Australia calling the shots in Hobart

Australia was 59-1 in its second innings, a lead of 277 runs, at stumps on day three of the third Test against Pakistan in Hobart. The tourists, resuming the day at 94-4, resisted bravely for three hours, thanks to a 129-run partnership between Shoaib Malik (58) and Salman Butt (102) before accidental-hero Simon Katich triggered an unlikely collapse with his part-time spin and brought Pakistan down to its knees.

Australia’s fast bowlers struggled for penetration on the placid Bellerive pitch, and it was only when Katich (3/34), was introduced to the attack that wickets began to fall. Pakistan lost 5-35 to be 248-9, before tailenders Umar Gul (38 not out) and Mohammad Asif (29) whacked the new ball to get their side to 301 all out.

It was another day of self-implosion by Pakistan, probably the one thing consistent other then their bowling this series. With Ponting batting on an aggressive 25 and Katich on a solid 33, day four promises to be full of attacking strokeplay from the Aussies as they push for a 350-400 lead. The only thing that can save the visitors from a clean-sweep is the weather.

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