Aussies out to get first innings lead - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies out to get first innings lead

28/12/2004 05:23:12 AM Comments (0)

Australia will be desperate to get its nose in front and forge a first-innings lead over Pakistan on day three of the second cricket Test at the MCG.

Australia will resume at 5-203, still needing another 139 runs to lead the tourists on the first innings, with Damien Martyn on 67 and Adam Gilchrist on 26.

The two West Australians are the last of the remaining batsmen, but have a large responsibility as their side will be keen to avoid a significant run-chase in the fourth innings.

With the pitch already playing low and slow, Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria could loom as a key figure later in the match, having already taken 2-70 and extracted considerable spin.

However, the visitors will also need to bat well in its second innings, as Australia's leggie Shane Warne has an outstanding record against Pakistan and took 3-103 in the tourists' first innings of 341.

Play will start at 10.08am (AEDT) on Tuesday to make up for the shortage of overs bowled on Monday, when showers meant only 71.3 overs were bowled.

However, more showers are forecast.

Martyn gets a chance to close the gap between he and teammate Justin Langer, as the pair top the 2004 run aggregates in Test cricket.

Langer, who made 50 in the first innings, has 1,476 runs this calender year, while Martyn is second with 1,278 runs and can close the gap even more with another big innings.

Martyn is coming off an unbeaten 100 in the second innings of the first Test in Perth, which Australia won by 491 runs.

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