Australians sniff series whitewash

However, Australia's bid for a record-equalling 12th successive Test victory against Pakistan is at the mercy of Hobart's notoriously fickle weather as well as a flat Bellerive pitch after skipper Ricky Ponting surprisingly elected not to enforce the follow-on on day three.

Part-time spinner Simon Katich grabbed three quick wickets to enable Australia steamroll the Pakistani middle order following a courageous century from Salman Butt (102). Australia took a first innings lead of 218.

But despite the forecast of rain for the remaining two days and the fact that Australia will need maximum time to take another ten Pakistan wickets on a pitch that has coughed up just 19 scalps in three days, Ponting chose to bat again.

Score Board

AUSTRALIA (I Innings): 519/8 dec

PAKISTAN (I Innings, O/n: 94/4 in 36 overs): 301 all out

Farhat c Haddin b Siddle    38
Butt c Clarke b Katich    102
Manzoor c Ponting b Siddle    0
Yousuf (run out)    7
U Akmal (run out)    8
Malik c Bollinger b Hauritz    58
Ahmed c Clarke b Katich    1
Aamer c Watson b Katich    4
Gul (not out )    38
Kaneria c Ponting b Hauritz    8
Asif c Hussey b Hauritz    29
Extras (B-2, LB-2, W-2, NB-2)    8     
Total (all out, 105.4 overs)    301
Fall of wickets: 1-63, 2-63, 3-74, 4-84, 5-213, 6-215, 7-219, 8-227, 9-248.
Bowling: Bollinger 15-6-35-0, Siddle 20-8-39-2, Johnson 20-2-76-0, Hauritz 33.4-9-96-3, Watson 7-2-17-0, Katich 10-3-34-3.

AUSTRALIA (II Innings):

Watson c Yousuf b Aamer    1
Katich (batting)    33
Ponting (batting)    25
Extras: 0     
Total (for 1 wkt, 18 overs)    59.
Fall of wickets: 1-1.
Bowling: Asif 4-0-12-0, Aamer 5-2-14-1, Gul 5-0-27-0, Kaneria 4-2-6-0.

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