Cricket: Ijaz's best blocks Australia

Australia 599-4 dec and 21-0 Pakistan 580-9 dec
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The Independent Online
IJAZ AHMED completed his best Test score of 155 here yesterday as Pakistan carried the high-scoring second Test against Australia towards a draw.

His innings enabled Pakistan to declare their first innings at 580 for 9, a deficit of 19, which Australia extended to 40 before the close of the fourth day's play.

Ijaz, batting his way back into form resumed at 125 and added 30 to claim his highest score in 47 Test, beating the 151 he made against West Indies last year. He was caught behind when edging an attempted cut off the leg- spinner Stuart MacGill, having struck 24 fours in an innings that lasted for 386 minutes and 279 balls. That ended a third-wicket stand worth 115 in 133 minutes with Inzamam-ul-Haq, who fell three runs short of his century.

Once Pakistan had avoided the follow on at 400, runs came easily as the Australian bowlers struggled to find any assistance from a flat pitch.

From an overnight 329 for 2, Pakistan carried their total to 410 at lunch for the loss of Ijaz, and, although the Australians picked up three wickets in the second session, that success came too late to inject life into a match that was already heading for a draw.

Australia are 1-0 with one more Test to come as they pursue their first series victory in Pakistan for 39 years.

Australia won toss

Fourth day of five

Australia - First innings 599-4 dec

(M A Taylor 334no, J Langer 116, R Ponting 76no)

Pakistan - First innings

(overnight 329 for2)

Saeed Anwar c Healy b Miller 126

*Aamir Sohail c Fleming b McGrath 31

Ijaz Ahmed c Healy b MacGill 155

Inzamam-ul-Haq c Healy b S Waugh 97

Salim Malik c Taylor b McGrath 49

Yousaf Youhanna c S Waugh b MacGill 28

Moin Khan c Healy b Ponting 0

Azhar Mahmood c Langer b McGrath 26

Mushtaq Ahmed not out 48

Mohammad Zahid lbw b Fleming 1

Extras (b5 lb9 w1 nb4) 19

Total (for 9 dec) 580

Fall: 1-45 2-256 3-371 4-454 5-500 6-501 7-521 8-571 9-580.

Did not bat: Sohaib Akhtar

Bowling: McGrath 36-8-131-3; Fleming 35.1-6-103-1 (nb1); MacGill 42-5- 169-2, Miller 38-12-99-1 (nb3, w1); M Waugh 8-0-32-0; S Waugh 8-1-19-1; Ponting 5-1-13-1.

Australia - Second innings

M J Slater not out 7

M A Taylor not out 13

Extras (lb1) 1

Total (for 0) 21

Bowling (to date): Shoaib Akhtar 3-0-9-0; Azhar Mahmood 1-0-7-0; Mushtaq Ahmed 1-0-4-0.

Umpires: S A Bucknor (WI) and Mohammad Nazir Jnr (Pakistan).