Captain Taylor leads chase

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The Independent Online

Pakistan 299 & 204 Australia 257 & 121-3

Mark Taylor, the Australian captain and opener, survived a torrid spell by Pakistan's leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed yesterday to leave the third and final Test in Sydney evenly balanced after the home side were set 247 runs for victory.

Taylor, the most prolific batsman of the series, remained unbeaten on 49 after Australia lost two early wickets and he will be keen to complete a clean sweep of the three-match series.

Even with seven wickets in hand, Australia must contend with a pitch offering significant turn and uneven bounce for the spinners.

Pakistan's second innings finished, like their first, in a rush with the last five wickets adding just 19 runs as Craig McDermott finished with 5 for 49. Only Inzamam-ul-Haq, batting at No 6 because of a shoulder injury sustained while fielding, impressed with 59 before becoming one of McDermott's victims.

(Fourth day of five; Pakistan won toss)

PAKISTAN - First Innings 299 (Ijaz Ahmed 137; S K Warne 4-55).

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 257 (M E Waugh 116; Mushtaq Ahmed 5-95, Wasim Akram 4-50).

PAKISTAN - Second Innings

(Overnight: 101 for 4)

Salim Malik lbw b M E Waugh 45

Inazamam-ul-Haq c Taylor b McDermott 59

*Wasim Akram lbw b McDermott 5

Rashid Latif lbw b Warne 3

Saqlain c M E Waugh b McDermott 2

Mushtaq Ahmed lbw b McDermott 2

Waqar Younis not out 1

Extras (b1, lb5, nb4) 10

Total (94 overs) 204

Fall (cont): 5-163, 6-185, 7-188, 8-198, 9-203.

Bowling: McDermott 15.3-0-49-5; McGrath 17-3-47-0; Reiffel 8.3-2-15-0; Warne 37-13-66-4; M E Waugh 14-4-21-1; Blewett 2-2-0-0

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings

*M A Taylor not out 49

M J Slater lbw b Mushtaq 23

D C Boon c sub b Saqlain 6

M E Waugh c Rashid b Wasim 34

I A Healy not out 4

Extras (lb5) 5

Total (for 3, 42 overs) 121

Fall: 1-42, 2-69, 3-117.

To bat: S R Waugh, G S Blewett, P R Reiffel, S K Warne, C J McDermott, G McGrath.

Bowling: Wasim Akram 8-2-13-1; Waqar Younis 2-0-8-0; Mushtaq Ahmed 18- 2-59-1; Saqlain Mushtaq 13-5-35-1; Aamir Sohail 1-0-1-0.

Umpires: H D Bird and S G Randall.