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Australia pegged back by Pakistan in Lord's Test

First Test, Lords (day one, close):
Australia 229-9 v Pakistan

Mitchell Johnson is bowled
Mitchell Johnson was the eighth Australian wicket to fall as Danish Kaneria strikes

By Oliver Brett
BBC Sport at Lord's

Australia collapsed from a healthy 171-2 to 229-9 as Pakistan's bowlers held their discipline well on the first day of the first Test at Lord's.

Simon Katich (80) and Michael Clarke (47) put on 120 for the third wicket.

But Mohammad Asif's three wickets in seven balls either side of tea wrested the momentum back to Pakistan.

Mohammad Aamer also took three wickets in conditions ideally suited to seam bowling, with Mike Hussey 39 not out when bad light brought an early finish.

Salman Butt urged Pakistan's batsmen to pick up where the bowlers left off and hammer home their advantage over Australia when play resumes on Wednesday.

"It is important after winning the toss and putting them in that you follow it up with the wickets," said Butt.

"Australia got away with a very good partnership but I think the bowlers came back really well and the batting now has to follow up to make it a good day.

Mohammad Aamer ousts Ricky Ponting
Aamer cannot contain his delight as dangerman Ponting is dismissed

"That spell from Asif had a huge impact on the game because that was the time we came back, with those three quick wickets that he took."

However, with more overcast conditions forecast at Lord's on day two, Katich insisted the pressure was all on Pakistan - particularly if Hussey can eke out a few more runs.

"It would have been nice to get more but we have nearly 230 runs in the bank and I dare say that if conditions stay similar, which they might do, then Pakistan will certainly find it difficult as well," said Katich.

"I am sure a couple of our guys will really enjoy bowling in those conditions with the ball swinging around. They have some inexperience in their batting line-up and they still have to get the runs."

With play not starting until 1200 BST because of murky light and a damp outfield to contend with, only 70 overs were bowled in the day - but it was a fascinating opening to the first neutral Test at Lord's since 1912.

Pakistan, looking to end a run of 12 consecutive defeats to Australia in Tests stretching back to the 1990s, cannot be too confident despite the scoreboard.

OLIVER BRETT'S BLOG

While having a strong bowling attack, their side looks very light in batting with the debutants Umar Amin and Azhar Ali coming in at three and four.

And if conditions on Wednesday are at all similar to Tuesday, which featured thick cloud throughout to help provide lavish sideways movement, Australia's seam bowlers will be expected to hit back hard.

Shahid Afridi, leading Pakistan in a Test side after four years in which he has not donned the white clothing at all for his country, correctly elected to bowl first, and set attacking fields for much of the day.

The focus was squarely on Katich and Shane Watson when Aamer and Asif shared the new ball for the one-hour pre-lunch session.

Aamer was the more consistently threatening of the two Pakistan seamers and could have been rewarded with the wicket of Katich in only the third over.

A big appeal for lbw was declined by Ian Gould, but although video evidence suggested the umpire had got it wrong the review system is not in place for this series.

Aamer did at least get the wicket he deserved when Watson was bowled for four but Ricky Ponting, who himself survived a more debatable lbw off Amir on three, helped Katich take Australia to 36-1 at lunch.

With Aamer and Asif finding movement in both directions, and Umar Gul bowling some excellent deliveries as well, batting was never easy.

Ponting battled hard to make 26, but then hit Aamer firmly, and off the face of his bat, to Amin at short-leg.

There was an involuntary shoulder-to-shoulder collision between the Australian captain and the exultant bowler afterwards.

On a ground where he has always struggled in Tests, without even a half-century to his name, Ponting was left to curse his luck again, although he did pass Brian Lara to move to second place behind Sachin Tendulkar in the all-time Test run-scoring list.

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan watches the action at Lord's

The Aamer-Amin partnership almost combined to remove Clarke on three, but this time Amin, again at short-leg, could only just get fingertips to the ball as it died on him, several feet to his left.

Clarke settled quicker than others, and played some sweetly-struck drives, while Katich was happy to defend anything outside off-stump, shuffling across his stumps to flick the straighter stuff to leg.

As Pakistan's seamers lost their edge for a while, and the spinners failed to exert any pressure, Clarke and Katich threatened something special.

But Afridi switched Asif to the Pavilion End for the first time three overs before tea and with the last ball of the session the bowler took his first wicket.

With his outswinger already causing problems, the slope allowed Asif to nip the ball back into the right-hander as well and it was one of those that crashed into Clarke's pads and finally did for him lbw.

The wicket was a big lift for Pakistan and Asif added two more big scalps in his next over, beginning with Katich, who nicked a ball that left him a fraction to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal.

The left-handed Marcus North was a bit unlucky to face Asif in this form and in these conditions. A big inswinger bowled on a perfect length defeated him, and knocked back off stump.

A slog-swept six by Hussey off Danish Kaneria signalled his positive intentions, but there was not much coming from the remaining Australian batsmen, with debutants Tim Paine and Steve Smith among those to fall cheaply.

Paine edged Gul behind and Smith was adjudged lbw to Kaneria's top-spinner - despite an inside edge.

As Pakistan pressed on amid the gloaming, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus, who will look forward to proving a point with their bowling on Wednesday, were both bowled.

But there was not quite enough time for the team occupying the home dressing room to take the final wicket.



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