Watson's fifty keeps Aussies in charge

Having played a leading role in guiding Pakistan past the follow-on target earlier in the day with a dodgy 15 from 89 balls, Aamer returned with the new ball to dismiss Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey in the final session before engaging in a fearsome, though ultimately unsuccessful, duel with Watson on the third day at MCG.

His bowling, in union with the miserly Mohammad Asif, at one stage, reduced Australia to 40 for three in their second innings, but the settling influences of Watson and Michael Clarke allowed the hosts to add a further 71 runs without loss by stumps, stretching their overall lead to 307.

Earlier, Australia's pacemen ruthlessly exposed the length and frailty of the Pakistani tail, claiming five wickets after lunch to bundle out the tourists for 258 in their first innings. Doug Bollinger proved the chief destroyer, reaping the rewards for probing lengths and attacking lines with the wickets of Aamer, who proved a most stubborn nightwatchman, as well as Kamran Akmal and Rauf.

The removal of Aamer two deliveries after accepting the second new ball was a classic fast bowlers' dismissal -- the batsman fending a short, snarling delivery to the body -- and triggered a collapse in which Pakistan lost five wickets for 99 in 17.3 overs.

Bollinger favoured a fuller length to remove Akmal and Rauf, both caught by the wicketkeeper.

ScoreBoard

Australia (I Innings): 454/5 decl

Pakistan (I Innings, O/n: 109/4)

Farhat lbw b Johnson    9
Butt lbw b Watson    45
Iqbal c Clarke b Hauritz    15
Yousuf c Haddin b Siddle    22
U Akmal c Ponting b Johnson    51
Aamer c North b Bollinger    15
Misbah (not out)    65
K Akmal c Haddin b Bollinger    12
Rauf c North b Bollinger    3
Asif c Watson b Siddle    0
Ajmal b Johnson    4
Extras (B-4, LB-3, W-1, NB-9)    17     
Total (all out, 99 overs)    258
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-59, 3-84, 4-109, 5-159, 6-203, 7-215, 8-219, 9-220, 10-258.
Bowling: Bollinger 20-6-50-3, Siddle 24-7-77-2, Hauritz 20-3-58-1, Johnson 22-10-36-3, Watson 13-3-30-1.       

Australia (II Innings):
Watson (batting)    64
Katich c K Akmal b Asif     2
Ponting c Butt b Aamer    12
Hussey lbw b Aamer    4
Clarke (batting)    21
Extras (LB-1, W-1, NB-6)    8     
Total (for 3 wkts, 34 overs)    111
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-32, 3-40.
Bowling: Asif 9-2-16-1, Aamer 11-3-43-2, Ajmal 9-0-32-0, Rauf 5-0-19-0.

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