Pak lose quick wickets as Oz on course to record 12th straight Test win

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Hobart (Tasmania, Australia), Jan.15 (ANI): Captain Ricky Ponting's fifth double-century, a double Peter Siddle breakthrough and two calamitous run-outs set Australia on the path to a record 12th straight Test win over Pakistan on Friday.

The tourists went to stumps on the second day in dire straits at 4-94 in reply to Australia's 519 for eight declared, after Ponting and Michael Clarke amassed a 352-run stand in the third Test at Bellerive Oval.

Fittingly, the Tasmanian's 209 on another day of dominance now stands as the record Test score in Hobart, surpassing Kumar Sangakarra's 192 two years ago.

Clarke's 166 eclipsed his 151 on Test debut against India as his own career-high.

The pair successfully batted through three entire sessions before their nine-hour stand - the sixth-highest Australia Test partnership - ended when the vice-captain misjudged an innocuous Danish Kaneria leg-spinner.

But Pakistan's pain of watching Australia's leaders take the game away from them was nothing compared to when their two most dangerous batsmen were needlessly run out.

Opener Salman Butt (34 not out) was the villain for both, as captain Mohammad Yousuf (7) and young gun Umar Akmal (8) were dismissed in a 4-21 collapse.

Looking for a third run from a straight drive, Yousuf was sent back late by Butt and was caught short by a typically-strong outfield throw by Mitchell Johnson.

The furious captain stood hand on hip at the river end, delivering a prolonged death stare at Butt, who had also contributed to the dismissal by labouring through the first two runs.

Umar fell when the left-handed opener was accidentally blocked by the bowler, Nathan Hauritz, and also sent back too late to beat Mike Hussey's throw.

It undid all of Butt's good work with Imran Farhat (38) after they resolutely produced a 63-run first-wicket stand.

It was Siddle, under pressure after taking just six wickets in his four Tests this summer, who started the dramatic afternoon stumble.

The barrell-chested Victorian (2-20 off 10 overs) took two wickets in four balls by having Farhat caught behind and Khurrum Manzoor edging to Ponting at second slip for a duck.

With the pitch ideal for batting, his double breakthrough put the home side on course for their 12th consecutive win over the tourists - the joint best of any team against a rival nation.

Dropped before he scored on the opening day, Ponting was given another life on 167 when Farhat missed a sizzling lofted off-drive at cover.

It was Mohammad Aamer, who dropped Ponting on Thursday morning, who finally dismissed him when the Australia captain spooned him to Mohammad Yousuf at extra cover. (ANI)

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