England v Pakistan, 4th npower Test, Lord's, 1st day

Strauss falls on rain-hit opening day

The Report by Andrew McGlashan

August 26, 2010

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A

England 39 for 1 (Cook 10*, Trott 8*) v Pakistan
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Mohammad Asif celebrates after removing Andrew Strauss, England v Pakistan, 4th Test, Lord's, August 26, 2010
Mohammad Asif was rewarded for a probing spell when he removed Andrew Strauss © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Mohammad Asif | Andrew Strauss
Series/Tournaments: Pakistan tour of England
Teams: England | Pakistan

Mohammad Asif made an important breakthrough for Pakistan when he removed Andrew Strauss, but bad light and rain meant just 12.3 overs were possible on the opening day of the final Test at Lord's. It was no surprise that Salman Butt put England into bat and conditions favoured the seamers, but England's openers had combated the early threat until Asif made his mark.

There wasn't much Strauss could have done about his dismissal as the ball pitched just outside off and swung back into the left hander and hit middle. It continued Strauss's relatively lean series but on this occasion it was bowling skill rather than a batting error that brought the wicket.

Alastair Cook should have gone in the third over of the day when he edged Mohammad Amir to third slip only for Umar Akmal to drop a regulation catch. Pakistan's fielding improved hugely at The Oval and was a key reason for their victory and this was a worrying return to previous form for the slips.

Amir, who began the Test with five wides down the leg side, wasn't quite at his best and was a touch too wide to make the most of conditions. However, he thought he'd removed Cook caught behind on 9 but the review system proved the ball missed the edge and bat had clipped pad.

Asif was metronomic from the start of his spell and beat Cook with a couple of beautiful deliveries which shaped away late before bringing one back into Strauss with perfect results.

By then the conditions were becoming an issue despite the floodlights coming on, although Jonathan Trott didn't have much trouble opening his account with a sweet clip through midwicket which he followed with a positive off drive. A few moments later the players were off and didn't return.

Both teams were unchanged from The Oval with England using the same XI throughout the series and Pakistan resisting the temptation to rush back Umar Gul following his hamstring injury. Gul's replacement, Wahab Riaz, was an able stand-in with a five-wicket haul on his debut at The Oval.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by FaisalAsghar on (August 27, 2010, 11:57 GMT)

well the fine thingy might work but whod decide the difficulty of a dropped chance? im sure theyd invent a workaround and get minimum fines, id be compelled to push this a lil forwad and suggest the management introduce some incentive as well, i dont know maybe best day in the field or something...but whatever it takes, Pakistan really really needs to improve its fielding standards!!!

Posted by abbasfaisal_ on (August 27, 2010, 9:33 GMT)

i am not able to understand that why they keep selecting u akmal. i mean the guy hasn't shown any form with the bat in the whole 5 test matches. if pakistan loose this test match i think it is going to be due to its poor fielding. i think pakistan need to improve its fielding more then its batting because i consider that most of the matches that it has lost in the past two years or so have been due to their fielding since most of the times they drop a batsman early in his start then he goes on to get s big score.

Posted by khurramsch on (August 27, 2010, 7:58 GMT)

its realy pity for pakistan bowlers. whts the point of bowling good when u have such fielders who can drop dollys? its not only the runs cook will score after that chance its partnership, and overs consumed as well. he was droped in 3rd over at 1run, & then they managed to make partnership of 31 until 11th over & used new ball under these conditions.

Posted by atifshahid on (August 27, 2010, 7:14 GMT)

why on earth these akmal brothers are selected in playing eleven. Cricket is not all about batting and bowling the fielding makes a huge difference. See SA and Australia as they have set high standards in fielding. In Sydney test v lost due to dropped catches and more specifically due to kamran akmal. Now in england we have atleast dropped around 20 catches...could u believe that? i guess a team like australia wont even reach this figure in 10 tests which v have achieved in 3 tests. Best replacement for Umar Akmal can be fawwad Alam, hammad azam or any other youngster. This would surely help pakistan as well as umar akmal for the betterment of his career. But as far as kamran akmal is concerned i am afraid he should not be selected because he has technical flaws in keeping gloves behind the wicket... plz take a notice. i luv cricket and i dont want pakistan to lose.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2010, 7:07 GMT)

@ moinilyas, sorry brother you are late, i have already suggested such idea in my last comment

Posted by KingPunter on (August 27, 2010, 6:24 GMT)

Very disappointing for Pakistan. They simply cannot be consistent in their catching. All hopes of leveling this series will be shattered even before their team comes to bat i suppose. It was a good toss to win for Butt, and 2 wickets down would have helped. That uncertainty in English dressing room would have remained intact. If there's no cloud cover tomorrow Cook might fancy his chances.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2010, 5:46 GMT)

Rain spoiled the day, but it could have been 39/3 if umar amkal dont drop that chance. That the price PCB have to pay guys. All of us knows that how safe fielder Younis Khan is in Slips. Check his record. If he could have been selected then i am damn sure that result would have been 2-1 Pakstan victory. But now, we have to pay the price, we will keep them in slip and they will drop these chances. I just cant under stand why the hell PCB is not learning by mistakes. A man who did nothing,who are brilliant with the bat , why the kept him away from team. And @ England, they are an ordinary team, because they are up against a young side, and a side who dropped 20 catches in the series.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2010, 5:45 GMT)

Rain spoiled the day, but it could have been 39/3 if umar amkal dont drop that chance. That the price PCB have to pay guys. All of us knows that how safe fielder Younis Khan is in Slips. Check his record. If he could have been selected then i am damn sure that result would have been 2-1 Pakstan victory. But now, we have to pay the price, we will keep them in slip and they will drop these chances. I just cant under stand why the hell PCB is not learning by mistakes. A man who did nothing,who are brilliant with the bat , why the kept him away from team. And @ England, they are an ordinary team, because they are up against a young side, and a side who dropped 20 catches in the series.

Posted by RiazAhmed on (August 27, 2010, 5:40 GMT)

The performance could be improved with more practice and efforts. This requires your will, devotion and psychological fitness/strength. Unfortunately Pakistani cricket players lack all these must ingredients. One must understand that first we have to prepare our players to mentally accept and commit that they have to win and they can win. Poor performance is an symptom and not a cause. The PCB and other commentators have been trying to address the symptoms since many years.

Please address the cause Muhammad Riaz

Posted by SULMI on (August 27, 2010, 5:15 GMT)

lets hope for the best asif and amir will rap this off quickly inspite of bad fielding but pakistan will suerly win this match by comprehansive margen.Inshallah

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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