Thursday, January 19, 2012

The First Test: Pakistan v England, Day Two

About a month late (so I'm going to pretend that it was published in January), here's the second day of the first Test v Pakistan. I had a laptop malfunction, but a new hard drive and a lot less money later, here's some ducks playing cricket. If you don't know what happened, you've been living in a cave for the past month.

A very disappointing day for England on day one, as their batting capitulation had put Pakistan in a relatively strong position at the beginning of day two. Could England's bowlers pull it back?

Here's day two from Dubai.
A wide half volley from Broad allows Pakistan to get their first runs of the morning.
It goes to the boundary and it's a good start for Hafeez.
Taufeeq Umar gets in on the boundary action...
As he hits Broad through the covers with a lovely shot.
England almost run Hafeeze out on 44, but Ian Bell misses the chance. (Here I was going to quote something from Eddie Cowan's book, 'In The Firing Line', about cricket being a game of inches. But I've forgotten what page it was on. And what the actual quote was. This is a fairly pointless break in proceedings. Wibble.) Meanwhile his batting partner, Taufeeq Umar, reaches his 50... 
By cutting one for four off the returning Chris Tremlett.
Umar salutes the (incredibly) sparse crowd.
Bell's miss means that Hafeez is able to bring up the century partnership between the two batsmen...
Which he does with a four off Swann.
Hafeez soon joins his partner with a half century...
He guides one down to Anderson off the bowling of Tremlett...
Which gives him the 2 required...
And allows him to also raise his bat to the crowd that is probably outnumbered by journalists.
Broad is brought back on to bowl and the change nearly brings about a wicket. Hafeez cannot negotiate the short ball. Luckily for him, Tremlett cannot catch it and Hafeez survives. Broad pulls one of his usual angry faces, but doesn't rip Tremlett's head off and instead runs in to bowl his next delivery.
And it provides England with the breakthrough as Taufeeq Umar is bowled for 58. 
Pakistan are 114-1.
Azhar Ali is the next man in but he doesn't last long. He nicks one behind...
And is caught by Matt Prior (still going with the "burns victim" beard) for 1.
It leaves Pakistan 128-2 and Younus Khan is the next man in. He survives until the lunch break and Pakistan head into the interval on 138-2.
After being fed some stale bread by the locals/Barmy Army/stray journalists, Hafeez continues where he left off. 
He hits Swann for a six into the empty stands (only emphasising because I couldn't go 5 minutes without hearing about it).
But Swann has the last laugh as Hafeez is hit on the pad...
And given out LBW.
Hafeez is unhappy, so he decides to review the decision.
But Hawkeye shows 'umpire's call', so the decision is upheld. He goes for 88 and Pakistan are 176-3 and closing in on England's meagre total.
Pakistan take the lead with a lovely on drive down the ground from Khan...
It comes off the bowling of Broad and goes to the boundary. They go past England's total with 7 wickets intact. 
Strauss, desperate for a wicket, turns to his reluctant bowler in the hope of a wicket that'll make everyone laugh. He duly obliges. Running in with his bald spot (here captured perfectly with a sticky note) glinting in the UAE sunshine, Trott raps Khan on the pads...
The well known all-rounder appeals... 
And Khan is on his way for 37. He cannot believe it. Trott cannot believe it. Somewhere in Antarctica, a penguin has fainted. Pakistan are 202-4 and it's almost certainly Trott's fault.

Pakistan go into tea on 213-4. 
Asad Shabeak is the next batsman in. 
His only boundary comes off Swann as he hits one through the covers. It's only being included because I wanted to show off my absolutely hilarious wit.*

Shabeak (alright, I'll stop now) does not last much longer as he gets a thick edge behind... 
Allowing Matty P to take a good catch, diving to his right.
Shafiq departs for 16 leaving Pakistan 231-5. They lead by 39.
Captain Misbah-ul-Quack (I said I'd stop for Shafiq) is joined at the crease by his sweet friend (see here) Adnan Akmal. Tremlett, having been out with injury since the Lord's Test of the India Test series, is struggling to find some rhythm. 
It allows Misbah to crack a top shot to the boundary for four. 
A partnership develops between Misbah and Akmal. KP manages to put Akmal down on 8 and the chance could prove costly to England. At the other end, Misbah brings up his half century...
As he clips one for a single off the bowling of Swann. 
Pakistan's lead grows as their captain plays a watchful, but incredibly useful, innings.
However, his innings comes to an end when he is struck on the pad by Swann.
England's appeal to Billy Beakdon (can't remember what I christened him this summer) fall on deaf ears.
England decide to review the decision.
And it proves the correct one as Hawkeye suggests that the ball was hitting leg stump. Billy's not impressed, but Misbah must go for 52. Pakistan are 283-6. Swann follows up his wicket with utter filth that allows Rehman to get off the mark with a boundary.
Anderson takes the last over of the day...
And he picks up the wicket of Rehman as he's bowled for 4. 
Strauss decides to make Swann jealous and goes for a sprint after the Burnley Express, who manages to slip out of an attempted rugby tackle. 

Rehman's wicket means that Pakistan close day two on 288-7. 
The final session saw a bit of a fightback from England, but with Pakistan's lead nearing 100, they are still very much behind in this game. They will hope to bowl Pakistan quickly in the morning and then it's up to England to perform to the standard that they've set themselves over the past year and a half.

(Yes, I did laugh when I saw that I'd typed that bit in the draft. Oh dear. You know what's coming.)

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