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Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Sunday, 3 January 2010

Pakistan's Mohammad Asif skittles Australia in Sydney

Second Test, Sydney, day one close:
Australia 127 v Pakistan 14-0
Match scorecard

Mohammad Asif celebrates a wicket in Sydney
Asif made the most of helpful conditions in Sydney

Mohammad Asif claimed a career-best 6-41 as Pakistan skittled Australia for their lowest Sydney total in 15 years on day one of the second Test.

Ricky Ponting opted to bat but fell first ball as Mohammad Sami reduced Australia to 10-3 before they were eventually dismissed for just 127.

Asif ripped out the middle order in helpful conditions, with only Mitchell Johnson (38) offering much resistance.

Pakistan were 14-0 in reply when bad light ended play early.

"I had a very bad memory of this ground in 2004-05 - after that Test match, they sent me back home.

"I just tried to bowl in the right areas and just tried to swing the ball because I know their batsman are very good," Asif said afterwards.

Australia's score was their poorest all-out total at the SCG since Darren Gough blitzed Mark Taylor's side for 116 in 1995.

But Taylor had not elected to bat first in that match, and even before stumps were drawn on Sunday critics were already calling into question Ponting's decision to bat first on a green-top wicket.

The Australian captain has avoided fielding first since his infamous error at Edgbaston in 2005 - a decision that became associated with England turning around that series to win back the Ashes.

But here, heavy cloud cover following morning rain which delayed the toss until nearly 2pm local time - as well as an obviously under-prepared wicket - offered every suggestion that batting first would be dangerous.

Only a 44-run eighth-wicket stand between Johnson and Nathan Hauritz (21) saved Australia from complete embarrassment as a shell-shocked home crowd saw their team hit the rocks at 62-7.

BBC Sport's Oliver Brett

Sami, playing his first Test in more than two years, scythed through Australia's top order with seven overs of express pace.

An eleventh-hour inclusion in the Pakistani side after the withdrawal of Mohammad Aamer with a groin injury, Sami had Hughes, himself a replacement for the injured Simon Katich, dropped by the hard-handed Umar Akmal at backward point from his first delivery.

But it was a sign of things to come and in his next over he lured the left-hander into a drive and the edge flew low to Faisal Iqbal at second slip.

Sami then removed Ponting with his very next ball as a foolhardy attempted hook flew straight to deep square leg and soon had Shane Watson edging a delivery that seamed away from him to wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.

Asif first got among the wickets when Michael Clarke was bowled through the gate by another delivery which changed direction after hitting the wicket.

Michael Hussey battled his way to 28 before a top-edged pull-stroke flew to Misbah-ul-Haq in the slips, Marcus North followed next ball, before Asif took his fourth wicket when Brad Haddin's attack-minded policy backfired.

Australia enjoyed a brief period of respite in the final session as Johnson and Hauritz took the attack to the Pakistanis, and 17 runs came from one Danish Kaneria as they finally stumbled into triple figures.

Phil Hughes was dismissed for  duck by Mohammad Sami
Opener Phil Hughes failed to shine on his return to the Australian team

But the fun ended when Hauritz was bowled by an Asif delivery which angled back into him, while Johnson fell attempting to loft over extra-cover.

Umar Gul completed the rout with the final wicket of Doug Bollinger to close out the hosts' innings in just 44.2 overs.

Despite their undistinguished batting effort, Hussey backed Australia to fight their way back into the game.

"If we can bowl with real patience and real discipline and get enough balls in the right areas we'll create enough chances to hopefully have the game on an even keel tomorrow night, and then the toss is sort of irrelevant.

"There's quite a lot of live green grass on that pitch, there's certainly still going to be moisture in that pitch overnight and for tomorrow," he said.

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see also
Aussie win hands Ponting record
30 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Australia wrap up series victory
20 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Rain thwarts Kiwis as series tied
15 Dec 09 |  Cricket
Pakistan in Australia 2009-10
05 Feb 10 |  Cricket

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The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Nigeria Guardian Pakistan's Asif skittles Australia in Sydney - 5 hrs ago
Times Online Australia skittled for 127 by Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Asif - 6 hrs ago
Daily Times Six-wicket Asif overwhelms Australia in Sydney - 6 hrs ago
Portsmouth Today Pakistan take charge of second Test - 14 hrs ago
Financial Express Bangladesh Asif shines with six on Pakistan's day - 15 hrs ago


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