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Saturday, 7 August 2010






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England turn the screw on hapless Pakistan

England ripped Pakistan out for 72 and reached 43 for no wicket in reply to take complete command of the second test at tea on the first day on Friday.

Pakistan crumbled meekly to their lowest-ever test total against England after winning the toss and openers Andrew Strauss (24 not out) and Alastair Cook (17) turned the screw on the touring side who lost the first test by 354 runs.

The Pakistan innings lasted just 39.3 overs and spanned four minutes short of three hours.

Umar Amin top-scored with just 23, Stuart Broad claimed four for 38 and James Anderson four for 20 in idyllic conditions for seam and swing bowling. The total was eight runs lower than Pakistan's previous low recorded in their second innings in the first test which finished on Sunday.

Pakistan resumed after lunch on 37 for six but despite the highest partnership of the innings of 27 between Mohammad Aamer and Amin, they lost their last four wickets for nine runs.

Pakistan, who lost 3-0 in their 2006 series in England, chose to bat despite agreeing in a team meeting the previous evening that they would bowl given such conditions, according to team sources.

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 Butt (7) 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 (3) drove his first ball firmly through cover three runs but he then edged an Anderson out-swinger to a diving Prior.

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 Zulqarnain Haider edged his first ball in test cricket to Prior off Broad. BIRMINGHAM, Friday, Reuters


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