England v Pakistan, 1st npower Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day

Prior ton puts England in control

The Bulletin by Liam Brickhill

July 31, 2010

Comments: 73 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan 182 (Gul 65*, Anderson 5-54) and 15 for 3 (Farhat 6*, Aamer 0*) trail England 354 and 262 for 9 dec (Prior 102*, Gul 3-41) by 419 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Matt Prior celebrates his hundred, England v Pakistan, 1st Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day, July 31, 2010
Matt Prior's third Test century cemented England's dominant position on the third day at Trent Bridge © Associated Press
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England ended the third day at Trent Bridge in total control of the match and poised to seal a massive win, having reduced Pakistan to 15 for 3 in a highly improbable chase of 435. Matt Prior's third Test hundred allowed the hosts to declare at 262 for 9, setting Pakistan a world-record target that quickly appeared out of reach.

Once Prior had passed his milestone, Andrew Strauss immediately called the batsmen from the field, leaving Pakistan's openers to face a tricky final passage of play with no clear goal in mind other than survival. But even that task proved too challenging, and three top-order batsmen were ripped out in the space of seven deliveries to virtually put paid to Pakistan's slim hopes of saving this match.

Salman Butt started positively with two boundaries behind point in Stuart Broad's first over, but then slashed awkwardly at the first ball of his second to send a stinging chance to Paul Collingwood at third slip. Azhar Ali lasted all of two balls before he was trapped in front of the stumps by Broad, and Umar Amin soon followed him back as he failed to counter James Anderson's prodigious swing.

Whatever advantage Pakistan had gained in reducing England to 98 for 6 before tea evaporated in the final session, as Prior added 49 with Graeme Swann and 56 for the eighth wicket with Broad before bringing up his first hundred since March 2009 in Steven Finn's company.

Pakistan had battled gamely for much of the first two sessions to stay afloat in the game, Umar Gul crashing three sixes off Finn in a frenetic first four overs to take his side's score to 182. They avoided the follow-on, before Gul's 35-run tenth-wicket partnership with Mohammad Asif - towards which Asif made no contribution - was ended by some confused calling and an easy run-out.

After Asif and Mohammad Aamer nipped out both openers to have England at 49 for 2 at lunch, Gul then knocked the stuffing out of the middle order with three wickets in four overs. Pakistan have often been guilty of not backing up their intensity with the ball with similar commitment in the field, and once again their fielding effort was a frustrating mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous.

Aamer made the initial breakthrough when he found the edge of Andrew Strauss's bat to send a regulation chance towards Umar Akmal at second slip. Umar could not hold on at the first attempt, snatching at the ball a second time to parry it over first slip, only for none other than Kamran to slide in and take a superb reaction catch.

After Alastair Cook's scratchy knock was ended with an edge down the leg side to Asif's worst ball of the morning, Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott put together a steady 47 for the third wicket before Pietersen departed thanks to a stunning catch behind the wicket from Kamran. A thick inside edge appeared to be heading for the fine leg boundary but Pakistan's much-maligned keeper leapt athletically to his left to pluck the ball out of the air one-handed.

As Kamran lay on the turf, double-checking that, yes, this one had stuck, he appeared to take a brief moment to himself, visibly relaxing as the relief flooded through him. With four catches safely pouched, it looked like this might be Kamran's day, but the very next delivery brought back all the frustration that his inconsistent work behind the stumps has wrought.

Collingwood aimed a noncommittal waft at his first ball to send a much easier chance than that off the previous delivery, sailing towards first slip, but Kamran dived across and snatched at the ball, which bobbled out of the glove as he came - both literally and metaphorically - crashing back down to earth.

Gul made sure the lapse was not too costly by castling Trott with one that kept low and in his next over he pinged Collingwood on the back pad, but with the sun peeping out from behind a thick bank of cloud for the first time in the day, Eoin Morgan and Prior nudged England's total towards 100, and the lead past 250.

After Morgan was run out for 17, Swann kept the runs flowing, although Gul exposed his weakness against the short ball with a sharp, well-directed bouncer that struck a clanging blow on the back of the helmet. Swann had already taken a four and a six off Kaneria to run to an enterprising 28, but he appeared to lose focus after the blow and in the spinner's next over he was rapped on the pad in front of leg stump. Pakistan thought they had a wicket; Tony Hill disagreed, but judicious use of a referral by the visitors saw the decision overturned and Swann departed.

Broad swung merrily on his way to 24 from 29 balls before Malik had him caught at slip but Pakistan's celebrations were muted by the fact that England's lead had inflated to 375 by that point, already 60 more than their highest ever successful fourth-innings chase. Anderson managed to avoid a king pair after his first-ball dismissal on Thursday, but top-edged a sweep off the fourth ball he faced to give Malik his second wicket.

Prior took England's lead past 400 with his seventh boundary, a flat-batted pull through square leg off Kaneria, and entered the 90s with two sixes in the arc between long-on and deep midwicket in the spinner's next over. He slowed down somewhat as he approached the century, creeping to 99 with a series of singles as Finn steadfastly dead-batted almost every delivery he received, but Prior eventually reached what should be a match-winning ton with a cut for three behind point.

With conditions still favouring the bowlers despite the late afternoon sunshine, Strauss immediately declared and unleashed Broad and Anderson on Pakistan's shaky line-up. England finished the day needing seven wickets in six sessions, and they were overwhelming favourites to go 1-0 up in the series on Sunday.

Liam Brickhill is an assistant editor at ESPN Cricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 1, 2010, 17:09 GMT)

Pakistan lost yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Posted by akbars38 on (August 1, 2010, 13:15 GMT)

mohammad yousuf bhai, where are you ? pakistan need u. if ejaz butt do not calls you this time then tell him to do not organize matches.

Posted by AK47_pk on (August 1, 2010, 12:45 GMT)

if i was the captain ov pak team,i wudve sent umer gul nd aamir as opner nd tell them to hit the ball hard like in 1st inning..especialy to gul nd wudve sent regular bunch ov jokers as tale ender.....there was no sense at all in choosin pak team.....umar akmal nd kamran akmal should be limited to one day nd t20....bring yunis nd yasir hameed back in to team as numer 2 nd 3...ejaz butt need to be shiwn door now cuz enough is enough....IMRAN KHAN should take some time out ov his mindless politics to give back to pak cricket wat he gained( pak cricket gave him respect nd should work hard to restore pak cricket,s respect.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (August 1, 2010, 12:24 GMT)

It is understandable to read the response of many Pakistan supporters after England humiliated them at Trent Bridge. England's bowling is pretty good particularly when there are overcast conditions. They are quick and have the bounce also to unsettle the best of batsmen.The point is that Pakistan too have a very lethal bowling attack. But they do not have the batsmen to be able to stand up to any form of good pace bowling. Even in Sri Lanka, they used to be bowled out for small scores against Kulasekhara and Tushara who normally bowl at around 128 kmph. The English bowlers are much faster and probably very adept in their own conditions. The three things that usually happen when Pakistan loses are that Kamran Akmal is made the villian of the piece or Ejaz Butt is castigated or there are allegations of match fixing.It is high time that the legion of Pakistan supporters realise their team's short comings and be in tune with realities. The media should be constructive and not idolising.

Posted by syedahsan_ on (August 1, 2010, 12:18 GMT)

I'm going to say this whether anyone likes it or not.. Right now the board is biased.. Out there is not the Pakistan cricket team.. its the Punjab cricket team.. for some reason yasir hammed is not played instead two debutants are played at no 3 and 4.. for some reason asim kamal never makes the team.. for some reason kamran akmals still the keeper. this is crap in the modern era there should not be such unnoticed bais at this level.. Yonus should be in the team .. kanaria just gives away runs and bowls rubbish but for some reason hes still there

Posted by   on (August 1, 2010, 12:17 GMT)

the woefull fieldin and the inexperienced batting by pakistan r the onli reasons fr such a debacle............i guess bringin in a new tide of players all at once is nt such a good idea....u need to hav the more experiencd around to nuture the buddin talent......kudos to england fr such a gr8 game tht they hav played.......Amer is one hell of a superstar cricketer n i hope he keeps his head level n keeps focusin on the game.....hope fr the return of the two way betta batsmen-yusuf n younis- in the next match......

Posted by   on (August 1, 2010, 12:14 GMT)

Thanks for bringing in T-20. We have seen the end of Test Cricket in Pakistan. i echo the words said by Mohd Yousef after the last tour in Australia.

This debacle is even worse than the 1962 pak Tour of England.

I salute Pak's bowlers Ahmer, Asif and Gul. They worked hard. So did their batsmen - hardly.

Posted by qalandar4 on (August 1, 2010, 12:11 GMT)

One can only guess at the impact of the captaincy on Salman Butt's batting -- against Australia, he was basically the only in-form batsman, and appears to have been handed the captaincy on that flimsy basis. Next thing you know, he turns in two shambolic innings, with the result that the team basically had no in-form batsman.

Posted by   on (August 1, 2010, 12:08 GMT)

I KNEW THIS WAS COMING ! no need to get surprise ! they need better batsmen ! i have no idea why there is a need to add umer amin to the side ! when you already have yasir hameed ! far better experienced player , and where is yousuf ? AND THIS KANERIA !! WOT IS HE DOING WHEN HE DONT DESERVE THIS PLACE ! WHY NOT PLAYING SAEED AJMAL ?WHY NOT RAZZAQ ? ATLEAST WE HAVE AN EXTRA BATSMEN IN OUR TEAM ! SALMAN BUT NEEDS TO RELAX AND CONCENTRATE ON BATING ! THE ONLY GUY WHO WAS GIVIN PERFORMANCE IS NOT A CAPTAIN AND HE CANT HADLE MULTITASKING ! ... INSHALLAH WE WILL HAVE A GOOD TEAM ONE DAY AND HOPE IS ALL MATTERS IN THE END ! PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

Posted by BigTex_1 on (August 1, 2010, 11:59 GMT)

Pakistan team is going from bad to worse. To turn it around at least in this current series, they need to drop Amin and replace him with Yasir Hameed. Give Azhar one last chance if they have to but he needs to be replaced also by maybe Fawad Alam. Then there is a little matter of Kamran. Love him and his fights in the past but now he is over the hill also. Should we give Haider a chance? What's happening with Salman and Umar Akmal. Have they peaked out? The way Pak is playing I wouldn't play them against Bangladesh (at least they put up a better fight). Hell not even Afghanistan. I am totally disappointed with these "school boys" who act like they are the cricket gods. Shame on them.-- Die Hard Pakistan Cricket Fan.

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