Cricket: Azhar turns the tables on Australia

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Pakistan 222 & 392 Australia 246 & 188 for 5

PAKISTAN DOMINATED the fourth day of the second Test against Australia here yesterday and seem on course to square the three-match series.

The Australians, 10-wicket victors in the first Test at Brisbane, are looking to Justin Langer (52no) and Adam Gilchrist (45no) and the weather to help stave off defeat as they head into the final day on 188 for 5 - 181 runs away from an improbable win.

Only twice before have teams scored higher than the 369 Australia require to win a Test. India scored 406 for 4 against the West Indies in the 1975- 76 series and Don Bradman's Australians hit 404 for 3 to beat England at Headingley in 1948. It will require something equally fantastic if Australia are to achieve victory.

Yesterday Pakistan made the early inroads as their all-rounder Azhar Mahmood caught Michael Slater. Azhar was then on a hat-trick in his third over as the Australians struggled, dismissing Greg Blewett (29) and then trapping Mark Waugh first ball with an off-cutter. The Australian captain, Steve Waugh, survived the hat-trick ball.

However, Saqlain Mushtaq, who claimed a Test best of 6 for 46 in the first innings, soon took the wicket of Waugh, coaxing him into a false shot to have him caught and bowled for 28. Ricky Ponting added to the Australian despair, lasting five balls before being out lbw to Wasim Akram for his third consecutive Test duck.

Fourth day of five; Australia won toss

PAKISTAN - First Innings 222

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 246

PAKISTAN - Second Innings

(Overnight: 351 for 7)

Inzamam-ul-Haq c M Waugh b Warne 118

*Wasim Akram c Blewett b Warne 31

Waqar Younis run out 0

Shoaib Akhtar not out 5

Extras (6lb, 1w, 7nb) 14

Total (128.4 overs) 392

Fall: 8-357, 9-358.

Bowling: McGrath 27-7-87-1; Fleming 29-5-89-2; Warne 45.4-11-110-5; Muller 17-3-63-1; S Waugh 4-1-19-0; M Waugh 2-0-6-0; Ponting 2-1-7-0; Blewett 2-0-5-0.

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings

M J Slater c Azhar b Shoaib 27

G S Blewett c Moin b Azhar 29

J L Langer not out 52

M E Waugh lbw b Azhar 0

*S R Waugh c and b Saqlain 28

R T Ponting lbw b Wasim 0

A C Gilchrist not out 45

Extras (3lb, 4nb) 7

Total (for 5, 70 overs) 188

Fall: 1-39, 2-81, 3-81, 4-125, 5-126.

To bat: S K Warne, D W Fleming, G D McGrath, S A Muller.

Bowling: Wasim 10-1-28-1; Waqar 8-2-25-0; Shoaib 13-5-36-1; Saqlain 30- 7-76-1; Azhar 9-2-20-2.

Umpires: P D Parker and P Willey (Eng).