Thursday 26 January 2012 

Late Wickets Bring Pakistan Back Into Contention

Late Wickets Bring Pakistan Back Into Contention
Late Wickets Bring Pakistan Back Into Contention
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Pakistan 257 (Misbah-ul-Haq 84, Broad 4-47) v
England 207-5 (Cook 94, Trott 74)
Second Test, Abu Dhabi, day two
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Pakistan grabbed four late England wickets on day two of the second Test to retain a slender lead and put the tourists under pressure.

England were making bold progress thanks to Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott both scoring half-centuries before they slipped from 166 for one to 207 for five at stumps in reply to Pakistan's 257 all out.

They had earlier made short work of the Pakistan batting order to take the remaining three wickets for the addition of just one run as Stuart Broad finished with four for 47 and James Anderson two for 46.

Cook then scored 94 in 220 balls and Trott 74 in 158 deliveries but Pakistan rallied late on to remove both batsmen as well as Kevin Pietersen (14) and Eoin Morgan (3).

As in the first Test in Dubai, off-spinner Saeed Ajmal (3-67) got the better of them although for the majority of the day Cook and Trott had the measure of everything Pakistan had to offer.

The day began and ended with a flurry of wickets. Misbah-ul-Haq (84) was trapped in front by Broad before Anderson had Saeed Ajmal also trapped in front and then Junaid Khan caught by Graeme Swann at slip, both men failing to score.

Andrew Strauss (11) then fell cheaply when he was caught by Asad Shafiq at short leg off Mohammad Hafeez.

The balance slowly shifted as Cook and Trott added 139 for the second wicket, playing necessarily patiently on a slow pitch against some disciplined bowling.

Cook was dropped on 44 and had Pakistan opted for a review, Trott would have been out trapped in front to Ajmal before he had reached his ninth half-century.

Trott eventually fell when Abdur Rehman got one to spin past his bat and clip off stump and Cook was trapped in front by Ajmal as he failed to deal with the doosra.

Pietersen was anything but patient as he tried to go on the attack but was caught by Hafeez at slip after he inside-edged Ajmal onto his pad.

Morgan, meanwhile, simply never looked settled and was undone by Ajmal's bowling when he too was caught by Hafeez.

Ian Bell battled hard to make four not out and with Morgan's dismissal coming in the last over the day, Matthew Prior was yet to begin his innings.

Pakistan, who lead the series 1-0 after a ten-wicket win in Dubai, won the toss and chose to bat, Shafiq also making a half-century in scoring 58.

© Cricket World 2012