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Aussies in a spin after huge loss


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Australia’s captain Michael Clarke and their number three Alex Doolan scored 10 runs between them in the First Test against Pakistan – Clarke responded after the loss by defending Doolan’s “class”.

A controversial stumping decision secured Pakistan’s 221-run win over Australia in Dubai after tea on the fifth day of play.

Chasing a world-record total of 438 to win, Australia held on desperately until there was just over an hour of play remaining and were bowled out for 216.

Steve Smith (55) and Mitchell Johnson (61) shared the highest partnership of the innings, adding 65 for the eighth wicket.

Australia had resumed their second innings on their overnight score of 4-59.

Michael Clarke’s side staggered to the lunch interval at 7-117 on Sunday after losing the wickets of Chris Rogers (43), Mitchell Marsh (three) and Brad Haddin (duck).

In a tense post-lunch session, Smith was dropped on 44 at short cover and Johnson was given lives on 23 and 25 at deep square leg and backward square leg.

Johnson was unbeaten on 54 at tea with Peter Siddle alongside him at 8-196.

In an extremely close decision, Johnson was adjudged out stumped by TV umpire Nigel Llong against the bowling of legspinner Yasir Shah at 9-213.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann looked furious on the TV coverage as heads dropped in the visiting team’s change room area.

Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar and debutant Yasir claimed nine second-innings wickets between them.

“Australia do have a problem against spinners on the subcontinent, no doubt about it,” TV commentator and former Australia Test batsman Dean Jones said.

It’s Australia’s second loss in five Tests in 2014.

Captain Clarke said after the match that Doolan’s century less than a fortnight ago in the four-day game against Pakistan A is an indication of what could be just around the corner in Thursday’s second Test in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m certainly not going to sit here and say that he can be out of form,” Clarke said.

“He just made an unbelievable hundred in the tour game.

“Dools will be fine. He’s a very good player.

“He knows his game really well. He’s showed he can bat in these conditions.

“You don’t lose class overnight.

“I’m confident that come this second Test he’ll probably make another hundred.”

Doolan averages 23.87 in his four-Test career.

Tailender and 60-Test veteran Mitchell Johnson is catching up fast with a career mark of 22.82 following his 37 and 61 Australia’s 221-run in Sunday’s Dubai Test.

Doolan’s methods of dismissal in Dubai — run out and plumb LBW — were not encouraging signs.

And dropping a catch at short leg didn’t help either when Asad Shafiq was on nine and went on to score 89 in Pakistan’s first innings.

Australia have lost only two of their past 15 Tests against Pakistan, but it’s their second defeat in a row against Pakistan following their most recent clash in England in July 2010.


* Played 5, won 3, lost 2

* Won by 281 runs v England at SCG, Jan

* Won by 281 runs v South Africa at Centurion, Feb

* Lost by 231 runs v South Africa at Port Elizabeth, Feb

* Won by 245 runs v South Africa at Cape Town, March

* Lost by 221 runs v Pakistan at Dubai, Oct

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