England v Pakistan, 1st npower Test, Trent Bridge July 29, 2010

Pakistan hopeful batsmen can undo fielding errors


After the high of Headingley, Pakistan's new-found confidence took something of a battering on the first day at Trent Bridge, as a combination of missed chances, squandered reviews and a double-hundred partnership between Eoin Morgan and Paul Collingwood conspired to take the game away from them. Nevertheless, on a flat deck that looks very good for batting, Pakistan remain confident of being able to reply in kind.

"It has been a very tough day for us today, but days come like this," said their rookie batsman, Umar Amin. "We tried our best but unfortunately we didn't get wickets at crucial times. But we'll try to come back again tomorrow. It will be a new day and we'll try to stick to the basics. There's not much in the pitch, but we'll try to restrict them to as little as possible."

At 118 for 4 in the first hour after lunch, Pakistan had an opening into England's middle order, with Collingwood and Morgan forced to graft for their runs against a dangerous moving ball. But crucial opportunities went begging courtesy of the keeper, Kamran Akmal, who was positioned too deep to collect a low nick when Morgan had made just 5, and later made a hash of a stumping with Collingwood still short of his half-century.

"We were in a good position, but unfortunately we gave it away," said Umar. "Eoin Morgan played a fantastic innings, but it was lucky that as soon as he came, Aamer got a snick but it didn't carry. Inshallah we'll come back tomorrow and try to get him out, because all of us tried very hard and we created half-chances, but we weren't able to capitalise on them."

Pakistan's morale dipped even further when they used up both of their reviews in the space of five minutes, as Kevin Pietersen survived a referral for lbw and caught-behind in quick succession. Akmal, in his capacity as wicketkeeper and senior player, was the key man in persuading his team to go to the third umpire on both occasions, but Umar believed the calls were justified.

"I think the review system is good when it goes in your favour," he said. "I thought at the time they were out, but unfortunately, they weren't, so I just consider it a hard day at the office. The senior players gave their opinions about those incidents, and it was the keeper who was the main man, but he's a very tough man and he'll come back tomorrow and try to compensate with his batting. I'm sure he'll do good tomorrow."

Morgan also had a brush with the review system in the course of his innings, when on 78 he was adjudged lbw as Danish Kaneria came round the wicket. "It was the first time I've used it, so it's been a bit different," he said. "I walked down the wicket and Colly said I think you should review it, so that knocked it on the head.

"The important thing is communication between the two batsmen, and being honest about it," he added. "If it feels natural then refer it, because the angle he was coming from, it was going to struggle to hit the stumps."

Pakistan have a big challenge ahead of them if they are to get back into this match, but under Salman Butt and through their exploits against Australia, they currently have the spirit to overcome adversity. At the close, the players went into a huddle on the boundary's edge, to reflect on a performance that hadn't gone to plan, and to start the process of regaining some measure of control.

"In cricket you learn every new day," said Umar. "We are a young unit, and we're becoming more and more united. We back each other and our captain, and we're becoming a very good unit. I think this is the perfect pitch for batsmen, so we'll try to make full use tomorrow. The key on this pitch is to stay on the front foot and manage the ball there. It won't be very difficult tomorrow."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mohammad on July 30, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    Well, to Pak management and selectors, Kamran and Malik has become indispensable, so, in spite of repeated failure at the very crucial time, Akmal retains his position while being top quality batsman, neither of the two Y's got selected. The captain should have asked for one of those two, instead of Malik, who does not have any role in test match. Pakistan will be lucky if they can score 250-260 in the 1st innings. One win against Australia does not mean many wins against quality teams. Did everyone hear the commentator's comments after 2 simple miss by Kamran?

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    This is not the job to win a match without Younis & Yousuf. I dont know how PCB decided to exclude these two great players from this series? Its not sulman's Job to do enough. lets see how PCB regrets after loosing this series.

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2010, 10:28 GMT

    With out Younis Khan & Muhammad Yousuf Pak cant make a position to win the mathc by batting. Its not sulman's Job who won the 1 match by chance. All efforts made by M.Amir & asif. They did the job.but the main point is that who will bat for Pakistan now in current 4 test serries. soon PCB ll bow under Younis & Yousuf feet & ll request them to join the team. Impossible to avoid big defeat here against England. Salman butt is a child. Doesnt deserve to lead the team but its politics as usual in PCB & in the team.

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    reminds me of that joke: an ant flirts with an elephant. the elephant gets angry and says "how dare you? have you ever looked in the mirror, look at you how can you compare yourself to me". ant responds with "forget my size, how can you miss the CONFIDENCE?" exactly the same situation here.

  • Qamar on July 30, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is the worst keeper ever in the history of cricket. His technique, his concentration, his footwork is so poor that he can not stand as a keeper in any A level club team in Pakistan. I have been noticing that, he stands miles away from the stumps to keep against Asif & aamir. Due to his position even slips have to stand too far from the stumps. I have noticed several catches could have been taken if he was standing a bit closer to wicket in several previous matches. This is really shocking to me and no one even coach or other senior people sitting outside are guiding him. All these donkeys sitting outside who hardly moves in any circumstances should tell these players their technical mistakes. I dont expect any good from them as I know their actual position in front of these players cartel.

    We should kick Kamran Akmal out of team ASAP if we want to win crucial games. He is a DIS-GRACEFUL wicketkeeper and black spot on Pakistani cricket.

  • Adnan on July 30, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    are you talking about Pakistani batting? you must be kidding the current score is sufficient for English blowers to take the match away from Pakistan inside three days

  • Sami on July 30, 2010, 8:13 GMT

    Pakistan weren't lucky to win against Aussies, see the scoreboard you fools, one who plays better than the other, wins. This is not T20 where luck plays a major role, this is a Test match people. And that's the thing thats keeping it alive even in the T20 era, Pakistan cannot win this match easily, true, but if Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Umar Amin and Azhar Ali stand (Salman Butt is already standing) between England and Victory, they can very well make them work for it. Younis and Yousuf were professionals, but the past 1-2 years they've been useless (exclude Yousuf's return century). Kaneria is a joke in the side, Ajmal must replace him, Hameed for Malik please, what did Malik do so far? NOTHING. Hameed should be given a test.

  • Chris on July 30, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    To all the Pakistan fans, dont be so pessimistic.BOTH Pakistan and England are inconsistent and both have talented players who will sometimes fail - if you are concerned about K.A, we are equally concerned about K.P! Give them a chance - both will come good and we will have a great series.

  • Jason on July 30, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    I was impressed with Aamir yesterday, has the talent to become one of the best bowlers in test cricket, its a shame about the support bowlers who didnt seem to show up, even Kaneria was poor and didnt bowl tight lines to build pressure, as far as keeping goes Pakistan must have a better keeper than Akmal, he's worse than Geriant Jones.

  • Badar on July 30, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    Sure, who's gonna bet their 1 penny on Pak batsmen to salavge pride? Do we have even 1 batsman who can score a 100? Look at the b'men and you're bound to laugh: Butt, the ever chaser of outside the off stump balls; Farhat, the past use-by son-in-law of one of the selectors, Ali, brand new hype at #3, Amin, the much over rated new-be, U.Akmal, only suited to limited overs cricket and give a damn to test cricket, Malik, another ill suited to tests and long proven failure, and K.Akmal, the god-son of PCB who'll only stick to this team till the current bosses are holding their seats and the only keeper who will never find a place in world's best keepers. How could you even think of standing straight without your backbone in place? Your ego to keep the 2 Ys out of the team is costing Pak pride. You played Sarfraz in Hobart yet you can't find him a place in the team even as a 2nd keeper? Afridi rightly said of players suited to ODIs to have mercy on the test team, Malik, Gul, & 2 Akmals out.

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