Anderson’s fifer rips through Pakistan

Nottingham: England fast bowler James Anderson celebrated his 28th birthday by taking five for 49 as Pakistan slumped to 147 for nine before bad light ended play on day two of the first Test at Trent Bridge on Friday.

The umpires led the players off the field at 1612 GMT despite the ground’s six floodlight towers shining down on the field. Pakistan trailed England’s first innings total by 207 runs and needed eight more to avoid the follow-on.

Umar Gul was 30 not out from 29 balls and last man Mohammad Asif is yet to score.

Anderson used the cloud cover to swing the ball against the Pakistan batsmen, while 21-year-old paceman Steven Finn performed impressively with three for 20.

Pakistan, seeking to avenge a 3-0 series loss in England in 2006, have a tough task to survive with the pitch and overhead conditions encouraging the spinners and quicker bowlers.

The sold-out crowd witnessed 15 wickets for 170 runs in a pulsating day in which ball dominated bat.

England had earlier lost their last six wickets for 17 runs but still posted a competitive first-innings total of 354.

Eoin Morgan made 130 and Paul Collingwood 82, while Asif claimed five for 77 with some accurate outswing bowling.

Pakistan started badly by losing their captain and most dependable batsman, Salman Butt, before lunch, caught behind off Anderson for one. Then, in a bizarre period, they lost five wickets for 15 runs, collapsing to 47 for six.

Left-hander Imran Farhat (19) was bowled by a near-perfect Anderson delivery that swung into him only to straighten off the pitch. Farhat smashed his bat into the ground in anger but better players would have struggled to combat such a ball.

Umar Amin (2), in his third Test, continued to struggle in the elite arena, and edged Finn to Graeme Swann at second slip.

Azhar Ali (14), also in his third Test, was given out caught behind off Anderson but replays showed the ball missed his bat and flicked the pocket of his trousers.

With two referrals in hand, it was surprising Azhar did not ask for a review of his dismissal having had a mid-pitch discussion with partner Umar Akmal. Pakistan still had those reviews in place by stumps.

Umar Akmal was also caught by Swann off Finn, while his brother Kamran lasted just two balls before he edged a wider Finn delivery to Collingwood at third slip for a duck.

Top-scorer Shoaib Malik (38) and the prodigious 18-year-old bowler Mohammad Aamer scrapped for every run in their seventh-wicket stand of 58, and ensured Pakistan surpassed their lowest Test total of 87 against England at Lord’s in 1954.

Malik’s 53-ball innings ended when he edged Anderson to Andrew Strauss at first slip, catching the ball at the second attempt. Aamer followed in Anderson’s next over, a third slip catch for Swann.

When Gul, whose pulled six over square leg off Anderson roused the Pakistan fans briefly, added 39 in 44 balls with Danish Kaneria, it seemed as though Pakistan would avoid the follow-on. Then Kaneria was bowled by Stuart Broad.

In the first session on Friday, Asif added to his wicket the previous day with four English scalps -- all leg before wicket -- that included centurion Morgan and Collingwood.

Bureau Report

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