PCB XI v England XI, Tour match, Dubai, 1st day January 11, 2012

Cook stars after another England batting wobble

ESPNcricinfo staff
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PCB XI 23 for 0 trail England 269 for 9 dec (Cook 133, Shah 5 for 76) by 246 runs
Scorecard

Alastair Cook carried his form of last year into 2012 with the first century of England's UAE tour. Cook's 133 was a vital knock as five wickets for Yasir Shah restricted England on the opening day of their final warm-up match in Dubai.

Shah's legspin removed England's middle order as Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan recorded further low scores. England were reduced to 121 for 5 before Matt Prior made 46 from 57 balls. Graeme Swann's 24 also helped England to a competitive total.

But England were indebted to Cook's 36th first-class hundred. In 2011 he scored 927 Test runs at 84.27 and, after 76 in the first-innings against an ICC Combined XI, he continued in that vein, marshalling England after Mohammad Talha had reduced them to 14 for 2. Captain Andrew Strauss was caught behind for 3 before Jonathan Trott fell leg before for a third-ball duck. Ian Bell was also dismissed for a duck - part of Shah's haul of 5 for 76.

The legspin of Shah removed England's middle order. Kevin Pietersen, who took 10 balls to get off the mark, had got England moving with five fours in his 38 but he was bowled in the first over after lunch having shared a stand of 83 with Cook. Bell was then trapped leg before second ball and Shah also removed Morgan, whose 11 was his third failure of the tour after 1 and 3 against the ICC XI.

With England in trouble, Prior got a partnership going with Cook and the pair added 90. Cook, who was dropped twice in the second half of his innings, went past 50 from 92 balls while Prior was his breezy self, striking seven fours before Tahla returned to have him caught behind.

Swann, who underwent a scan on his quadriceps after the first warm-up match, played a useful part in making 24 as he and Cook put on 46. But when Swann fell caught behind off Shah, England's innings came swiftly to an end. Shah completed his five-for by having Graham Onions caught before Cook edged behind off Tahla and England declared.

There was time for eight overs of the PCB XI innings and Onions, playing the first time for England since January 2010 against South Africa, took the new ball. He conceded 13 in his three overs. Chris Tremlett, having recovered from his eye infection, sent down two overs and there was also time for a brief appearance from Swann and Monty Panesar.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 5wombats on January 12, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    @Asghar Maqsood on (January 11 2012, 22:38 PM GMT) - quality post; like it! Although we only talk Test match here wombats have bad bad memory of 1992. Another reason why Barmy Army keeps quiet about Pakistan - we got Khaned too many times! OMG just thinking about Imran in that WC Final gives wombats collywobbles. We can still see his face as Illingworth walks away... oh dear.

  • on January 12, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    @jmcilhinney i think the team must have read your post.....

  • wnwn on January 12, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    Surely Monty Panesar will play the first test after this performance. I think he will be a very dangerous bowler for England because he has troubled the Pakistan batsmen in the past, especially Younis Khan. Pakistan will probably have 10 right handed batsmen in the first test so his ability to spin the ball away from them will be invaluable.

  • on January 12, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    @yorkshirematt the sky blues are singing way to early lol back to the cricket though i dont think english fans rather the english media over hypes but thats almost with every sport in england i still waiting for the hype at wimbledon!

  • SirViv1973 on January 12, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    An encouraging day from England's point of view. Good to see Monty pick up fivefor but slightly dissapointed Swann didn't pick up more wickets on a pitch which appeared to be offering a bit for the spinners. I don't think Eng will really be looking to win this game tomorrow I think it's more important that the middle order get some time in the middle, if Morgan fails again I will be getting very concerned about him.

  • RandyOZ on January 12, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Onions was terrible, went at almost double anyone else. Depth not looking so great after all.

  • RandyOZ on January 12, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    We all thought Gilly had ended Monty's career but somehow he is back and looking far, far more effective than Swann, not that that's difficult.

  • bob.bee22210 on January 12, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    Sorry jmcilhinney my history lesson was meant for @Elliott_Tree

  • bob.bee22210 on January 12, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    @jmcilhinney-FWI James Cook was born on 27 October 1728 in Marton in North Yorkshire, now part of Middlesbrough, England. He died in the Sandwich islands (now Hawaii) on 14 February 1779. Cook reached the south-eastern coast of the Australian continent on 19 April 1770, and in doing so his expedition became the first recorded Europeans to have encountered its eastern coastline.[NB 2] On 23 April he made his first recorded direct observation of indigenous Australians at Brush Island near Bawley Point, noting in his journal: "...and were so near the Shore as to distinguish several people upon the Sea beach they appear'd to be of a very dark or black Colour but whether this was the real colour of their skins or the C[l]othes they might have on I know not."[18] On 29 April Cook and crew made their first landfall on the mainland of the continent at a place now known as the Kurnell Peninsula, which he named Botany Bay after the unique specimens retrieved by the botanists Joseph Banks

  • 200ondebut on January 12, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    It's a bit worrying that once again we haven't been bale to finish off a side - 118 for 8 to 200 for 9 is not good and happens too often for my liking. Hopefully it is not an attitude issue.

  • 5wombats on January 12, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    @Asghar Maqsood on (January 11 2012, 22:38 PM GMT) - quality post; like it! Although we only talk Test match here wombats have bad bad memory of 1992. Another reason why Barmy Army keeps quiet about Pakistan - we got Khaned too many times! OMG just thinking about Imran in that WC Final gives wombats collywobbles. We can still see his face as Illingworth walks away... oh dear.

  • on January 12, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    @jmcilhinney i think the team must have read your post.....

  • wnwn on January 12, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    Surely Monty Panesar will play the first test after this performance. I think he will be a very dangerous bowler for England because he has troubled the Pakistan batsmen in the past, especially Younis Khan. Pakistan will probably have 10 right handed batsmen in the first test so his ability to spin the ball away from them will be invaluable.

  • on January 12, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    @yorkshirematt the sky blues are singing way to early lol back to the cricket though i dont think english fans rather the english media over hypes but thats almost with every sport in england i still waiting for the hype at wimbledon!

  • SirViv1973 on January 12, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    An encouraging day from England's point of view. Good to see Monty pick up fivefor but slightly dissapointed Swann didn't pick up more wickets on a pitch which appeared to be offering a bit for the spinners. I don't think Eng will really be looking to win this game tomorrow I think it's more important that the middle order get some time in the middle, if Morgan fails again I will be getting very concerned about him.

  • RandyOZ on January 12, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Onions was terrible, went at almost double anyone else. Depth not looking so great after all.

  • RandyOZ on January 12, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    We all thought Gilly had ended Monty's career but somehow he is back and looking far, far more effective than Swann, not that that's difficult.

  • bob.bee22210 on January 12, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    Sorry jmcilhinney my history lesson was meant for @Elliott_Tree

  • bob.bee22210 on January 12, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    @jmcilhinney-FWI James Cook was born on 27 October 1728 in Marton in North Yorkshire, now part of Middlesbrough, England. He died in the Sandwich islands (now Hawaii) on 14 February 1779. Cook reached the south-eastern coast of the Australian continent on 19 April 1770, and in doing so his expedition became the first recorded Europeans to have encountered its eastern coastline.[NB 2] On 23 April he made his first recorded direct observation of indigenous Australians at Brush Island near Bawley Point, noting in his journal: "...and were so near the Shore as to distinguish several people upon the Sea beach they appear'd to be of a very dark or black Colour but whether this was the real colour of their skins or the C[l]othes they might have on I know not."[18] On 29 April Cook and crew made their first landfall on the mainland of the continent at a place now known as the Kurnell Peninsula, which he named Botany Bay after the unique specimens retrieved by the botanists Joseph Banks

  • 200ondebut on January 12, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    It's a bit worrying that once again we haven't been bale to finish off a side - 118 for 8 to 200 for 9 is not good and happens too often for my liking. Hopefully it is not an attitude issue.

  • on January 12, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    @ Zahidsaltin ... i agree with u that certain players in this PCB XI are better that the main pak team, e.g. Talha, Yasir, Shafaraz . But not all. Also i dont agree that if england can beat this PCB XI , then they can beat pak. because all the better batsmen are in Pak team also Ajmal and A.Rehman have not played this game. However, i feal the two paces should be Junaid and Talha/cheama and not Gul and Riaz.

  • on January 12, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    In a practice match like this one if Yasir and Talha can do so well against the english team, it shows their weakness in the subcontinent like conditions and pitch. Pak have to just hold on to their catches and this english team will find it difficult against this Pak team.

  • RandyOZ on January 12, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    England are in deep, deep trouble against Pakistan. They are seriously struggling already. Very worrying time for the United XI. Bell and Strauss are shocking against spin, any youtube video with them facing Warne will show you that,

  • AlanHarrison on January 12, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    @JG2704: I also would like to see 5 bowlers, especially with Mony having bowled well, upping the pressure for two spinners. However, I can't see it happening under the current England management. That would be my issue with the current England management, not any suggestion that Andy Flower is a glory-hogger. @hstrawson: I think you'll find the comment with which you take issue was ironic

  • matchfixerpkn on January 12, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    if pakstian looses series to england in sub continet..it will be biggest shame to them..they always criticised india and srilanka fro loosing in australian and sauth african pitch.. not at least let them win in in subcontinent..indian already beat england 5-0 in india... if pakistna loose series to england ..its better for them to play only agaisnt heir friendly team bangla where they can win as accrodingly (:

  • YorkshirePudding on January 12, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    @HatsforBats, Im sure the aussies will be back to form in 2013, especially on home turf, and a lot is going to depend on the confidence/aura that this England side generates over the next 12-14 months. Much like the aura that Australia had from 96-2007/8, and the WI's during the 76-90 period.

  • on January 12, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    PEOPLE ARE ASKING WHY OMMIT FAWAD ALAM N SARFARAZ AHMAD ....... NOW YOU CAN SEE WHY ????????????

  • on January 12, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    @me54321 - I'm not so sure. England have said they want to win every game - and so far they are putting themselves in that position. No point trying to score an attritional 500 in a 3 day game. Plus the two England spinners are taking just as many wickets - the Pakistan batsmen aren't exactly shining against our "weak" spinners are they....

  • Elliott_Tree on January 12, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Forget Ajmal - Monty's in town! (I am joking - just based on his three wickets so far today). Seriously, though - does anyone think he'll get a bowl in the first Test? I don't believe they'll drop Swann (and don't think they should), even if Monty has an absolute stormer in this game. Would people agree this is the first serious test of selection flexibility (in the two-spinners in a Test match question) in the post-Flintoff era?

  • Valavan on January 12, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Oh god, why so many comments from both english and Pak fans here. Pakistan insisted not to give batting practice to england, so they made a turner, its one of the home team strategy, Did anyone see the score now, PCBXI is 111 for 7, ye guys dont overhyper ajmal (similarly many asian bowlers are hyped so ), sometime he may also prove ineffective, If Pak fans think their pacemen can get wickets but not the english pacemen, that means they do not know much about english bowling, Warm up matches doesnt constitute to real games, well India performed good in warm ups, what happened now, same way one warmup match cannot be a yardstick to measure english line up for 15 days. just watch the game, but for all ENGLAND haters, you talk here, ENGLAND will do the talking in the Ground, You need 11 players to play as a team and win. ONE AJMAL cant do it himself. Goodluck Pakistan and England. cricinfo please publish.

  • Meety on January 12, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Funnily enough England may be able to enforce the follow on (119).

  • Elliott_Tree on January 12, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Nice to see Onions, Tremlett and Panesar in the wickets, though Onions a bit expensive (rusty?). I know Zahidsaltin said the PCB XI is a good side - what is the general Pak verdict on the batting strength compared to the Test side?

  • Elliott_Tree on January 12, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    @hstrawson: apologies, I do know my history better than that and was merely being daft - RandyOZ just cracks me up and I'm a sucker for a cheap pun-type-word-gag

  • jonesy2 on January 12, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    if england win a test match with their mediocre journeyman bowlers and snail paced, one dimentional batsmen then i will be very surprised. if these practice watches are anything to go by they are going to have a tough time.

  • Elliott_Tree on January 12, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    @ HatsforBats: it will be sterner (unless Pak implode/fall apart for some reason, which looks relatively unlikely on recent form). Pak have the bowlers to really trouble a side, unlike Aus last year. Look forward to watching the current crop of Aus bowlers develop, though.

  • jmcilhinney on January 12, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    I think that we can safely assume that Cook's still got it so I say open in the second innings with Strauss and Trott, Bell at 3, followed by Morgan and then Pietersen. Do all possible to ensure that those who need the time in the middle get it.

  • YorkshirePudding on January 12, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    @khan1983, I doubt the Barmy Army is saying anything other than its a tough series, or at least the real Barmy Army NOT the ones that only joined because it was fashionable. Most of the England fans I know personally (myself included), know that this year is a tough year, it always is when touring in alien conditions.....As for the 'new' England Ethics of win every game, isnt this what every team in every sport aims to do? surely every team tries to win each game it plays otherwise whats the point of playing if you go in with just doing enough to get a draw you will end up losing.

  • on January 12, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    I am Pakistani but to be very honest, England will be hard nut to crack. Pakistan has edge only in spin department but then UAE pitches are not genuinely spinners paradise, ball turns slowly and English batsmen are quite adept for that. We know Saeed Ajmal for attacking style and Abdur Rehman for his accuracy and consistency but Muhammad Hafeez is also very effective, sometime more harmful than his both specialist colleagues, D. Smith will endorse it. English fast bowling is more than strong and very very efficient while Pakistani top order is vulnerable against good out swinger, a lethal weapon of Anderson who used it in England against same team last year. Swan has proved himself destructive off spinner and he was hard to handle even in English conditions. BUT England definitely has better fielding capability which can win them matches. Pakistan lost against Sri Lanka, Australia and England and almost did the same New Zealand, Only because of Catches dropped at vital occasions.

  • AmjadZork on January 12, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    I think Yasir Shah is the new prospect for Pakistan & i guess he will be able to replace Ajmal in the upcoming years !!!!

  • Ahsan_Shere on January 12, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Eye brows raised!! This lad can't take English wickets so easily as he did yesterday. Some tactics from Englishmen, there were talks of no leg spinners in Pakistan squad & the fact that English players are not good against leg-spin. They want Pakistan to take a decision of not playing Abdur Rahman, instead play Yasir Shah or probably call Denish Kaneria. I Hope management won't move this way.

  • satish619chandar on January 12, 2012, 3:58 GMT

    Bring on spin and let us see the mettle of the No.1 team.. While a No.1 team in subcontinent had to prove their mettle(Which they are faring very badly when the conditions aid the home team to the maximum), why not the others prove it in our forte? Spin and fast bowling are two eyes of bowling.. By saying one eye is the one which offers vision, some nations are just killing the other eye.. Pay attention to both eyes..

  • jmcilhinney on January 12, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    @me54321, I don't go for the "it's just a warm up" line either in so far as to say that they don't matter, but their purpose is not specifically to win but rather to use the time to better enable oneself to prepare to perform when the real games come around. No matter what people say, they're pretty much never going to manage the same intensity in such a match. The most important thing is that, if mistakes are made, those mistakes are learned from and avoided being made again. If, for instance, Morgan recognises what he has done wrong to get out in these warmups and avoids repeating the same mistake(s) in the test matches then the warmups have been a success. I think that that illustrates why too much importance is placed on the actual result of the warmups, while the warmups themselves are important.

  • yorkshirematt on January 12, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    Yep. I agree with 5 wombats. I don't know what was said on switch hit but the media men I trust are from Sky and BBC (Aggers, Bumble, Gower etc) and they have not been going over the top, same with most fans. We're savouring the team's success but not getting carried away because we.ve been through some tough times. Unlike some previously average football team's fans who seem to find themselves top of the premier league at the moment (not naming any names but they're from across the "border" and play in sky blue). And yes we all remember what happened straight after our last successful period in 2005 when we went to Pakistan.

  • Zahidsaltin on January 12, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    If England can win this PCB XI then they surely can beat Paksitan. I personally think that this PCB XI can beat Pakistan. This is the upcoming talent.

  • Gizza on January 12, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    To be perfectly honest, this series will be bit of an unknown. Pakistan haven't played a side ranked 6th or above in quite some time now. They obviously have quite a few new exciting bowlers and some of their established batsmen are in a run of form. But ultimately it is too hard to say which team will win. The only reason why I think (though not too confidently) Pakistan will probably narrowly defeat England is because of the pitch advantage, weather and support from the crowd. The thing is, either team can also be whitewashed such is the uncertainty. Although England will need Cook, Pietersen, Trott and Prior to score everything because Strauss will be useless and Bell will get out his purple patch form and become mediocre again.

  • allblue on January 12, 2012, 0:15 GMT

    @JG2704 Not overstepping at all mate! The thing is Bopara came in for Trott when he got injured - Bell went to 3, Morgan to 5 and Bopara at 6. Morgan's injury came after the last Test match, so it's actually Trott back in for Bopara. And don't forget Morgan got a ton two (Test) innings ago so I reckon his place is safe for a while yet. With the bowlers, Bresnan came in for Tremlett, so a strict next-off-the-rank policy would see him back in here, but I'm not sure they are as firm with that policy for the bowlers because a) there's more of them and b) with 15 Tests this year they'll probably rotate a bit anyway. It may well be which of the two looks to be bowling better right now who gets the nod.

  • HatsforBats on January 12, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    @ 5wombats; hopefully this is a much sterner test than what we gave you in Australia. Maybe next time we'll put up a fight.

  • RasCric on January 11, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    I am so glad to see both english and pakistani fans respecting each other and wanting a good contest. I am sick of indian fans beating about their team going to win 4-0 and then pile up lame excuses when it is the other way around. Always respect your opponent. If you beat them, praise them for their fiight, if you lose, priase for their superior game. Keep up the good spirit!

  • landl47 on January 11, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    I'm not surprised, though a bit disappointed, at some of the strange comments here. The purpose of warm-up games is to give the team some practice in real situations. That's why England plays the games to win. However, the importance of winning is less than the importance of getting in some good preparation for the real thing. By that standard, the two warm-up games have been fairly successful. All the batsmen except Morgan have had innings of at least 35, which means a good hour or more at the crease. Broad and Anderson, leaders of the attack, had a good work-out against the ICC XI and the other bowlers have a chance now. England have tried to score at a competitive rate, which has no doubt cost some wickets. We'll see tomorrow whether England's score is good, bad or awful, but against the ICC XI England declared 90-odd runs behind and still won. I'm sure England are taking these tests very seriously indeed and rate Pakistan very highly as an opponent.

  • Aura123 on January 11, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    its just a warm up game but good sign for Pak spinners. If Pak batting click then i think Pak will have good chance of drawing and even wining the series but they have to work really hard against the best test team (England) in the world. it will be very close series can't wait. Come on Pak

  • me54321 on January 11, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    Getting a touch worried about things now, and I can't agree with "it's just a warm up" line, as the England leadership has made a point of expressing the importance of warm up matches, and the need to approach them like the real thing. Not a fan of Morgan I have to say, as apart from I think his debut match against Pakistan I don't think he's come close to delivering even once when it's been really needed. Then again Bopara hasn't exactly taken his chances either.

  • on January 11, 2012, 22:53 GMT

    @explorer76 we had the worldchampions tag in 92 which still makes the hairs on the back of my head stand up lol and before anyone reponds i know this was ages ago... but agree with what you are saying mate!

  • Patchmaster on January 11, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    Can anyone tell me why there is a trend (when a half century or century has been reached) to 'raise the bat' by holding it on the shoulder, like Flintoff did for a while. I notice that even Cook is doing it now - it looks so stupid.

  • on January 11, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    @5wombats as a pakistani fan i totally agree that most england fans dont lay tall claims especially the most common ones that come on here. hopefully you will see most of the pakistan fans talking about improvements to the pakistan team rather than trash talk or unjustified optimism... one thing you can say about the england team though is they know who there best 11 is whereas in pakistan sometimes its almost as if your face fits in fact i dont think we have had the same 11 playing in all the series we played in the last 2 years... where i think england succeeded in the past was sticking with people who they knew had class.... if pakistan were to do this with the talent they have could become very good over the next few years...

  • explorer76 on January 11, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    There are always a few people who get over-excited :) but I think most pakistani fans are in a realistic frame of mind. Unlike india or england, Pakistan hasn't had a "#1", or "World champions" tag to be pompous about. And we know that we are up against a strong team. But at the same time Pakistan has been playing fairly consistent cricket and the conditions in UAE suit sub-continent teams so we know that Pakistan can beat England. Lets hope it is a good well-contested series and not a one-sided affair. As for the warmup games, I don't think anyone will take them very seriously. However psychologically it is still good for us. It will add a little bit extra belief to Pakistan team's confidence that they can take down this batting lineup if they apply themselves.

  • 5wombats on January 11, 2012, 22:06 GMT

    @Khan1983 - no I haven't heard that Switch Hit. Look - that might be them, up there in their big important offices (they are trying to make hype to get people to look at them), but it isn't us normal England followers here on the conversations. We can't help it if that's the way they sound. We just do not sense any arrogance at all from normal England fans who post here. After what happened in 2005 we know that even a (good) England team that beat Australia can get licked by Pakistan! We have seen plenty of arrogance from fans of other countries lately (you know who...:-)) - and look where it got them! So, no - there will be no arrogance or big talk from England fans. This series will be the biggest challenge for England since taking on Australia in Australia; THAT is how seriously we rate Pakistan. Keepin it real!

  • bobmartin on January 11, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    @haq33.... I don't where you got this "most of the Barmy Army reps" from . Judging by the names of the posters on here at the moment of writing, about 90% are of Pakistani or at least Asian origin...Of such as the percieved Occidentally named posters, very very few are predicting anything because the majority of us, having suffered years of disappointments. know better, We much prefer to let the opposition make all the claims... and then if it all goes pear-shaped it makes our victory all the sweeter, just as it did against Australia and India.

  • JG2704 on January 11, 2012, 21:04 GMT

    @jackiethepen on (January 11 2012, 13:57 PM GMT) - Disagree re Flower , he is very much a background man. When he won the BBC coach of the year he really did seem shy of the limelight.

  • JG2704 on January 11, 2012, 21:04 GMT

    @allblue on (January 11 2012, 16:07 PM GMT) - Hope you don't feel that I'm overstepping by responding to a post at another person. I've said this before but when a bowler gets injured (Tremlett for example) he doesn't automatically get back in when he is fit again. Has Morgan done sufficiently more than Bopara to deserve the spot above Bopara bearing in mind what Morgan did before he got injured and what Bopara did since considering Bopara is the man in possession?

  • JG2704 on January 11, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (January 11 2012, 13:43 PM GMT) - Or go for an extra bowler who IMHO would gain England more by reducing the Pak totals by more than an extra batsman would increase our total. I know they're not likely to do this and people will disagree with me but I'm sticking with it. Would liked to have seen Ravi get a chance but I guess with only 2 warm up games and a maximum of 4 inns they have to back Morgan because if Ravi was picked and failed then Morgan (if they go with him) will have had 2 less inns to get adjusted. Ideally Bell or KP or Trott would have found their feet straight away and it might have given Eng the opportunity to look at both Ravi and Eoin in the same side playing in the same conds. The fact that only Cook and Strauss have even scored 50s do not look good at this point.Still a long way to go

  • on January 11, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    teams do take time to adjust to conditions totally different from what they encounter playing on their home turf.so there's not a lot one can read into england's apparently dismal performance with the bat.Pakistan is expected to win the odi and t20 series but the tests will be fiercely contested.Pakistan should have mulled talha for the test series though.a side game cannot be compared to the pressures and rigors of a test match.Pakistan will have to be on the money with bat,ball and in the field to win.

  • safwan_Umair on January 11, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    As an ardent Pakistani fan i would dearly want my team to win the upcoming test series. Realistically though this will be our toughest test since the wretched tour to England in 2010. We need to ensure that all the hard work and progress made in the last 12 months is not undone in a jiffy. The key would be to retain the focus and bat for long periods of time. a 0-0 draw is better then a 2-0 defeat. Go Team Pakistan!

  • haq33 on January 11, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    @ bobmartin......actually it's the English fans slipping into Indian Supporter Mode (ISM)......most of the barmy army reps here are saying "don't worry, it's just a warm up match, can't read anything into a warm-up match etc". Indians were touting the same false reassurances prior to the England test matches and prior to the Aus test matches. Sorry but warm-ups are important and any serious English fan will now start to ask questions about how England are dealing with subcontinental spin. There is even an argument for England to play 2 spinners I would say. Likewise, I sincerely hope Pakistan play Rehman AND Ajmal, to be bolstered further by Hafeez. Pietersen, Strauss and Morgan are the weak links to target due to their often wildly fluctuating form.

  • Khan1983 on January 11, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    @5wombats. Mate! Have you listened to 'Switch Hit' on 10th jan, by Jonathan Harris-Bass, George Dobell and Andrew McGlashan! Pompousness and colonial mentality just ooz out of it.They are supposed to be experts, what can we expect from enthusiasts from the Barmy army here. I understand the years of torment you ve had like from ever,but Matey arrogance will get you no where esp if a team lacks the skill needed to match their numerical superiority.England is a good team who gelled well in home condition (I hope I am nt inviting the wrath and Maths of our personal stat guru SirViv ;)

  • Mr_Mohsin on January 11, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    Usman Salahuddin is high run getter in DIVISION 2 (not in division I), why Sarfraz captaining the team? if they not considered him for test???? Hasan Raza should be in for Usman Salahuddin.. Sadaf Hussain in place of Khalil and that will be better side than Pakistan team :) Even this side is still good than Pakistan team (Except Saeed Ajmal and Azhar Ali).

  • Nutcutlet on January 11, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    @jackiethepen: Good to see that you too have noticed that there is no analysis whatsoever of the day's play. I keep on reporting this deficiency but my comment never sees the light of day. And if anyone says, could you do better? - then, be sure, I have my answer ready! That apart, I must take issue with you over Andy Flower. He is, as many other correspondents have noted, modest, honest and morally courageous when required (recall his stance against the vicious Mugabe regime a few years ago?) He is, quite simply, the best manager England has ever had and this opinion is universally embraced. Whether Gooch, who played the quicks well but saw little quality spin in his era, is the best batting coach for THIS tour, is another debate. I don't think he is, but I would be delighted to be proved wrong! Cricinfo pls publish!

  • 5wombats on January 11, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    @Khan1983 on (January 11 2012, 17:06 PM GMT) again, your comment seems out of place. There isn't any pompousness here at all. None. England supporters are very (very!) long-suffering. We know our team is not finished article - that's why there is no big talk from England fans; We are realists. We remember 2005! Only hard work and real skill will be enough in these conditions away from England. This is warm up game - nothing more. Not too much to say.

  • on January 11, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    Cook's 133 somehow dragged England to score 269 for 9 after they were 121 for 5. the 19 years old 'shah' took 5 for and went through the middle order easily. if Pak can hold onto their catches nd keep the field tight i am sure they won't even need the miracles(the teesra) of Ajmal.

  • on January 11, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    hafeez has taken 90% of his wickets against left handed batsman .

    So it will be great to watch how cook deals against him.

  • on January 11, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    PCB XI & Afaq Rahim, Good luck.......

  • bobmartin on January 11, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    Aha... I see some Pakistan supporters are slipping into ISM... Indian Supporter Mode.. and predicting an England loss even before a single ball is bowled in anger.. C'mon guys, these warm up games are no more than glorified net practice... so let's not count too many chickens before they hatch. You could wind up looking as stupid as the Indian supporters did after their disastrous predictions about England's chances of winning during India's tour last summer.

  • sirvivfan on January 11, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Good performance from the youngsters Talha and Shah..... Once again there bowling depth. Let's see how the batters do..... I hope they can bat for 120 overs..... In this innings.... That would be mission accomplished. From Englands viewpoint this just warm no too much can be taken from these games. I don't know who is writing this commentary no insight as to how these guys have bowled and the prevailing conditions etc. I suspect I know the origins!

  • on January 11, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    These warm up matches mean nothing, Many of the players arent as determined or need the pressure of a proper match to perform. I am waiting for the tests to start and I hope pakistan win but I dont think we should judge england on a few practise matches.

  • hstrawson on January 11, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    @Elliott_Tree even if your ridiculous comment about Cook and Captain Cook were true, it might interest you to know that Captain was, in fact, British - not Australian (he was the first European to make contact with Eastern coast of oz)

  • Khan1983 on January 11, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Excuse my last entry with my iPhone dropping words like Kamran Akmal drops catches. And yes he isn't there too , to hand in a test of two.

  • spence1324 on January 11, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    @jackiethepen,calm down mate its just a warm up game,yes englands batting so for is a slight concern but remember these guys have been knocking out double hundreds for fun at the moment and you know mr flower is not a man to let any one slack off.

  • on January 11, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Cook, The "OBVIOUSLY" man, (watch his interviews, he'll say obviously after every second word), did good, but all you on here that are saying spin will not harm England will have seen a 19 year old rookie to international cricket, run through the England line up with 5 wickets. Ajmal will destroy this England batting. I just hope England coaches have a brilliant speech prepared as to why England failed in the UAE. There is no way Pakistan will lose this, they will either win or win handsomely. I know where my votes going. Cricinfo please publish

  • Desihungama on January 11, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    @ Stark62 - I second that comment. Nasir Jamshed should have been opening for Pakistan in ODI's and Twenty20. He was far superior batsman than Farhat or Kamran Akmal. His only issue is he is somewhat injury prone. I hope he is aware of it works hard to stay fit. On the other note, as thought this English team seem to succumb to spin bowling.

  • on January 11, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    Now Now Now! where would the mighty England stands after the supposed Pakistani minnows draw their first blood while staging a quite impressive show when the big guns of English batting with the exception of Cook nose dived against the pakistani bowling line up. the trailer is enough to predict about the looming large English debacle....i agree English team would come stronger if the read the local conditions well but the real test rests ahead when they actually face the seniors of Pakistani cricket team

  • Khan1983 on January 11, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    Now that the pompous tone of Barmy army is sufficiently turned to more down to earth,let's inspect English team's positives.i will have to say Prior's innings.cook rode high on luck & old butter finger habits of Pakistanis. their supposed stalwarts in middle order with no clue which way ball's turning and succumbing to fringe bowlers of Pakistan,it's their vaunted bowling attack's turn to learn a lesson or two, in conditions where elements don't help u,rather it's ur skills. I read new English game ethics are to win every game.and did I say England will b playing wid 11 players rather than 14 (butt,amir and asif being not their to hand centuries to the likes of Broad ;)

  • shillingsworth on January 11, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    @jackiethepen - I don't recall Flower ever claiming personal credit for England victories. When did he say this and what specifically did he say?

  • on January 11, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    @ SaudAliPk .. agreed. Pak have to hold on to their catches if they are to perform well against england. not more is required. nothing special is required. the young boys Talha and Yasir have how easily the English team can be tamed outside to English conditions and pitches. Also Misbah is right the english team is yet to prove their credential in subcontinent or subcontinent like conditions.

  • on January 11, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    after today's performance Talha has definitely raised a claim in the national side in the test matches. he has been kept on the fringes for too long like Cheema. these boys deserve to be given a fair chance early on in their careers.

  • SaudAliPk on January 11, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    @ Stark62. Usman Salauddin has been among highest run scorers for last 2 domestic tournament.He is an excellent batsman.Whereas , i agree with you on nasir jhamshaid. He should be in ODI team. And Also imran farhat is worst opening batsman produced in the history of cricket.He cant catch , cant throw, cant chase, cant defend, cant attack etc.

    This selection committee should be replaced immediately.

  • on January 11, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    @Stark62

    Usman Salahuddin is not selected because of his relationships. He is top scorer of QA Div 2 trophy this season. He was also top scorer of last season.

  • allblue on January 11, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    @jmcilhinney I don't agree with your thought that Morgan's place might be in doubt if he fails in the second innings here. The watchword these days is 'continuity' and you have to go back to the home Ashes in 2009 to find a batsman being dropped (Bopara). Other than Carberry standing in for Strauss in Bangladesh, a player has only got in the top six through injury or retirement. Even if Morgan failed twice in the 1st Test I'm sure he would keep his place for the second, and let's face it, the jury is still out on Ravi's Test credentials. But for Bresnan's injury, I think they would have played the same team as the 3rd Test against India, including Ravi as twelfth man. The choice of pacemen was interesting, does it mean Tremlett is being given a chance to stake a claim for Bresnan's spot, or does it mean that by not playing here Finn is already picked for Tuesday?

  • AlanHarrison on January 11, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney: if Morgan continues to struggle I would hope that England might consider going into the test with five bowlers (including two spinners) but I don't think it's going to happen. @ jackiethepen: I think you are being a bit unfair about Flower only taking credit when things go well, and none of the blame when things go badly. From memory he stood up and took his fair share of the blame when England lost the ODI series 5-0 in India.

  • Aragorn_11 on January 11, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    I think England should definitely be worried about 3 innings on subcontinent wickets and not one team total about 300, very disappointing in "batting friendly conditions"...also #1 test team in the world should be finding the Pakistan 2nd team easy, they're on #5 in the world....and that's their 2nd team!!!! On a positive note, Indian batsmen played amazing in the warm up matches in Australia, and you can see what they've done since then....lets hope....or else Pakistan might be rolling over England...I think its true, that at this moment in time, there is no dominant force in world cricket, everyone is strong at home and weak away, unless subcontinent teams play each other...

  • bumsonseats on January 11, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    jackie you must see the worst in the england coach, as i see him, in the back ground in englands win/lose. he is the most un-assuming coach in world cricket. and with the england sucess that is most refreshing. as for gooch it will not be the 1st time a fellow team mate has been given a behind the scenes job as he can see the best and worst in him. is gooch the best batting coach from within england i cannot think of a better one. his credentials are better than most. and all the batters seem comfortable with him. dpk

  • Aragorn_11 on January 11, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney - South African pitches are a lot more bowler friendly then UAE pitches, England should be disappointed with a 3rd innings on the trot with no substantial 400+ score in subcontinent

  • on January 11, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    @ Elliott_Tree: that is hilarious! hahahaha!

  • on January 11, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    What is really the reason behind the animosity for Mohsin Khan? He has done well in his selection role by bringing in new talent and his short stint as manager has gone as well as it could have. I like his ethos: don't mess around with something that isn't seemingly broken. And none of the commentators making these ignorant comments against him have made a double century at Lords! Nasir Jamshed had his chances and will no doubt have them in future too! That is the reason why he is playing against England for the PCB XI. Give it a rest please, you sound repetitive and boring!

  • on January 11, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    Good performance by Cook, Prior, Talha and Shah. Cook is obviously in very good nick and will be the guy I believe Pak would hope to remove early as he can get big scores. Prior is also dangerous down the order and can get quick runs along with Broad and Swan. I wouldn't read too much into warm up games as we should wait for the real test but it is good to see two guys putting pressure on selectors to be picked up for the test. England is quite settled and so is Pakistan which makes it hard for Shah or Talha to be realistically in contention for the first test. However it is good to know that there is still more talent we can rely on. Looking forward to a good clean series hopefully.

  • Elliott_Tree on January 11, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (January 11 2012, 13:49 PM GMT): Also, I think you'll find that Alastair Cook is closely related to Captain Cook, and therefore is effectively Australian and another clear example of 'United XI' poaching talent from across the globe...

  • SaudAliPk on January 11, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    I think England will really struggle against spin attack of Pak test team. If pak can hold on to catches i predict pak wining test series comfortably.

    Well really good performance by yasir shah & Talha. Hoping Pak-A will score more runs than england side. As on these pitches england seamers aren't that affective.

  • on January 11, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    that was a decent knock for Cook jusr where he left off and pietersen spent a little time in the middle. this was a pretty decent side pakistan has feilded out. yasir was involved in the hong kong sixes and can bat abit the PCB xi bowlers looked good and hopefully will create some pressure for the likes of cheema and rehman felt sorry for talha deseved a 5er...

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 11, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    The yooung boys Yasir and Talha have definitely made their presence felt. Good to have a fifer against a top side, albeit in a practice match. i though Talha was also impressive, had england not declared, even he was in line for a fifer as the last man had to face 5 deliveries from him. any way well done boys.

  • jackiethepen on January 11, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    Any chance of any analysis? What's the pitch like? How good was Shah? England lucky that Cook is in good form. But one player is not enough. Hope there is not a malaise in the camp similar to the malaise that gripped the England one day side in India. Can't say I believe that Gooch is the best batting coach around, think it is more of a best pals' act, another Essex mate for Flower. As for Flower has he really got the answers when England don't perform????? He seems to take all the praise when they win, will he accept the blame when they falter?

  • pauliangenius on January 11, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    England will behave differently when they face Pakistan. So Pakistan should not be in a fancy world seeing English bating failure in warm up games. after all, they are doing nothing more than warming up!!!!

  • on January 11, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Lets see how England performs here in the UAE. I still believe Ajmal will be and is the biggest threat. Without superstars, Pakistani team looks more dangerous and conquering.

  • jmcilhinney on January 11, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    No doubt RandyOz will be along to inform us how pathetic a display this is from England. He'll neglect to mention, or probably even remember, that Australia were bowled out for 236 in the first innings against South Africa A in their recent tour game. Of course, they were also bowled out for 47 in the subsequent test match, so we probably shouldn't use them as a bench mark.

  • Stark62 on January 11, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    This PCB 11 team looks good but I would have replaced Salahudin (only in there because of relationship) and Khalil with Naved Yasin and Sadaf Hussain.

    Yasir and Talha are showing that they are talents to be focused on but I hope Nasir Jamshed gets a century which will be a slap to faces of mohsin, farhat and illyas. His century will clearly prove his far superior to any other opener in Pak but especially farhat.

    On the other side, Cook seems to be scoring runs like it's nothing but I guess getting married might have been the tonic he needed! :D

  • jmcilhinney on January 11, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Not exactly inspiring batting again from England. Great to see Prior hit the ground running and Cook obviously seems to have maintained his form. As for the rest at least most of them have spent some time in the middle over the last three innings. England have painted themselves into a bit of a corner with the #6 spot. They obviously intend to go into the first test with Morgan as they've given him two warmups and Bopara none. What happens if Morgan fails again in the second innings here though? Do they risk picking him for the test after four failures or Bopara with no warmups? Hopefully it won't come to that as everyone will make a 50 in the second innings. I won't be making any assumptions though. I'm not exactly concerned yet but I won't be given to overconfidence either. Good to see that Tremlett was tight and Onions was creating chances.

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  • jmcilhinney on January 11, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Not exactly inspiring batting again from England. Great to see Prior hit the ground running and Cook obviously seems to have maintained his form. As for the rest at least most of them have spent some time in the middle over the last three innings. England have painted themselves into a bit of a corner with the #6 spot. They obviously intend to go into the first test with Morgan as they've given him two warmups and Bopara none. What happens if Morgan fails again in the second innings here though? Do they risk picking him for the test after four failures or Bopara with no warmups? Hopefully it won't come to that as everyone will make a 50 in the second innings. I won't be making any assumptions though. I'm not exactly concerned yet but I won't be given to overconfidence either. Good to see that Tremlett was tight and Onions was creating chances.

  • Stark62 on January 11, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    This PCB 11 team looks good but I would have replaced Salahudin (only in there because of relationship) and Khalil with Naved Yasin and Sadaf Hussain.

    Yasir and Talha are showing that they are talents to be focused on but I hope Nasir Jamshed gets a century which will be a slap to faces of mohsin, farhat and illyas. His century will clearly prove his far superior to any other opener in Pak but especially farhat.

    On the other side, Cook seems to be scoring runs like it's nothing but I guess getting married might have been the tonic he needed! :D

  • jmcilhinney on January 11, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    No doubt RandyOz will be along to inform us how pathetic a display this is from England. He'll neglect to mention, or probably even remember, that Australia were bowled out for 236 in the first innings against South Africa A in their recent tour game. Of course, they were also bowled out for 47 in the subsequent test match, so we probably shouldn't use them as a bench mark.

  • on January 11, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Lets see how England performs here in the UAE. I still believe Ajmal will be and is the biggest threat. Without superstars, Pakistani team looks more dangerous and conquering.

  • pauliangenius on January 11, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    England will behave differently when they face Pakistan. So Pakistan should not be in a fancy world seeing English bating failure in warm up games. after all, they are doing nothing more than warming up!!!!

  • jackiethepen on January 11, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    Any chance of any analysis? What's the pitch like? How good was Shah? England lucky that Cook is in good form. But one player is not enough. Hope there is not a malaise in the camp similar to the malaise that gripped the England one day side in India. Can't say I believe that Gooch is the best batting coach around, think it is more of a best pals' act, another Essex mate for Flower. As for Flower has he really got the answers when England don't perform????? He seems to take all the praise when they win, will he accept the blame when they falter?

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 11, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    The yooung boys Yasir and Talha have definitely made their presence felt. Good to have a fifer against a top side, albeit in a practice match. i though Talha was also impressive, had england not declared, even he was in line for a fifer as the last man had to face 5 deliveries from him. any way well done boys.

  • on January 11, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    that was a decent knock for Cook jusr where he left off and pietersen spent a little time in the middle. this was a pretty decent side pakistan has feilded out. yasir was involved in the hong kong sixes and can bat abit the PCB xi bowlers looked good and hopefully will create some pressure for the likes of cheema and rehman felt sorry for talha deseved a 5er...

  • SaudAliPk on January 11, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    I think England will really struggle against spin attack of Pak test team. If pak can hold on to catches i predict pak wining test series comfortably.

    Well really good performance by yasir shah & Talha. Hoping Pak-A will score more runs than england side. As on these pitches england seamers aren't that affective.

  • Elliott_Tree on January 11, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (January 11 2012, 13:49 PM GMT): Also, I think you'll find that Alastair Cook is closely related to Captain Cook, and therefore is effectively Australian and another clear example of 'United XI' poaching talent from across the globe...