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Page last updated at 17:53 GMT, Thursday, 15 July 2010 18:53 UK

Australia set Pakistan world record Test run target

First Test, Lord's (day three, close):
Australia 253 & 334 v Pakistan 148, 114-1

Ben Hilfenhaus hits Danish Kaneria for six
Hilfenhaus recorded his highest first-class score at Lord's

Australia set Pakistan a world record second-innings run chase on day three of the first Test at Lord's.

Needing an ambitious 440 to win, Pakistan ended the day on 114-1, with opener Salman Butt unbeaten on 58.

Australia finished their second innings on 334, boosted by a maiden Test 50 for Ben Hilfenhaus, adding to scores of 88 from Simon Katich and Tim Paine (47).

Umar Gul (4-61) was Pakistan's stand-out bowler, with fellow seamer Mohammad Asif (3-77) impressing.

Only four teams in Test history have successfully chased down a second-innings target of more than 400, two of them against Australia.

The West Indies hold the world record against an Australian side captained by Steve Waugh, scoring 418 in Antigua in May 2003, while South Africa successfully overhauled 414 in Perth in December 2008.

Pakistan's Umar Amin, due at the crease next for his country, insisted a win was still possible.

"Definitely, the way Salman and Azhar Ali have played," said the Test debutant, who was out for one in the first innings.

"If they carry on tomorrow, we have a very good chance of winning the game."

Pakistan's miserable recent history against Australia in five-day cricket - their last Test win against the Baggy Greens was in November 1995 - would suggest this mammoth task will be beyond them.

However, Butt, his opening partner Farhat and debutant Azhar Ali have given the home side an excellent platform to counterattack on day four, 326 runs adrift of their target.

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Two quick Australian second-innings wickets at the end of day two had given Pakistan an ideal opportunity to attack in the first session on day three, with cloud and humid early morning conditions benefitting their three-pronged pace attack.

However, nightwatchman Mitchell Johnson provided admirable assistance alongside the obdurate and watchful Katich, who add a single to his overnight 49 to register his 23rd Test half-century after Australia resumed on 100-4.

The laconic Johnson laid into Mohammad Aamer, drilling the left-arm seamer for three fours from the second over of the day.

The muscular left-hander survived a close lbw call on 17 when he shouldered arms to an Asif delivery pitched on middle and leg, rapping him in front of the stumps.

But TV replays justified umpire Rudi Koertzen's decision, with Hawk-Eye predicting the ball would have missed the top of the stumps.

Although Johnson made the most of his reprieve, punching attractive drives down the ground as well as lifting Kaneria through mid-wicket for boundaries, his innings was ended by Gul when he missed a full-toss as the ball smashed into his middle stump.

Katich continued his attentive vigil, offering one sharp chance during the morning session when he drilled a leg glance off Kaneria straight to Umar Amin at short leg, but the debutant had no time to react to cling on to the ball.

But the complexion of Australia's innings shifted dramatically after lunch when Asif took two wickets in three deliveries in the 45th over.

Poor feet movement accounted for both Katich and Marcus North (20), edging good deliveries around off stump to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal as Australia precariously wavered at 188-7.

However, wicketkeeper Paine provided stubborn resistance, teaming up alongside Hilfenhaus for a crucial 74-run ninth-wicket partnership, pushing Australia's lead towards 400.

Paine fell three runs short of his first Test half-century when he was bowled attempting to whip Shahid Afridi through the vacant midwicket region.

However, Hilfenhaus continued to play with freedom, smashing six boundaries and one maximum on his way to an unlikely 50, much to the delight of his team-mates sat out in the balcony.

The Tasmanian remained unbeaten on 56, beating his previous highest first-class score of 50, after last-man Doug Bollinger was bowled by Kaneria.

Pakistan's huge run chase began positively as Butt and Farhat nullified Australia's pace triumvirate of Bollinger, Hilfenhaus and Johnson.

And it was spinner Steve Smith who made the breakthrough when Farhat misjudged a pull straight to Shane Watson at midwicket.

And Paine tipped new man Smith to make another telling appearance on Thursday.

"When he went around the wicket he started to spin a few quite a long way so I think he will definitely play a role at some stage," said Paine.

Ali, dismissed for 16 in the first innings, opted for caution, scoring a solitary boundary as he remained unbeaten on 28, to frustrate Australia in their quest for a second wicket just before play's close.

Paine, though, was confident the elements would favour his side when their attack resumes on Friday.

"It's probably a decent batting wicket now," he added. "If the sun's out and the ball's not swinging it's definitely a lot easier but I think we will create enough chances to definitely be in the game and give ourselves a good chance of winning."



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