take this game into the middle of the fifth day, which is when it will end? We've played well over the last two days, keeping day 3 to a draw and winning day 4. We just had two really bad days first up, and hopefully we've learned our lessons. We will do better in Sydney, I am sure of it.

5:44 p.m. I really can't get over how quickly they killed the game. One over!

5:41 p.m. Siddle to bowl from the other end.

5:39 p.m. Well Kamran survives, but this game is over. Unbelievable. It took five balls, the day's first five balls, for them to kill us. Well done, Aussies. Well done.

5:39 p.m. Wow. Talk about having the stuffing knocked out of you. Johnson's on a hat trick by the way.

5:37 p.m. And Misbah's gone first ball! I think I can stop live blogging now.

5:36 p.m. Well, we've had our hopes, however slight they were, taken from us before the game's really even gotten underway.

5:36 p.m. I have to say, there was some doubt there. He took it clean, but the ball might've touched the grass as he was coming up. I donno.

5:35 p.m. And he's gone. Sigh.

5:33 p.m. Drama here, as Akmal edges it to Haddin. It's gone upstairs since there's some doubt about whether it was clean. If he's gone, the game's over.

5:32 p.m. Solidly behind each of his first two balls.

5:31 p.m. And Yousuf works it off his hips for one. Umar's first ball.

5:29 p.m. Baby steps, kids. Baby steps. Let's get the target to below 200 without further loss. Anyway, it'll be Johnson to start. I feel him and Watson will hold the key for OZ today. Alright, here we go, Yousuf to face.

5:26 p.m. I will say this though: if one of Umar or Yousuf get to lunch, we have a shot. If both get to lunch? Hmmm.

5:18 p.m. I am incredibly proud of this team though. Over the last two days, they've really shown fight and actually gone at the Aussies, which is essential if you want to have a chance. Win or lose, the approach of the batsmen and the intensity of the bowlers over the last two days has really warmed my heart. And it bodes well for the rest of the series, especially with Younis (presumably) and Kaneria (most likely) and Gul (preferably) coming back into the side.

5:14 p.m. On the message boards and so on, there seems to be quite a bit of optimism. I hate to be a wet blanket, but this optimism is misplaced. As I've noted before, we've crossed 350 twice in our last 13 test innings. We are prone to collapses. And who can forget the first test in SL this summer, when at 80-2 needing 90 more, we lost by 50 runs?

5:12 p.m. The situation is simple: we need 250 more runs. Australia need 7 wickets, but given our tail, they only really need four. A minimum of 90 overs. A draw, in other words, is highly unlikely. Not as unlikely as a Pakistan win, but unlikely nonetheless.

Hello and welcome to Rs.5's coverage of the fifth and final day's play of the first test between Australia and Pakistan at the MCG. I normally would not be live blogging two days in the same test (I did day 3) but extenuating circumstances have forced me into my Man Chair, laptop in lap, and fingers ready to do. As always, all times are local (i.e. Chicago).


Umair Javed said...

warh gaye...

Misbah-ul-Haq Chootiya said...

I suck. I suck. I suck. I suck. I suck. I suck.
Fuck Johnson.
I suck.

Anonymous said...

Hurry up Ahsan, not many know you're liveblogging. Just delete the post and enjoy the evening!

rabbitt said...

hey at least our run rate is looking up? (i can't believe i woke up for this).

Sana said...

I'm kind of glad Rauf didn't get any tukka runs. At least he won't play for Pakistan ever again.

rabbitt said...

ooh yay, i want to see how aamir sohail blames this on the bowlers.

Nabeel said...

Haha,Anon1144 is right. I had no idea you were liveblogging this or I would be following you as well as Kamran Abbasi (on Twitter) and posting my thoughts here too...It was a great game. We fought back really well after being absolutely thrashed on the first two days but they were just too good for us on the last day. It wasn't the typical brainfreeze that led to today's collapse - it was simply that they bowled better than we could bat.

Fawad,Younis,and Gul deserved to be in the team over Farhat,Iqbal,and Rauf,at risk of stating the obvious.I could not believe my eyes when I saw that Gul was dropped in favor of Rauf.Younis Khan may not have performed well recently but he has the grit needed for success,and usually performs well under pressure.Yousuf was a typical batting captain-didn't know how to set fields and rotate bowling,and even that first wasted appeal in the second innings against ponting-where aamer couldn't see that the ball pitched a kilometer away from leg-showed that yousuf simply blindly trusted aamer's understandable belief that ponting was out.however,to his credit,the team realized that they needed to attack a lot more in the second innings and...ah,what a pity. johnson,bollinger,and siddle were brilliant. looking forward eagerly to the next Test. Fuck T20s.