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Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Friday, 16 July 2010 16:48 UK

North inspires Australia to Lord's win over Pakistan

First Test, Lord's (day four, close):
Australia 253 & 334 beat Pakistan 148 & 289 by 150 runs

Marcus North (c) celebrates at Lord's
Marcus North (centre) had only taken six Test wickets before the match

Part-time spinner Marcus North took six wickets as Australia beat Pakistan by 150 runs in the first Test at Lord's.

Chasing a world record fourth-innings target of 440, Pakistan collapsed from 216-4 at lunch to 289 all out.

North (6-55) made the key breakthrough with his first delivery of the match when he removed Salman Butt for 92.

North then tore through the middle order, while Steven Smith took two more debut wickets as Australia posted a record 13th straight win over Pakistan.

It was a disappointing end for Pakistan, whose batsmen - with the exception of Butt - lacked the discipline required to bat for long periods.

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, who was caught in the deep for two after a Twenty20-style heave, responded to the defeat by announcing his retirement from Test cricket following next week's second Test at Headingley.

Just as Shane Watson's surprise five-wicket haul had dismantled Pakistan's batting line-up in the first innings, the Aussies and their captain Ricky Ponting were indebted to another occasional bowler second time round.

North's stunning return on a turning track - which earns him a place on the Lord's honours board - doubled his career tally of Test wickets in his 16th five-day appearance for the baggy greens.


"We've got two guys with their names on the board in there who probably wouldn't have expected it coming in," said Ponting.

"It shows the depth of our squad that you can throw the ball to someone like North and he can take six wickets."

Pakistan's batting in Thursday's evening session and on Friday morning had raised hopes of an extraordinary triumph, with Azhar Ali (42) and Umar Amin (33) offering stubborn resistance.

But, after Azhar had been caught behind off Ben Hilfenhaus, the dismissal of Butt proved the catalyst to Australia's victory.

Opening batsman Butt, who made 63 in Pakistan's first innings 148, was eight runs short of a century when he overbalanced in his crease as the ball drifted down the leg side and was sharply stumped by debutant Tim Paine.

"I wasn't very happy with the way I got out," commented Butt. "I wanted to score three figures at Lord's but at least we have another match."

North struck again with the last delivery before lunch to remove Umar Akmal after a quickfire 22 and had Amin caught at short leg not long after the break.

That brought Afridi to the crease but the skipper, who made an entertaining 31 off 15 balls in the first innings, lasted just four balls before skying a catch to Mike Hussey on the deep mid-wicket boundary.

Kamran Akmal made an accomplished 46 before he was bowled, trying to pull a delivery from Smith which kept low.

Mohammad Aamer gifted North his fifth wicket with a lazy slog to mid-wicket and Umar Gul was caught by Ponting off Smith.

North wrapped up the victory when Danish Kaneria drove tamely to Ponting at short cover.

"Australia are very professional, very strong and we should be more strong from playing against these guys," reflected Afridi.

"Salman Butt played well but we should have got more partnerships as well. We have youngsters here and they played well but we needed great partnerships."

The second and final Test begins at Headingley next Wednesday.

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see also
Afridi calls time on Test career
16 Jul 10 |  Cricket
Aussies set Pakistan record chase
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Australia on top against Pakistan
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Afridi hoping to unite Pakistan
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Paine backs Australians to shine
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Pakistan wrap up Twenty20 series
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Pakistan in England 2010
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England host Pakistan v Australia
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