Pakistan’s brave chase at the Gabba falls short


first_img… Australia survive scare to win by 39 runs(REUTERS) – A relieved Australia captured Pakistan’s last two wickets to win a captivating first day-night Test in Brisbane yesterday by 39 runs but the touring side won huge admiration for their dogged fourth innings resistance.Chasing a Test record 490 for victory, Pakistan had resumed the fifth and final day on 382 for eight and paceman Mitchell Starc proved the game-breaker when he ended a stubborn 71-run ninth-wicket partnership between Asad Shafiq and Yasir Shah.Starc struck with a searing delivery that pinged off Shafiq’s glove for an easy catch to David Warner in the gully, bringing to an end a heroic knock of 137.Yasir fell moments later to seal the win, run-out by home skipper Steve Smith with a direct hit for 33, having failed to ground his bat after an aborted single as Pakistan were eventually dismissed for 450.Australia take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series but Pakistan showed impressive fight to turn the match into a cliffhanger and will head to the second game in Melbourne on December 26 with renewed confidence.Starting the day needing 108 runs to win but with only two wickets intact, the tourists maintained a sliver of hope with middle-order batsman Shafiq at the crease after he cleaved a magnificent unbeaten century on day three.Australia’s nerves were becoming increasingly frayed as Pakistan approached their target but the relief was palpable when they finally sealed a victory that looked a formality a day earlier.“I lost all my fingernails, I think,” joked Smith. “Some game of cricket, wasn’t it?“Credit’s got to go to our bowlers, they really stuck at it and got us over the line.“That wicket, I guess, of Asad showed the class of Starcy with a ball that was 60 overs old and quite soft … but what a game of cricket.”RODE LUCKAustralia appeared bemused to even be competing on day five and it manifested itself in Smith’s conservative field settings.Shafiq and Yasir cantered past 400 and the Australian captain became fidgety as his front-line bowlers were dispatched regularly through the gaps.Slow bowler Nathan Lyon was introduced and coaxed a nick from Yasir which pinged off his pad and flew just wide of Peter Handscomb at short leg.Growing in confidence, Yasir then whipped paceman Jackson Bird off his pads for four at the square leg boundary to bring up the 50-run partnership with Shafiq.Yasir then survived a missed stumping, a dropped catch and an overturned lbw decision by umpire Richard Illingworth before Starc timed his intervention to perfection at the other end with a searing, short-pitched delivery that reared up on Shafiq.Shafiq was named man-of-the-match following his ninth Test century, the most ever for a number six batsman.“The way the team, all the batsmen showed their character, that was wonderful,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said. “Asad Shafiq – that was a superb knock. So, a lot of positives, and I’m happy and proud the way the team played.”AUSTRALIA 1st innings 429 (S. Smith 130, P. Handscomb 105, M. Renshaw 71; W. Riaz 4-89, M. Amir 4-97)PAKISTAN 1st innings 142 (S. Ahmed 59 n.o.)AUSTRALIA 2nd innings 202 for 5 decl. (U. Khawaja 74, S. Smith 63)PAKISTAN 2nd innings (o/n 382-8; Target: 490 runs)S. Aslam c Renshaw b Starc 15Az. Ali c Wade b Starc 71B. Azam c Smith b Lyon 14Y. Khan c Smith b Lyon 65Misbah-ul-Haq c Wade b Bird 5A. Shafiq c Warner b Starc 137S. Ahmed b Starc 24M. Amir c Wade b Bird 48W. Riaz c Smith b Bird 30Y. Shah run-out (Smith) 33R. Ali not out 1Extras: (lb-5, w-2) 7Total: (all out, 145 overs) 450Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-54, 3-145, 4-165, 5-173, 6-220, 7-312, 8-378, 9-449.Bowling: M. Starc 38-10-119-4 (w-1), J. Hazlewood 42-11-99-0, J. Bird 33-6-110-3 (w-1), N. Lyon 29-3-108-2, N. Maddinson 3-0-9-0.last_img read more

Season over for Wisconsin


first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald photoEVANSTON, Ill.–The season is over for the Wisconsin women’s soccer team. Following a devastating 3-0 loss to Northwestern, Wisconsin has been eliminated from Big Ten tournament consideration.Coming into Friday’s matchup, Wisconsin needed a win to keep its postseason hopes alive. Northwestern, on the other hand, had already secured a tournament berth with a 3-0 victory over Iowa.It was the Wildcats who came out looking like the team that was facing a must-win situation. In contrast, the Badgers played like a team that had run out of gas after beating the Iowa Hawkeyes 2-0 a week ago.“For me, [the loss] is extremely disappointing,” head coach Paula Wilkins said. “I think your entire season is based on what you do in the postseason — not to make the Big Ten tournament is a major wake-up call to myself and to the players.“There are a lot of things that this program needs to do better,” Wilkins added. “We cannot leave it down to one game like this.”Offensively for Northwestern, senior Shannon Schneeman netted her team-leading ninth goal of the season and eventual game-winner in the 31st minute.The Wildcats kept the pressure on the Badgers late in the first half as freshman Sam Greene tallied her first goal of the season in the 41st minute.Northwestern’s other senior offensive leader — Kelsey Hans — would not be outdone by Schneeman.Hans added the Wildcats’ third and final goal in the 52nd minute — her ninth goal of the season — with a spectacular shot off the crossbar.“[Northwestern] had three great finishes. The third goal, that was a great shot,” Wilkins said. “They were dynamic, and they brought a lot of emotion; they looked like one of the best teams I have seen in recent years.”Despite allowing three goals, Wilkins praised senior goalkeeper Lynn Murray for her play Friday night.“[Lynn] played quite well; I think she did everything she could,” Wilkins said. “Even with the three goals, I was impressed. With the shots that they had, I don’t think many people could have gotten to those.”Wisconsin never seemed to get in rhythm offensively as the team once again struggled to create scoring opportunities. Overall, the Badgers were outshot 16-7 by the Wildcats. Further, they only managed to post three shots on goal while the Wildcats tallied eight.“I think we worry too much about playing defense and trying to have people back there so that the other team does not create opportunities,” junior forward Taylor Walsh said. “When we do get chances to go forward there are not enough people going forward to make anything happen.”Senior Shannon Terry also noted that Wisconsin’s inability to create scoring opportunities often stems from its concentration on defensive play.“I think our forwards need to have more confidence in our defense rather than thinking ‘I have to go back and help,’” Terry said. “We should remember that Birdie [Leibham] or [Lauren] Rud[zinski] or whoever, can take care of themselves and they don’t need us to come back and help.”Friday’s loss was an emotional and shocking one for Terry and her fellow seniors as it marked the end of their careers in the cardinal and white.The Badgers graduate six seniors — Madison natives Ann Eshun and Katy Meuer, goalkeeper Lynn Murray, defender Lauren Rudzinski, midfielder Marissa Sarkesian and Terry, a forward.“I am really upset,” an emotional Terry said of the loss. “I am kind of in between crying and shock right now. I am really shocked; I cannot believe it is over — I have to be a real person now.”Walsh, who took a medical redshirt her freshman season, started her career with Eshun, Meuer, Murray and Terry. After the loss, Walsh will no longer share the field with her fellow classmates.“I will cry for like 30 seconds and then it will go away and then I will cry again,” Walsh said. “I don’t know what I am going to do without these girls. I cannot imagine playing without them.”As the Badgers transition into the offseason, the team will continue to focus on details as it has the entire season. Additionally, Wilkins plans to put the team through an extensive conditioning program.“We are going to start back with the basics,” Wilkins said. “We need to pick up the tempo and demand more out of players. I think we need to get better with fitness and with the whole spring ahead of us that is going to be our complete and utter focus.”last_img read more