Asif exploits tricky wicket to humiliate fragile Aussies

Australia 127 Pakistan 14-0
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The Independent Online

Australian batsman Mike Hussey insisted a testing SCG wicket was not entirely to blame for his side's dire batting on day one of the second Test against Pakistan.

Hussey was one of just four batsmen to reach double figures on a rain-shortened opening day, which saw the hosts bundled out for 127 after Ricky Ponting bravely opted to bat on an old-fashioned green top. While the Western Australian admitted conditions heavily favoured the bowlers, he was adamant the hosts should have done better in front of a crowd of 29,844.

"I don't think it was a 127 all out pitch," Hussey said. "They did bowl well and credit where credit is due ... but I think at the end of the day we are disappointed to be bowled out for 127."

Asked if the captain consulted his team-mates before making his decision, Hussey explained: "We didn't really discuss it. I think it was left up to Ricky and probably the coaches and Michael Clarke as vice-captain to discuss that." But the 34-year-old revealed he had a light-hearted chat to the skipper on the eve of the match. "I did joke with Ricky one day before the game, saying that he batted at Johannesburg in the first Test against South Africa and that wicket had branches growing off it," Hussey said.

"So I didn't think he'd bowl first on any wicket in the world and that was sort of proved again today, I guess."

Pakistan destroyer Mohammad Asif said he was happy to erase the nightmare of his most recent visit to the SCG in 2005, after ripping through the hosts to post career-best figures of six for 41 in his 16th Test match.

"I had a very bad memory when I had a debut in this ground in 2004-05 and after that Test match they sent me back home," the 27-year-old explained.

"So I just wanted to clean up the whole memory, so I just did and I'm very happy now."

Pakistan resumed overnight at 14 for no loss.