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Friday, November 19, 1999 Published at 09:57 GMT

Sport: Cricket

Saqlain stars in Aussie collapse

One that got away: Wasim Akram stretches as Langer survives

Saqlain Mushtaq picked up career-best figures of six for 46 in a spectacular Australian batting collapse on day two in the second Test in Hobart.

At 191 for one, the home side were just 31 runs short of Pakistan's first innings total.

By the time Australia reached 246 all out they had built a lead of just 24, having lost nine wickets for 55 runs.

Saqlain was the main reason the match was turned the match on its head in 101 minutes.

An inspirational spell from forgotten seam bowler Waqar Younis was also critical.

But it was Saqlain's day - one which the off-spinner ended as an unbeaten nightwatchman as the tourists built a lead of 37 for the loss of a single second innings wicket.

However the hours before the drama either side of the tea interval will be best forgotten by the tourists, with poor catching a major factor in the hosts' comfortable progress.

Top Australian scorer Michael Slater was dropped four times on his way to 97, the last chance coming just three balls before he was finally dismissed in the nervous nineties for a seventh time in Tests.

Slater was also dropped on 36, 49 and 68, and although Greg Blewett went for 35, Justin Langer made put on 115 with Slater.

The partnership was ended by Saqlain, who added Langer to his dismissal of Slater before Waqar made two crucial breakthroughs.

The master of reverse swing bowling was returning to the side after been overlooked for the first Test, and spending some time in the shadows of former understudy Shoaib Akhtar.

He took his chance in fine style, removing skipper Mark Waugh for five and Ricky Ponting without scoring just before tea.

Saqlain magic

Saqlain then wrapped things up after the tea interval with a spell of four wickets for six runs in 18 balls.

he was unlucky to miss out on a Test hat trick after Adam Gilchrist was stumped and Shane Warne bowled first ball.

Damien Fleming survived an appeal for a stumping on a television replay decision, but went lbw at the end of the same triple-wicket maiden over.

Saqlain is 23 later this month, and has already taken five wickets nine times in his 23 Tests.

"I was varying my deliveries and using the crease a lot and waited for them to make the mistake," he said afterwards.

"Inshallah (God willing) we should be able to win this test. We're all positive and confident."


Pakistan 1st innings 222

Australia 1st innings

Overnight, 29-0

M Slater c Ijaz Ahmed b Saqlain Mushtaq 97
G Blewett c Moin Khan b Azhar Mahmood 35
J Langer c Mohammad Wasim b Saqlain Mushtaq 59
M Waugh lbw b Waqar Younis 5
S Waugh c Ijaz Ahmed b Wasim Akram 24
R Ponting b Waqar Younis 0
A Gilchrist st Moin Khan b Saqlain Mushtaq 6
S Warne b Saqlain Mushtaq 0
D Fleming lbw b Saqlain Mushtaq 0
G McGrath st Moin Khan b Saqlain Mushtaq 7
S Muller not out 0

Extras (b-2, lb-6, nb-5) 13

Total (80 overs) 246

Fall of wickets: 1-76 2-191 3-206 4-206 5-213 6-236 7-236 8-238 9-246 10-246

Bowling: Wasim Akram 20-4-51-1 (nb-4), Shoaib Akhtar 17-2-69-0, Waqar Younis 12-1-42-2, Saqlain Mushtaq 24-8-46-6, Azhar Mahmood 7-1-30-1 (nb-1)

Pakistan 2nd innings

Saeed Anwar not out 36
Mohammad Wasim c McGrath b Muller 20
Saqlain Mushtaq not out 0

Extras (b-2, nb-2, w-1) 5

Total (for one wicket, 24 overs) 61

Fall of wicket: 1-50

To bat: Ijaz Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousuf Youhana, Azhar Mahmood, Moin Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar

Bowling: McGrath 6-2-14-0 (nb-1), Fleming 5-2-11-0, Warne 7-2-22-0 (nb-1) Muller 6-2-12-1

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