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The Bulletin by Liam Brickhill
July 30, 2010
Close Pakistan 147 for 9 (Gul 30*, Asif 0*, Anderson 5-49) trail England 354 (Morgan 130, Collingwood 82, Asif 5-77, Aamer 3-41) by 207 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Mohammad Asif's five wickets made the morning session Pakistan's but on a day for the bowlers, James Anderson cut through Pakistan to leave them eight runs adrift of the follow-on target with a wicket in hand. With the ball swinging prodigiously under leaden grey skies in Nottingham, 15 wickets fell for 170 runs throughout the day, and Anderson marked the occasion of his 28th birthday with 5 for 49.
Anderson made the initial incision by removing both openers before Steven Finn took a wrecking ball to Pakistan's middle order. Finn snatched 3 for 12 in his first spell as Pakistan went into freefall at 47 for 6 before Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Aamer's stubborn 58-run rearguard.
Anderson returned to snap their resistance, having both batsmen caught in the slips in successive overs to pick up his ninth five-wicket haul in Test cricket before Umar Gul's adventurous 30 took Pakistan to within touching distance of the 155 needed to make England bat again. As the gloom set in, however, the umpires decided that play could not continue despite the use of the stadium floodlights and the players were hauled off.
After Asif had sparked an England collapse in which six wickets fell for just 23 runs in the course of the morning, Pakistan's batsmen would have been expecting a spirited riposte from England's bowlers. They appeared completely unprepared for the scale of the assault.
Salman Butt was softened up by a clanging blow to the side of the helmet before he feathered an edge through to Matt Prior, and Anderson then came round the wicket to Imran Farhat after lunch, bending the ball past the batsman's attempted nudge to leg to shatter the stumps. Finn, fresh from his strength and conditioning training, extracted bounce and movement to pick up Umar Amin with a thick edge to second slip, which left Pakistan in the perilous position of 35 for 3.
The collapse was soon in full flow, and Anderson snatched his third as Ali was turned inside out by a booming outswinger to prompt an appeal for the catch behind. Umpire Tony Hill raised the finger but despite having UDRS referrals in the bank, Ali trudged off without questioning the decision. It was a strange decision, as replays appeared to show that the ball had missed the edge and touched the batsman's trouser pocket on the way through.
Finn then bullied both Akmals out in identical fashion, shaping the ball away from the bat with a touch of extra bounce outside off stump to draw indecisive prods to second slip. Malik and Aamer survived to see out his spell and briefly protect Pakistan's dangerously long tail with a partnership that was the second-highest of the match for either team so far, and it put the game-shaping importance of Eoin Morgan and Paul Collingwood's 219-run stand into proper perspective.
Malik's vigil was ended courtesy of a juggled catch by Andrew Strauss at first slip to give Anderson his fourth wicket, and his fifth came soon after as Aamer drove at a wide one to send a thick edge to Graeme Swann.
With Pakistan floundering at 108 for 8, Umar Gul took it upon himself to chase down the 47 still needed to avoid the follow-on with an attacking cameo. In gloomy conditions that had the umpires fiddling with their light-meters, Gul's innings was equal parts skill and luck. Fortuitous boundaries were picked up from leading edges and squirts through the slips before he got going with a stylish cover drive off Anderson.
He followed that up with a pull into the stands at midwicket before Broad pitched one up to beat Danish Kaneria's aimless drive and disturb the bails. Asif safely negotiated the final ball of Broad's over, but with that the umpires finally decided that conditions had deteriorated enough to send the players off.
Anderson's efforts, and the extent of Pakistan's batting capitulation, put the other five-wicket haul of the day - Asif's 5 for 77 - firmly in the shade, but England's collapse was, if anything, even more dramatic than Pakistan's. The home side had resumed on 331 for 4 but once Collingwood was removed for 82 in the sixth over of the morning the rest of the line-up quickly followed.
Asif bowled an unbroken spell from the Radcliffe Road end, trapping Collingwood with an inswinger to create an opening and give Pakistan the lift they so dearly needed, before pinging Morgan's back pad in front of off stump to reduce England to 344 for 6.
After Graeme Swann sold Matt Prior a dummy to see him run out for 6, England's tail fell in a heap, and Asif found himself on a hat-trick after nailing both Swann and Anderson in front of the stumps with deliveries that swung in unexpected directions. He found the edge of Finn's bat with the hat-trick delivery, but the chance fell well short of the slips.
Gul made a mess of Broad's stumps to bring the innings to a close in the very next over and complete a stunning collapse, but in the context of the game, one that was overshadowed by the Pakistani surrender that followed. If the low clouds continue to hover over Trent Bridge - and they are forecast to do so - Morgan and Collingwood's innings may well prove to be the decisive difference between the teams in this match.
Liam Brickhill is an assistant editor at ESPN Cricinfo
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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