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England on top as Pakistan slump again

Birmingham: James Anderson and Stuart Broad took four wickets apiece as Pakistan collapsed to 72 all out - their lowest total against England - on the first day of the second Test at Edgbaston on Friday.

England were 112 for two in reply when bad light forced an early close -- a lead of 40 -- after Anderson had taken four wickets for 20 runs in 14.3 overs and Broad four for 38 in 17.

Jonathan Trott, dropped once, was 31 not out and Kevin Pietersen, who came into this match without a Test century in 22 innings, was 36 not out after being missed twice.

The South African-born duo, who came together when England had lost both openers with their score on 44, had so far put on 68 for the third wicket.

Pakistan’s latest slump came just five days after they’d been dismissed for their previous lowest against England of 80 in the first of a four Test series that the hosts won by a crushing 354 runs at Trent Bridge on Sunday.

“The important thing for us was not to chase wickets and go at four or five an over,” Broad told reporters.

Pakistan captain Salman Butt defended his decision to bat first by saying: “This pitch will not change. Given these conditions the ball will keep on swinging. So the idea was to out some runs on the board and let the other side get them.

“But, unfortunately, things didn’t go the way we thought. But having created about five chances and not taken them, the match could have been pretty even.”

Alastair Cook, on 17, gloved a hook off Mohammad Asif to Umar Akmal at second slip and fellow left-handed opener Andrew Strauss, the England captain, fell for 25 when he got an inside edge off Mohammad Aamer to Zulqarnain Haider for the debutant wicketkeeper’s first Test dismissal.

Strauss was originally given not out by Australian umpire Steve Davis but Pakistan challenged successfully using the Decision Review System.

England would have been 54 for three only for Pakistan’s latest example of woeful fielding.

Trott, on his Warwickshire home ground, had made just eight when he edged Asif straight to Imran Farhat.

But, for the second time in as many matches, Farhat dropped a routine first slip catch.

Pietersen, on nine, was reprieved when, after driving recalled off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, he saw Umar Gul at mid-on drop a difficult chance.

Trott’s textbook cover-driven four off Ajmal then saw England into the lead. Haider then dropped a one-handed chance offered by Pietersen against Gul when he was on 20 and England 84 for two.

It was a more difficult chance, also off the inside edge, that Kamran Akmal held, in an otherwise poor match, to dismisss Pietersen for 22 in Nottingham.

Pakistan, as happened at Trent Bridge, were again found wanting against swing bowling in overcast conditions.

Umar Amin (23), Akmal (17) and Aamer (12) were the only batsmen to make double-figure scores in an innings featuring five noughts.

Pakistan were all out inside 40 overs in under three hours.

Anderson had been Pakistan’s chief tormentor at Trent Bridge with a career-best 11 for 71.

But it was Broad, who a fortnight ago at Edgbaston took a career-best eight for 52 for Nottinghamshire against Warwickshire, who began the collapse despite the best efforts of Pakistan to fight their way through the early overs.

Farhat completed a 24-ball nought when he edged Broad through to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

Butt, also a left-handed opener, nicked Steven Finn to Graeme Swann at second slip, having spent nearly an hour at the crease for seven runs.

Akmal clipped Anderson off his pads and whipped Broad legside for an audacious six.

But Pakistan saw Azhar Ali lbw to a Broad inswinger for a 32-ball nought.

Akmal was also lbw to Broad, who then had Haider out for a first ball nought. It was the third successive duck by a Pakistan wicketkeeper after Kamran Akmal’s pair at Trent Bridge.

Pakistan were 37 for six at lunch and Anderson ended the innings by taking three wickets for one run in 10 balls.

Bureau Report

From Zee News

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