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Page last updated at 09:14 GMT, Monday, 4 January 2010

Australia bowlers hit late to stem Pakistan run flow

Second Test, Sydney, day two close:
Australia 127 v Pakistan 331-9
Match scorecard

Peter Siddle reacts to a dropped catch
Peter Siddle (left) saw Imran Farhat dropped off his own bowling

Australia's bowlers salvaged some pride with seven late wickets on day two but Pakistan still looked strong in the second Test with a lead of 204 runs.

Resuming on 14-0, Pakistan openers Imran Farhat (53) and Salman Butt (71) put on 109 for the first wicket and the tourists looked in control at 205-2.

Mohammad Yousuf and Umar Akmal also impressed but Australia hit back with the ball as Pakistan closed on 331-9.

Doug Bollinger claimed three scalps and Shane Watson picked up two late ones.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting will be pleased with the way his players battled back following their disappointing first innings total of 127 on the opening day at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Star bowler Bollinger, who ended the day with figures of 3-70, said :"It was a good fightback by the guys. It was a bit frustrating early but they were two-for at tea and now they're nine down.

"I think just try and get out the last one and then get our batting hats on and get something to bowl to in the second innings."

But it was steady progress for the Pakistan openers early on and Imran Farhat, dropped on 11 by Marcus North off Peter Siddle, secured his 13th Test half-century just after lunch.

The left hander's three-hour innings came to an end soon after when his attempted sweep off Nathan Hauritz popped into the hands of Brad Haddin.

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Haddin also held a catch to end Butt's innings, with Mitchell Johnson the bowler.

Faisal Iqbal (27) was the first to fall after tea when he slashed a wide one from Siddle and was caught by Watson at deep point.

Skipper Mohammad Yousuf hit a quick-fire 46 to maintain Pakistan's momentum and Umar Akmal struck 49 off 48 balls before being trapped lbw by Bollinger.

It was an important breakthrough as Bollinger then picked up two more victims with the new ball to leave Watson to remove two tailenders shortly before the close.

Pakistan's highest scorer was Butt with 71 and the stylish left-hander warned the Australian batsmen they would face a tricky time when they commence their second innings.

"The time you think that you're in and suddenly the ball does something, so you've got to have a good laugh about it and stay relaxed because it's not under your control," Butt said.

"Definitely this pitch is not going to change completely. It's not going to become a batting paradise.

"There will always be something for the seamers and hopefully the spinners also get help and if Danish (Kaneria) can do what he's capable of we'll be well off."

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see also
Australia skittled by seamer Asif
03 Jan 10 |  Cricket
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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