Mushtaq attack

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The Independent Online
MUSHTAQ AHMED produced his best performance in Test cricket yesterday but his rival leg-spinner, Shane Warne, was also on form to leave the third and final Test in Sydney in the balance. With two days left to play, Pakistan lead by 143 runs with six second-innings wickets in hand.

Mushtaq claimed five wickets in an innings for the second successive Test to lift Pakistan into a winning position. Mushtaq, whose previous best figures of five for 115 in the first innings of the second Test in Hobart failed to prevent Australia's victory by 155 runs, finished with five for 95 from 36.2 overs.

His efforts in removing Steve Waugh, Greg Blewett, Ian Healy and Glenn McGrath, with his dismissal of David Boon on Friday, restricted Australia to 257 in reply to Pakistan's first innings 299. Only Mark Waugh mastered Mushtaq's bowling, scoring a superb 116, his first century against Pakistan.

Pakistan made determined progress in building up a lead, but Warne raised Australia's hopes by bowling the middle- order batsman Basit Ali for 14 with the final ball of the day.

Pakistan, seeking to restore morale after two heavy defeats, reached 101 for four at the close, with the former captain Salim Malik 21 not out. They suffered an early setback when the opener Aamir Sohail was caught by David Boon at point for nine off the bowling of Craig McDermott. Warne then removed the opener Ramiz Raja for 39 and Ijaz Ahmed, who scored a century in the first innings, for 15, to put the brakes on Pakistan.

(Third day; Pakistan won toss)

PAKISTAN - First Innings 299 (Ijaz Ahmed 137; S K Warne 4-55).

AUSTRALIA - First Innings

(Overnight: 151 for 3)

M E Waugh c Mushtaq Ahmed b Wasim 116

S R Waugh st Rashid b Mushtaq Ahmed 38

G S Blewett b Mushtaq Ahmed 5

I A Healy c Rashid b Mushtaq Ahmed 6

P R Reiffel not out 10

S K Warne c Rashid b Wasim 2

C J McDermott b Wasim 0

G McGrath c Wasim b Mushtaq Ahmed 0

Extras (lb6 nb10) 16

Total (98.2 overs) 257

Fall: 1-2, 2-44, 3-91, 4-174, 5-182, 6-226, 7-240, 8-249, 9-249.

Bowling: Wasim Akram 24-4-50-4; Waqar Younis 11-4-26-0; Mushtaq Ahmed 36.2-7-95-5; Saqlain Mushtaq 22-2-62-1; Aamir Sohail 5-0-18-0.

PAKISTAN - Second Innings

Aamir Sohail c Boon b McDermott 9

Ramiz Raja c M E Waugh b Warne 39

Ijaz Ahmed lbw b Warne 15

Salim Malik not out 21

Basit Ali b Warne 14

Extras (b1, nb2) 3

Total (for 4, 47 overs) 101

Fall: 1-18, 2-58, 3-82, 4-101.

To bat: Inzamam-ul-Haq, *Wasim Akram, Rashid Latif, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younis.

Bowling: McDermott 6-0-23-1; McGrath 10-2-27-0; Warne 17-7-28-3; Reiffel 6-1-12-0; M E Waugh 6-2-10-0; Blewett 2-2-0-0.

Umpires: H D Bird and S G Randall.

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