Aussies pull of thrilling victory at Sydney

Australia achieved an historic victory in the Sydney Test when they bundled out Pakistan for 139 to win an excitingly close match by 36 runs.

The remarkable win came when Pakistan tailender Umar Gul skied a drive, which was caught at mid-on by Peter Siddle. With Gul’s wicket off-spinner Nathan Hauritz finished with a match-winning figure of 5 for 35.

The Pakistanis appeared to panic after losing skipper Mohammed Yousuf for 19 to a caught and bowled from Hauritz when they still had over 100 to make.

Youngster Umar Akmal made a fighting 49 but went for a massive heave at pacer Doug Bollinger and was caught by Johnson with still more than 40 runs to make and just two tailenders to bat.

But the Australian bowlers were disciplined and tight, capitalising on the lifeline given to them earlier in the day with a record ninth-wicket partnership between centurion Michael Hussey and Peter Siddle who made 38.

The partnership of 123 runs lasted more than 44 overs over day-three and day-four and set up the chance for the miraculous victory.

Australia ended their first innings 206 runs behind the Pakistan first innings. The second innings left Pakistan with a victory target of 175. Hussey played a superb unbeaten knock of 134 and was deservingly named man of the match.

The inexperience of the Pakistan batting showed, as Bollinger (2-32), Hauritz (5-53) and Johnson (3-27) kept the pressure on at all times.

The four dropped catches by Pakistani keeper Kamran Akmal, which included three on Tuesday from Hussey, also proved to be decisive.

When seamer Mohammed Sami was dismissed by Nathan Hauritz, edging the ball to keeper Haddin, it still left Pakistan 133 for 7, still needing 43 runs to get level with Australia.

But it was the next wicket of Umar Akmal, which gave the decisive edge to the Australians. He had been playing a patient hand and occasionally played some aggressive shots. But the talented youngster in his fifth Test was perhaps overcome by the situation and fell on 49.

Nathan Hauritz took two vital wickets straight after tea, first skipper Mohammed Yousuf then a few balls later Misbah-ul-Haq was out for a duck when he was caught at backward point by Hussey.

After the match, a shattered Yousuf blamed his shot for the loss. “I think we were capable of scoring 175 runs, but I didn’t play a good shot. Our shot selection wasn’t good,’ he said.

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