Taylor in command for Australia

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Cricket

Australia 267 and 306 Pakistan 198 and 15-0

A patient century by Australia's captain and opener, Mark Taylor, set Pakistan a daunting target yesterday to win the second Test in Hobart. Taylor, anchored his side's second innings with a defiant 123 to leave the tourists needing to score 376 in their second innings to level the three-Test series.

But Australia will be weakened in their push for victory by the absence of their leg spinner, Shane Warne, who broke a toe on Friday.

Pakistan were 15 without loss at the close of play on the third day, still needing another 361 runs left after dismissing Australia for 306 in their second innings. Only two sides - India in 1975-76 and Australia in 1948 - have ever scored more than 376 runs in the fourth innings to win a Test.

Taylor, who began the day on 42, faced 244 balls and hit 13 fours during a stay at the crease that lasted six minutes short of six hours. It was his 14th Test century. He was eventually dismissed after tea by a superb yorker from Waqar Younis.

Pakistan, survived nine tense overs before the close during which time they lost their opener, Aamir Sohail, who retired hurt without scoring. Sohail left the field after facing just six balls when he was hit on the hip by a short ball from Craig McDermott.

(Third day of five; Australia won toss)

PAKISTAN - First innings 198 (Ramiz Raja 59; P R Reiffel 4-38).

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 267 (M E Waugh 88; Mushtaq Ahmed 5-115).

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings

(Overnight: 107 for 0)

*M A Taylor b Waqar 123

M J Slater lbw b Mushtaq 73

D C Boon c Waqar b Mushtaq 0

M E Waugh b Wasim 3

S R Waugh c Moin b Mohammad 29

G S Blewett c Basit b Wasim 11

I A Healy c Inzamam b Wasim 24

P R Reiffel b Mushtaq 0

C J McDermott c Wasim b Mushtaq 20

G McGrath not out 2

S K Warne absent hurt 0

Extras (b6, lb5, w1, nb9) 21

Total (102.1 overs) 306

Fall: 1-120, 2-125, 3-132, 4-189, 5-233, 6-255, 7-256, 8-298, 9-306.

Bowling: Wasim Akram 26.1-7-72-3; Waqar Younis 20-4-67-1; Mohammad Akram 10-1-58-1; Mushtaq Ahmed 38-8-83-4; Aamir Sohail 8-2-15-0.

PAKISTAN - Second Innings

Salim Elahi not out 7

Aamir Sohail retired hurt 0

Ramiz Raja not out 6

Extras (lb2) 2

Total (for 0, 9 overs) 15

To bat: Inzamam-ul-Haq, Ijaz Ahmed, Basit Ali, *Wasim Akram, Moin Khan, Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younis, Mohammad Akram.

Bowling: McDermott 4-2-6-0; McGrath 4-1-7-0; Reiffel 1-1-0-0.

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