Hauritz spins Aussies to a win
A FEW words of wisdom from Australia’s greatest bowler were all it took for former Hervey Bay junior cricketer Nathan Hauritz to cast off the negative comments of his critics yesterday and bowl Australia to victory against Pakistan in the Boxing Day Test.
Hauritz sought out the assistance of Shane Warne in an effort to pick up wickets late in the innings after facing criticism for his failure to deliver the killer blow earlier in the week.
The legendary spinner advised Hauritz to be more patient – and clearly his advice paid off, with Hauritz taking his first ever five-wicket haul in first class cricket in the second innings.
“I think the most important thing I found (Tuesday) is just trying to be patient,” he said.
“I was a little bit impatient there at times and had a bit of a chat to Shane (yesterday) morning and just trying to work on that.
“I think it’s a big area that I’ve got to work on.”
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Hauritz described the Pakistanis as being “formidable” against spin and said he had to work hard for every wicket.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting said Hauritz would gain confidence from his performance.
“What players like him need is just that breakout performance,” Ponting said.
“There’s no doubt that’s a great thrill for him, it’s a great thrill for all of us as well.
“If you saw everyone when he took that last wicket, everyone rushed to him because we all knew how much it meant to him.”
Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson picked up two early wickets in successive deliveries in the first over while later in the session Hauritz was also on a hat-trick when he took the wickets of Kamran Akmal, who was stumped by Brad Haddin for 30, and Mohammad Aamer, who was caught at short leg off the glove.
“The tone was set by Mitch in the first over; there were some crucial wickets there,” Hauritz said.
Asad Rauf faced Hauritz’s hat-trick ball with eight fielders closed in around him and survived by slogging to cover for two.
Hauritz, a former Torquay State School student, was far from done however, and set his sights on the tail-end and in particular the last remaining batsman of note, Pakistan’s captain Mohammad Yousuf.
Yousuf was looking threatening when Hauritz struck. He was caught at short leg off the pad for 61. Five balls later Hauritz struck again when Saeed Ajmal was caught by Shane Watson off a skied slog.
“A lot was set up by the batting, to be able to have a total of 420 to bowl to on the last day gave me the opportunity to have a bit more attacking fields and attack in different ways,” he said.
Hauritz also contributed to the massive total the Australians had set for victory, scoring 75 runs in the first innings.
Coming in as the nightwatchman, Hauritz was cautious at first but soon settled in and looked to attack.
Hauritz has been named in the side that will take on Pakistan on Sunday but joked that he might have to watch his back in the meantime.
Hauritz dropped a catch off the bowling of Australian opener and part-time bowler Simon Katich during the first Test and reckons the talented batsman has a pretty good action.
“I’ve plainly got to watch my spot – he can rip some pretty mean balls,” he said.