Cricket: Boon in tune for Australia: Wasim and Waqar make late inroads for Pakistan but tourists stay on victory path in first Test despite Taylor's pair

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The Independent Online
Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .337 and 181-5

Pakistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .256

NOT FOR the first time, Australia owed a sizeable debt to David Boon in Karachi yesterday as fortunes in the first Test continued to fluctuate wildly.

Imperturbable as ever, Boon was still entrenched at the close on 85 after a late burst from Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis had abruptly changed the complexion of a contest that was looking increasingly likely to produce Pakistan's first defeat at the National Stadium. As it is, with a lead of 262, five wickets intact and two days to go, the tourists still hold the upper hand.

Capitalising on a first-innings advantage of 81, Australia, courtesy of a third-wicket stand of 122 between Boon and Mark Waugh, had reached 171 for 2 half an hour before stumps when Waqar penetrated Waugh's defences with a ball that kept low.

With the last two balls of the following over, Wasim, roared on by the holiday crowd, inflicted ducks on the tourists' first-innings mainsprings, bowling Michael Bevan and then pinning Steve Waugh leg-before. The finger that upheld the appeal belonged to Dickie Bird, the Englishman who was presented with a plaque to mark his 60th Test.

The third man in the innings to depart without troubling the scorers was Taylor himself, who was caught behind in Waqar's opening over to become the first Australian captain to make a pair since Richie Benaud against England in 1961.

Resuming on 209 for 7, 128 behind, Pakistan had begun the day by adding 47 in 78 minutes with Wasim contributing more than half, striking five fours and a six in a spirited 39 before being caught behind off Jo Angel with the second new ball.

Mark Waugh's 61 from 132 balls included a six off Mushtaq Ahmed, who had previously trapped Michael Slater for 23. Boon, too, had his expansive moments, notably when reaching 50 with three fours in one Waqar over.

By way of balancing the books, Taylor's opposite number, Salim Malik, dropped Boon at slip on 58, an act of philanthropy that could prove critical in the context of a low-scoring game.

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 337 (M G Bevan 82, S R Waugh 73, I A Healy 57).

PAKISTAN - First Innings

(Overnight 209-7)

Wasim Akram c Healy b Angel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

Akram Raza b McGrath. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Waqar Younis c Healy b Angel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Mushtaq Ahmed not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Extras (lb7 nb4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Total (87.1 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .256

Fall (contd): 8-234 9-253.

Bowling: McGrath 25-6-70-2; Angel 13.1-0- 54-3 (4nb); May 20-5-55-2; Warne 27-10-61- 3; S Waugh 2-0-9-0.

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings

* M A Taylor c Rashid Latif b Waqar Younis . . . . . . . . .0

M J Slater lbw b Mushtaq Ahmed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

D Boon not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85

M E Waugh b Waqar Younis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61

M G Bevan b Wasim Akram. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

S R Waugh lbw b Wasim Akram. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

I Healy not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Extras (b1 lb3 nb5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Total (for 5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .181

Fall: 1-1 2-49 3-171 4-174 5-174.

Bowling (to date): Wasim Akram 14-2-47-2 (3nb); Waqar Younis 10-1-41-2; Mushtaq Ahmed 21-3-51-1; Akram Raza 10-1-19-0; Aamer Sohail 7-0-19-0 (2nb).

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