England go clear after Pakistan collapse again

Last Updated: Sat, Aug 07, 2010 04:29 hrs

Birmingham: England took control of the second test at Edgbaston on Friday reaching 112 for two when bad light ended play on day one after Pakistan earlier slumped to 72 all out and their lowest-ever test total against England.

Jonathan Trott was 31 not out and Kevin Pietersen, without a test century in 22 innings, had 36 to give England a lead of 40.

Pakistan may rue a day in which they won the toss and batted in tough, overcast conditions and then later dropped chances to hit back at England.

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Pakistan, who were all out for 80 on Sunday when losing the first test by 354 runs, again suffered through their batsmen's inadequacies to deal with the swinging ball.

Stuart Broad claimed four for 38 and James Anderson four for 20, including the last three.

Pakistan's bowlers struck twice immediately after tea when England slipped from 44 without loss to 44 for two. If chances offered by Trott and Pietersen had then been taken, the match may have taken a different path.


England lost left-hander Alastair Cook (17) first, after completing a hook shot too early only to see the ball balloon off his glove to second slip from the bowling of Mohammad Asif.

Captain Andrew Strauss departed after Pakistan activated one of their two allocated reviews. Replays showed Strauss deflected an inside edge off Mohammad Amir on to his thigh pad and through to debutant wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider.

Trott was dropped on eight by Imran Farhat at first slip to a straightforward chance at waist height. Bowler Asif was visibly frustrated and did well to keep his feelings in check.

Pakistan suffered twice more from their fielding lapses. Pietersen (on nine) looked to assert his authority on recalled off-spinner Saeed Ajmal only to drive in the air to Umar Gul at mid-on, but he reacted late and could only parry the chance to the boundary.

Pietersen also remained after an inside edge to Haider off Gul when on 20.

The Pakistan innings lasted just 39.3 overs and spanned four minutes short of three hours. Pakistan chose to bat despite agreeing in a team meeting the previous evening that they would bowl given such conditions, according to team sources.

Umar Amin top-scored with just 23, while their highest partnership was 27 between Amir and Amin, before they lost their last four wickets for nine runs.

Imran Farhat's arduous 31-minute struggle for no runs from 24 balls ended when his ultra-defensive approach was undone by a short ball which the opener edged to wicketkeeper Matt Prior off Broad.


It was clear the Pakistani batsmen were intent on playing more conservatively than at Trent Bridge but they also invited pressure.

When Salman Butt (seven) played a leg glance off Anderson for a single to take the team to nine for one, it was the first run off the bat for 49 deliveries. Butt succumbed after 40 balls, attempting a rare attacking shot which he edged to Graeme Swann at second slip off Steven Finn.

Shoaib Malik (three) drove his first ball firmly through cover for three runs but he then edged an Anderson out-swinger to a diving Prior.

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Umar Akmal's clip off his legs over square for six off a Broad half-volley was a rare moment of cheer for the Pakistani fans, spotted around a half-full Edgbaston undergoing major reconstruction.

Azhar Ali put up a brave but ultimately fruitless struggle. He failed to score a run from his 32 balls, before being trapped lbw by a Broad delivery that swung into him and cut back.

Akmal (17) was lbw to Finn though he would probably have been not out if he had used one of his team's two reviews as the ball struck him outside the line of off stump. Debutant Haider edged his first ball in test cricket to Prior off Broad.

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