Watson makes Pakistan pay
Pakistan ended day four of the first Test against Australia on 170-3 after being set a target of 422 in Melbourne.
Last Updated: 30/12/09 8:00am
First Test Match
Melbourne - Day four
Australia 454-5 dec (S M Katich 98, S R Watson 93, M E K Hussey 82, N M Hauritz 75, R T Ponting 57) & 225-8 dec (S R Watson 120 no, Mohammad Aamer 5-79) v Pakistan 258 (Misbah-ul-Haq 65 no, Umar Akmal 51) & 170-3
The first Test between Australia and Pakistan looks poised for a dramatic finish after the tourists closed day four on 170-3, chasing 422 for victory.
Shane Watson finally hit his maiden Test century to help the hosts declare their second innings on 225-8 during the afternoon session.
It was also a special day for Mitchell Johnson, who became just the fifth player to score 500 runs and take 50 wickets in a calendar year.
Left chasing a record target, Pakistan skipper Mohammad Yousuf made an unbeaten 45 to leave all three results still possible in Melbourne.
However the day belonged to Watson, as he finally ended his long wait for a Test ton - though only after he had put both himself and the home crowd through the emotional wringer.
The all-rounder spent 67 minutes and 39 balls in the nervous 90s, sitting through the lunch break on 98. He added a further run in the afternoon before being given a huge let-off, Abdur Rauf dropping him at backward point.
The missed chance allowed the in-form Watson - who has now scored 716 runs since taking over from Phillip Hughes at the top of the order - to get the single he needed to go through to three figures.
Resuming on 111-3, Australia had been hampered by Mohammad Aamer, who claimed three early wickets on his way to figures of 5-79.
The teenage left-armer had Michael Clarke caught behind for 37 and then dismissed Marcus North and Brad Haddin in the space of three balls.
Johnson made 22 to reach his milestone in 2009 and join an illustrious list that also includes Sir Ian Botham, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee (who all achieved the feat twice) and current New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori.
When Nathan Hauritz was stumped for eight off the bowling of Saeed Ajmal, home skipper Ricky Ponting opted to declare, leaving Watson on 120 not out.
Set a record score for victory, Pakistan's second innings suffered an early blow when Imran Farhat was trapped lbw by left-arm seamer Doug Bollinger.
The opener was originally given not out by on-field umpire Rudi Koertzen before Australia successfully referred the decision to the third umpire.
Salman Butt (33) helped add 62 for the second wicket before falling to Johnson, while Faisal Iqbal fell just short of a half-century as he was bowled by spinner Hauritz having hit three fours and a six in his 48.
However Umar Akmal (27 not out) managed to survive through to the end of the day alongside his captain Yousuf, who is the key to his side's hopes of making history at the MCG.