May 19, 2001

Pakistan rally after Caddick's memorable burst

England saw their authority diminish in the fading light at Lord's as Yousuf Youhana and Younis Khan claimed back some of Pakistan's ground to finish the third day of the First npower Test match trailing by 276 runs.

England overcame the news that their captain Nasser Hussain would be out for three to four weeks after breaking his thumb while batting this morning by taking four early Pakistan wickets.

Andrew Caddick caused tremors in the opening overs of Pakistan's reply by taking 3-26 in a first menacing spell that lasted ten gripping overs. At one point he had taken two wickets and conceded three runs in the space of 21 balls to give England a dream start in the defence of their first innings total of 391.

But with the score on 60 for four, Yousuf and Younis joined forces to calm troubled waters and a change in bowling, with Yorkshire left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom and all-rounder Dominic Cork coming into the attack, allowed Pakistan to recover some decorum.

By the close, the pair had moved the score to 115 for four, having almost doubled the total without any further loss and the stylish Yousuf finished unbeaten on 26 while Younis dominated the bowling with 32 from 41 balls, including five well struck boundaries.

Until that point, Caddick and Darren Gough were working hard at bringing Pakistan down, well aware that the reduction of the match to four days, with one lost to rain, had made their job of enforcing the follow-on easier.

Pakistan now needed at least 242 to avoid having to bat again straight away but when Inzamam-ul-Haq was caught behind off Caddick for 13, edging a ball that moved off the seam, the writing was on the wall with Saeed Anwar and Saleem Elahi already back in the pavilion inside five overs.

Saleem had succumbed by edging Caddick's third ball to first slip where Mike Atherton made no mistake.

Atherton was also in place with his hands at the ready when dangerman Saeed also guided the ball to the slips off Gough, having hit three boundaries to make 12 with the score 21 for two.

All three were prized wickets with both openers having hit form in recent weeks and the brilliant and big-hitting Inzamam always a constant danger.

The dazzling all-rounder Abdul Razzaq (22) went to the same combination of Stewart and Caddick with a shot that was not dissimilar to Inzamam's and after 18 overs of the innings, the Pakistanis were in deep trouble.

But the removal of Caddick and Gough from the attack signalled easier times and when the umpires offered the batsmen bad light at 5.45pm, any further play looking unlikely, the tourists were back on song but by no means out of danger.

Hussain could only watch the proceedings from the balcony, nursing his broken thumb. Alec Stewart took over the role at Lord's, but the selectors will keep their options open for the Second Test at Old Trafford.

Hussain had resumed the day with his score on 53 but his partnership with nightwatchman Sidebottom lasted just another 13 balls before the shaggy-topped Yorkshireman was caught at first slip off Wasim Akram without adding to his overnight total.

Alec Stewart launched immediately into a run fest, getting off the mark with a well timed pull through mid-wicket for four. His aggression was met head on by Shoaib who responded with a series of bouncers aimed at the batsmen's head and body.

While his tactics failed to break up the partnership, it unnerved Hussain who was struck hard on the hand by a short pitched delivery and within a couple of overs his wicket had been snapped by Azhar Mahmood, Pakistan's most successful bowler.

Stewart and Hussain added 53 for the sixth wicket but the seventh wicket fell four overs later when Stewart on 44 was plumb lbw to Shoaib, who had made a rapid recovery after falling awkwardly on his ankle.

In the post-lunch session, England's tailenders fought bravely to boost the total with Ian Ward, the Surrey batsman and England debutant, making an encouraging first impression with a solid and steady contribution of 39 from 81 balls.

When he mistimed a pull shot off Waqar Younis that eventually fell into the hands of Abdur Razzaq at mid-wicket, England were nine runs short of 400 but 21 runs ahead of their record total against Pakistan at Lord's.