Sydney:Imran Farhat (53) and Salman Butt (71) put Pakistan in a commanding position on Day 2 of the second Test match against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
In their pursuit of levelling the series at 1-1, Pakistan's opening duo, Farhat and Butt, struck half centuries to give Pakistan a rock solid start after their bowlers had done a tremendous job by rolling over the entire Australian outfit in under 45 overs for merely 127 runs in their first innings after the hosts had elected to bat first.
Mohammad Asif had been the wrecker-in-chief who scalped 6 wickets for just 40 runs. Mohammad Sami celebrated thrice while Gul had one wicket in his kitty.
Butt slammed a valiant 71 prior to falling prey to left armer Mitchell Johnson while Farhat was Nathan Hauritz's victim. After the openers fell, the experienced Mohammad Yousuf (46) took charge and partnered Umar Akmal (49), who missed out on a half century in an attempt to up the tempo, to capitalise on the start provided by the openers.
Once Pakistan were five down, the lower half of the batting order had their backs to the wall as Shane Watson and Doug Bollinger made merry of their reckless shots, scalping two wickets each, to cut Pakistan down to 331/9 at the end of Day 2.
Another difference between the two sides was the extras. Australia conceded 33 extras as compared to 5 by the visitors.
Pakistan now lead by 204 runs with Danish Kaneria (2) and Mohammad Asif (0) at the crease.
From here on, Pakistan look good enough to put Australia on the back-foot. Their last pair needs to put a few more runs and then bowl near to what they did in the first innings. Only then will the series scoreline change to level. A small judgment error by Pakistan and we know what Australia can do to the best of teams!