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August 6, 2010
Review of the day
Andrew Strauss laughed knowingly on the eve of the Test when asked if he was learning whose judgment he could trust in matters of UDRS referrals, and whose he could not. On the evidence of the day's first over, Strauss had presumably bracketed James Anderson in the former category, seeing as he agreed to take a second view of a somewhat speculative lbw appeal from only the second ball of the day. In fairness, it pitched in line and only just skimmed over the top of middle stump, but given that the onfield decision would have stood in the event of a borderline verdict, it was still a bit of a waste.
Review of the day Mk 2
Talking of which, Strauss himself had an unfortunate brush with the big screen when his own turn came to bat later in the day. He had moved along to 25, the highest score at the time on another crazy day, when Amir zipped a full-length delivery back towards his body and through to the keeper amid a blur of deflections. England's captain stood his ground, albeit somewhat sheepishly, as Zulqarnain Haider - showing impressive judgment for a debutant with a first-ball duck to his name - insisted on using a review. Sure enough, the ball had clearly jagged off Strauss's gloves on its way past his body, and he was sent on his way to a mild ripple of admonition.
Debutant of the day
That moment aside, the most memorable day of Zulqarnain's life soon ended up as one he'd prefer to forget. Shortly before lunch he snicked an off-stump delivery from Broad to become the 55th batsman to make a golden duck in their first Test innings, and in the evening session he dropped a leg-side catch off Kevin Pietersen that was the exact replica of the only thing that his predecessor behind the stumps, Kamran Akmal, had got right in the course of his shocking match at Trent Bridge. Then as now, the bowler was Umar Gul, who zipped one off the seam to find the inside edge. But where Kamran clung on, Haider made a hash.
Comeuppance of the day
After a flawless performance from the cordon at Trent Bridge, Graeme Swann - aka Mr Second Slip - had a premonition of events to come. "It was the worst possible start we could have done," he said during the build-up to the second Test, "because now everyone thinks were are going to catch everything!" Lo and behold, who should bring an end to their 100% series record than Swann, who was fooled by a Stuart Broad delivery that squared up Umar Amin and squirted off a leading edge straight into his midriff ... and out again. One ball later, Amin edged once again, but this time for four as the ball looped clear over the cordon's head.
Clanger of the day
At least Swann could say that his let-off wasn't costly, as Pakistan were already six-down at the time, and the reprieved Amin was dismissed four overs later. Imran Farhat, on the other hand, had fewer reasons to be exonerated. Not only were his bowlers busting a gut to keep their team in the game, having extracted both openers on 44, and created this next opportunity 10 runs later, but he had committed a near-identical sin at Trent Bridge last week, when he dropped England's centurion, Eoin Morgan, early on the second day. This time the sinned-against bowler was Asif, who did well not to lamp his team-mate in his follow-through, as a regulation nick went to ground at first slip.
Shot of the day
Umar Akmal does not believe in waiting for the ball. He believes there is no ball that is unplayable. Already he had picked off six runs including a clipped four off the first two balls he faced. So when Broad pitched full but on an unthreatening length slightly outside leg stump, Umar used his strong and supple wrists to flick it over deep square-leg for a surprising six, half an hour before the lunch break. It was an aberration in an otherwise perfect nose-dive of an innings, as he soon ended up as part of Pakistan's lunchtime scoreline of 37 for 6.
Run-rate of the day
Until Akmal arrived to apply a relative measure of humpty to the innings, Pakistan had limped along to 12 runs for three wickets in 14.2 overs. England, by contrast had no such agonies when their chance came soon after lunch. By the time Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook had picked off a boundary apiece in the first over of Mohammad Amir's reply, they had scored more runs, 9, in four deliveries than Pakistan had managed in 10 overs. Their eventual total of 72 was their joint fourth-lowest total in Tests, and the second time in a week that they had improved on their worst effort against England.
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