England v Pakistan, 1st npower Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day July 30, 2010

15 wickets... and another dropped catch


Session of the day
When Pakistan are in town, beware the onset of complacency. England might have thought they had the game on a string by the end of the first day, with Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan locked into a double-century stand, but a good night's sleep transformed the effectiveness of their opponents. With Mohammad Asif zipping the ball this way and that from a devastating full length, he claimed 4 for 5 in 23 balls, as England shed their last six wickets for 17 runs in an hour and 15 minutes. By the time Salman Butt had become James Anderson's first victim in the fifth over of the Pakistan's reply, the clatter of wickets had extended to a Marshall-esque 7 for 22.

Confusion of the day
Graeme Swann is a man who can generally be relied upon to have his game-brain in gear, but today he cut a baffled figure at the crease. His stay was brief, only 13 deliveries, but in that time he sold his partner, Matt Prior, an outrageous dummy as they turned for a fatal third man and the end, when it came, was faintly comical. Asif zipped a length delivery flush into his front pad, and Tony Hill's finger went up without hesitation. It was the batsman who paused, as Swann started walking down the pitch as if to consult over the referral, only to be reminded that Collingwood had already used up the final lifeline. So back to the pavilion he went.

Toiler of the day
Last week at Edgbaston, Stuart Broad made a rare appearance for his county, Nottinghamshire, and celebrated the occasion by claiming career-best figures of 8 for 52. According to those at the ground that day, however, it was his wicketless new-ball partner, Ryan Sidebottom, who actually produced the better spell, which only goes to show how fickle the fates can be. Today, on the other hand - and in front of his home ground to boot - was not Broad's day. While Anderson and Finn found the edge at will, Broad pounded away with an increasingly grumpy demeanour for 16.4 overs, and he had all but given up hope of reward when he finally burst through Danish Kaneria's defences with the penultimate ball of the day.

Drop of the day
If Kamran Akmal was Public Enemy No. 1 on the first day's play with his horrendous glovework, Imran Farhat assumed that mantle today when he dropped Eoin Morgan's thick outside-edge at first slip. It was a straightforward catch, which sailed straight towards him and Farhat had to just embrace it without a blink. Instead he simply floored it. Mohammad Aamer, the luckless bowler, was so disgusted he kicked the ground twice before finishing the over still shaking his head. Salman Butt, Pakistan's captain, had a smile of disbelief as he squatted at mid-off. Farhat did not even have the decency to run to Aamer and apologise. That was the least he could've done.

Team-mate of the day
Neither Hot Spot nor snickometer could pick up any edge or noise as Jimmy Anderson's outswinger drew Azhar Ali forward to beat his defence, before brushing the batsman's trouser pocket on its way to Matt Prior behind the stumps. The England players appealed in unison and Tony Hill, after a few moments, upheld the decision. Azhar seemed clueless and was not sure if he had nicked it. So he walked to Umar Akmal to consult if they should go for the review. Umar's response was a curt shake of the head, and with a shrug of the shoulders, Azhar started walking towards the dressing-room. By the time he got there, the truth had been revealed on the TV replays. But it was too late to spare him his wicket.

Bonus of the day
The bad light issue is one of the consistent blights on Test cricket. It's all very well to flee the field when the heavens open and the ball becomes too wet to grip, but in an era when batsmen stride to the crease like knights in hi-tech armour, the issue of player safety is a pretty glib reason to curtail a day's play at the first sight of a black cloud. So it was very satisfying to see the game extend into the gloaming towards the back-end of the day, with the floodlights kicking in to complement the fading daylight. And as if to prove that the conditions were perfectly playable, Umar Gul swiped Anderson for six to haul Pakistan ever closer to the follow-on mark. The umpires eventually bowed to nature to a chorus of understandable boos, but the fans had seen more cricket than would usually have been possible in the circumstances.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo, Nagraj Gollapudi is assistant editor

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    still have time to get those two players 2 Ys as soon as possible. Please don't kill pakastani cricket anymore, Enough of young players please mixed them with exprinced and let them learn and be the very best, It was nice to win against AUS. best would be losing that game not be over confidence . Sulman is good not great . My advice to him creat pressure to have those two players and make your captency easy.

  • Jonathan on July 31, 2010, 0:03 GMT

    How PCB could be so blind with Kamran Akmal? It's amazing that a country of 200,000,000 can not find a decent keeper who could hold his position justifiably. Hell... they should ask Rashid Latif to come out of retirement.

  • Giles on July 30, 2010, 22:25 GMT

    As it's been said before, you can judge where Pak are at by their fielding. There are presently in serious trouble. Their players just see dollar signs for the 20-20 games and don't have the skill or mental strength for test cricket. Money beats will power every time for them....

  • love on July 30, 2010, 22:18 GMT

    Farhat did not even have the decency to run to Aamer and apologise. That was the least he could've done. .....

    Like the author knows what is the way to behave after you drop a catch. It is like he is a expert on dropping catches....

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    they need bating coach and fielding expert

  • Usman on July 30, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Umer akmal is not reay for test cricket. only if imran khan was the captain, he would have told him to keep playing 2020 and oneday. At the same time play some country cricket to improve his defence and temperament .and same goes for umer ameen. Let him play one day cricket for a bit. Azhar ali is the only one who deserve to play test cricket. U can so easily tell the difference between azhar ali who has played first class cricket and umer akmal, ameen who havent. BRING BACK YOUNIS YOUSAF

  • Areeb on July 30, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    dam it pakistan losing again

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    Pakistan has the weakest batting line up in international cricket. I am not considering zimbabwe, Bangladesh etc

    Even West Indies with Chanderpaul and Sarwan is much better.

  • Usman on July 30, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    Is today's perfomance not a proof itself that we need yousaf and younis. And guyz end ur nonsense abt giving young players a chance. I agree that we have to try some nw blood but not at the expense of pakistan losing the series. Would u expect Australia to try new players at ashes. There is a time and place for it. This is a massive series but ijaz butt is too stupid to include yousaf and younis in the team and salman butt dont have the courage to speak up.

    Kick umer akmal, shoaib malik, kaneria out and bring in ajmal, yousaf and younis. Let the new talent get developed under the guidance of experienced players. For heavens sake, WHAT ON EARTH MALIK IS DOING IN THE TEAM FOR

  • w on July 30, 2010, 17:37 GMT

    as much as i would like to see Pakistan learn from the game before,it was a shameful display of batting especially from Akmal brothers,yet again its time to give someone else a chance.

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