Australia conjure miracle to beat stunned Pakistan

CAPTAIN Ricky Ponting hailed one of the most satisfying wins of his 141-Test career after his Australia side hit back to force an unlikely victory over Pakistan in the second Test in Sydney.

The Aussies dismissed the tourists for just 139 on a dramatic fourth day with Pakistan needing a modest 176 to claim a first Test win over Australia since 1995.

Only twice in 132 years have Australia recovered from a bigger deficit to win a match.

Ponting’s men started the day just 80 runs ahead and eight wickets down, but an inspired ninth-wicket partnership between Mike Hussey (134 not out) and Peter Siddle (38) gave them a glimmer of hope. Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz then claimed 5-53, while left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson took 3-27 to ensure Ponting’s men opened up an unassailable 2-0 series lead ahead of next week’s final Test in Hobart.

Skipper Ponting has enjoyed many a satisfying victory leading out the Green Caps, but the Tasmanian insists this one is right up there with the best of them.

“I don’t think anyone else in the world other than probably all the blokes inside our room thought we could win,” he said.

“Turning up today 80 runs ahead I think all of us in our change-room felt that if we could get 150 we were going to be right in the game. It just goes to show I guess how hard chasing runs in Test cricket is.”