Australia eye series whitewash after Katich sparks Pak collapse in Hobart Test

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Melbourne, Jan 16 (ANI): Australia has extended its lead over Pakistan to 277 runs at the end of day three of the third Test against Pakistan in Hobart, with Simon Katich reviving hopes of a series clean sweep by triggering a tourist's batting collapse.

Australia is 1/59 in its second innings when day's play was called off. Pakistan resumed the day at 4/94, and resisted stoically for three hours due to Shoaib Malik (58) and Salman Butt (102), who shared a 129 run partnership.

Australian pacers struggled for penetration on the docile Bellerive pitch, and it was only when part-time spinner Simon Katich (3/34), was introduced to the attack that wickets began to fall, The Age reports.

Katich almost immediately spun out Salman Butt for 102 when Pakistan were cruising at 213 for four and went on to claim Sarfraz Ahmed (1) and Mohammad Aamer (4) to help bowl them out for 301.

While Australia took a 218-run lead, Ricky Ponting opted against enforcing the follow-on on the flat Hobart pitch and saw his team to 59 for one at stumps on day three.

Pakistan lost five wickets for 35 runs to be 9/248, before tailenders Umar Gul (38 not out) and Mohammad Asif (29) hit out against the new ball to get their side to 301 all out.

Australia worked so hard to take wickets, and declined to enforce the follow-on. Watson fell for one in the second over of the Australian second innings, but in-form top-order stars Simon Katich (33 not out) and Ricky Ponting (25 not out) cruised to stumps. (ANI)

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