Day 2, Hobart

Ponting and Clarke consolidated in the first session, piling up a big score from the work they’d done on the first day. Clarke’s knock can be termed as an excellent one and Ponting found form and spent time in the middle. But the pitch was flat and conditions were perfect for batting at the Bellerive Oval.

On 166, Clarke lost concentration  and left one that spun from outside leg stump and hit middle and off. Marcus North was under scrutiny before the start of the match and was very positive in his approach today. A liitle too positive I can say, for, his feet were moving a lot more than what was required.  He looked like a very busy one day player and tried his best to score some runs and find form.  He still got out nicking one to the keeper but I think he has enough class to make that No.6 position his own. Also, as Slater mentioned, Australia, as a winning side can afford to give him more space before he settles down permanently in that line up.

Haddin came in and played a cameo. Scored runs quickly and helped Ponting declare quickly.Ponting himself, after such a long struggle this summer, ended up with a double ton in front of his home crowd.

Salman Butt and Imran Farhat are far from convincing test openers and they are playing just because they opened the last time  Australia toured here, and also because the country doesn’t have competent openers. Both may play a few attractive cover drives but are very susceptible to normal swing bowling, full and just wide of off stump.  Khurram Manzoor looked hopeless. Pathetic. He looked exremely nervous, which is not a good thing while batting in Australia and got out playing away from the body, trying to smash one for four without any foot movement.

Yousuf looked determined. He was his usual self but met with disaster today. You need to be sure of how good your partner is in running between the wickets. Yousuf drove one, beautifully past mid off and there were three runs for the taking. Butt was always running for just 2 runs and Yousuf committed too much for the third. When a left hander is chasing a ball and needs to throw it back behind him, he has to pick it up with his left hand, turn around and then throw. Mitchell Johnson on this occasion, overran a liitle, picked the ball with his wrong hand, took some time to transfer it to his left hand but did one thing right. The throw was to the right end and reached Haddin perfectly on a single bounce and Yousuf was way out. He was left fuming at Butt.

The opener made another crime in not making a start from the non striker’s end. Umer Akmal, the batsman this time knew there was a single but Salman Butt took his second wicket of the day as Umer was run out as well, having sent back.

Australia were very lucky in getting those two runouts as Yousuf and Umer could have proved tough nuts to crack in such conditions.

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