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Pakistan bowlers rout Australia for 88

Pakistan's players celebrate after Umar Amin, center, takes the wicket of Australia's Marcus North.
Pakistan's players celebrate after Umar Amin, center, takes the wicket of Australia's Marcus North.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Australia collapse to 88 all out on opening day of second Test against Pakistan in Leeds
  • Pakistan, seeking to level two-match series, reached 148-3 when bad light stopped play
  • Australia captain Ricky Ponting surprisingly chose to bat first in overcast conditions
  • His team failed to reach three figures in a test for the first time since 1984

(CNN) -- Pakistan took big steps towards leveling the two-Test cricket series against Australia after bowling out their opponents for just 88 runs in Britain on Wednesday.

The Australians, who won the first match by 150 runs, failed to reach three figures in an innings for the first time since 1984 as captain Ricky Ponting paid for his decision to bat first in bowler-friendly conditions after winning the toss.

Pakistan, led by new captain Salman Butt after Shahid Afridi ended his brief return to the Test arena following that defeat at Lord's, then reached 148-3 before rain cut short the opening day in Leeds.

Teenage paceman Mohammad Aamer and fellow opening bowler Mohammad Asif took three wickets each as Australia crashed to the nation's lowest first-innings score since 1956 -- when dismissed for 80, also by Pakistan.

There was moisture under the wicket so I think it was a shocking decision, especially for Australia
--Pakistan's Umar Gul
RELATED TOPICS
  • Cricket
  • Australia
  • Pakistan
  • Salman Butt
  • Ricky Ponting

"There was moisture under the wicket so I think it was a shocking decision, especially for Australia," Pakistan bowler Umar Gul told reporters.

"I don't know what the captain and coach's decision was going to be but if we won the toss we were ready to bowl first. This morning it was swinging a lot and the ball was seaming."

Tim Paine's leading knock of 17 was Australia's fourth-lowest in a Test innings in which all 11 players have batted.

The No. 7 was last man out in a fighting 47-ball stay, scoring one more run than all-rounder Marcus North.

Gul also claimed two wickets while Umar Amin dismissed North and was also involved in the run-out of tailender Ben Hilfenhaus.

The Pakistanis went into a 13-match losing run against Australia that goes back to 1995, but struck an early blow when the 18-year-old Aamer trapped opener Simon Katich leg before wicket for 13.

Afridi quits Tests after 150-run defeat at Lord's

That opened the floodgates as Asif sent Shane Watson (5) and Ponting (6) back to the pavilion at Headingley in similar fashion, and Gul bowled Michael Clarke (3).

From 29-4, Australia slumped further to 73-6 at lunch as Mike Hussey (5) also went lbw to Gul and North was caught behind off the medium pace of Amin.

Aamer then took wickets with the first two balls of the middle session, bowling Steven Smith and Mitchell Johnson, but Hilfenhaus avoided becoming the hat-trick victim.

Australia's bowlers could not extract the same amount of swing from the overcast conditions, and Butt put on 80 for the first wicket with Imran Farhat before being bowled by Hilfenhaus.

Farhat also fell short of a half-century as he was trapped lbw by Watson for 45 with the score at 133, and the all-rounder then dispatched Azar Ali (30) seven runs later.

Amin (1) and Umar Akmal (8) were unbeaten when bad light and then rain ended a day on which 13 wickets fell for just 236 runs.

The series is being played in England due to security issues in Pakistan.