Cricket: McGrath steps up the pace

Australia 280 Pakistan 170-6
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TWO FINE bowling performances dominated play in Karachi yesterday as Australia remained on target for their first Test series win in Pakistan for 39 years.

The Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath produced two penetrating spells on a slow track to finish with 4 for 41 from 15 overs, while earlier in the day, Pakistan's teenaged leg-spinner, Shahid Afridi, finished with 5 for 52 as Australia were dismissed for 280. The 18-year-old becomes only the fifth Pakistani debutant to return with five wickets.

Wicketkeeper Ian Healy scored 47 to help Australia reach 280. At the close of the second day, Pakistan were 170 for 6 in reply.

The home side started shakily and had soon slumped to 54 for 4, with McGrath capturing the wickets of Shahid Afridi, Ijaz Ahmad, Inzamam-ul- Haq and Moin Khan to take his tally of wickets to 177 in 40 Tests. Fortunately for Pakistan, their captain, Aamir Sohail, stepped in to lead the recovery, scoring an unbeaten 83.

McGrath had Azidi caught on 10 by Mark Taylor as he attempted a cover drive. Ijaz then managed only five runs before he sent an over-ambitious hook straight to Ian Healy. Inzamam was snapped up by Darren Lehmann at short extra-cover.

Moin fared better, making 20 before he clipped McGrath's short delivery to Michael Slater at square leg.

Sohail's 155-ball knock included 11 fours and a six. He and the former captain Wasim Akram put on 54 in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand.

Second day of five, Australia won toss

Overnight: Australia 207-6 (Slater 96)

AUSTRALIA - First Innings (cont)

I A Healy c M Khan b A Khan 47

G R Robertson c Youhana b Afridi 5

C R Miller b Akram 0

S C G MacGill not out 23

G D McGrath c Ahmed b Afridi 6

Extras (b1, lb17, nb10) 28

Total (125.3 overs) 280

Fall: 1-38, 2-105, 3-169, 4-169, 5-179, 6-189, 7-210, 8-211, 9-266.

Bowling: Akram 22-4-51-1; Akhtar 14.2- 3-39-1 Ahmed 24.4-9-48-0; Khan 41-14-72-3; Afridi 23.3-6-52-5.

PAKISTAN - First Innings

*A Sohail not out 83

S Afridi c Taylor b McGrath 10

I Ahmed c Healy b McGrath 5

I Ul-Haq c Lehmann b b McGrath 9

S Malik c McGrath b MacGill 0

Y Youhana b Robertson 9

M Khan c Slater b McGrath 20

W Akram not out 19

Extras (b5, lb4, w1, nb5) 15

Total (for 6, 55 overs) 170

Fall: 1-26, 2-40, 3-51, 4-54, 5-69, 6-116.

To Bat: A Khan, S Ahmed, S Akhtar.

Bowling: McGrath 15-4-41-4; Miller 11-1-46-0; MacGill 16-2-45-1; Robertson 12-3-23-1; Lehmann 1-0-6-0.

Umpires: Riazuddin (Pak) and D L Orchard (SA).