England's bowlers take control

Pakistan collapse to lowest-ever score against hosts as England take 40 run lead.

    Pakistan's innings lasted just 39.3 overs and
    spanned less than three hours [AFP]

    The Pakistan innings lasted just 39.3 overs and spanned four minutes short of three hours. The 72 runs were their lowest-ever total against England.  

    Arduous struggle

    Umar Amin top-scored with just 23, while their highest partnership was 27 between Mohammad Amir and Amin, before they lost their last four wickets for nine runs.

    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, where they were all out for 80 on Sunday when losing the first test by 354 runs, but they also invited pressure.

    When Salman Butt 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 drove his first ball firmly through cover for 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 was lbw to Finn for 17, although 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.

    'Nothing to hit'

    Butt credited England's bowlers for his teams collapse.

    "For the first 20 overs they didn't give us literally anything to hit," he said. "They used the conditions brilliantly. Anderson again bowled brilliantly and kept the pressure on."

    Pakistan's bowlers struck twice immediately after tea when England slipped from 44 without loss to 44 for two.

    England lost left-hander Alastair Cook first for 17 runs, after completing a hook shot too early only to see the ball balloon off his glove to second slip from the bowling of Asif.

    Captain Andrew Strauss departed after Pakistan activated one of their two allocated reviews. Replays showed Strauss deflected an inside edge off Amir on to his thigh pad and through to wicketkeeper Haider.

    Trott was dropped on eight by Imran Farhat at first slip to a straightforward chance at waist height. Bowler Asif was visibly frustrated and did well to keep his feelings in check.

    Pakistan suffered twice more from their fielding lapses. Pietersen looked to assert his authority on recalled off-spinner Saeed Ajmal only to drive in the air to Umar Gul at mid-on, but he reacted late and could only parry the chance to the boundary.

    Pietersen also remained after an inside edge to Haider off Gul when on 20.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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