Pakistan v England, 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi, 1st day January 25, 2012

Misbah fights on England's day

188

Pakistan 256 for 7 (Misbah 83*, Shafiq 58, Broad 3-47) v England
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The expressionless demeanour of Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan's redoubtable captain, will cause a restless night for an England bowler or two in Abu Dhabi. But before sleep sets in and Misbah stalks their imagination, England will be content after the opening day of the second Test.

Misbah's cussed resistance stabilised Pakistan after they lost 4 for 103, riches that England could not have dared to anticipate after losing the toss. By the close, Misbah had batted 220 minutes for an unbeaten 83 and did not look remotely sated. England will rue the let-off they gave him on 30 when Monty Panesar turned one from around off stump to find the edge but James Anderson uncharacteristically was slow to react at slip and missed the chance.

When Misbah was provoked into aggression, it was Panesar who provoked it. Misbah struck him for four sixes, all more-or-less straight, in two batches of two, the last two remarkable for the fact that he unleashed them off successive balls in the final over of the day. Panesar was left with 1 for 91 by the close, Graeme Swann's three cheap wickets still identifying him as very much the senior partner.

Their almost-forgotten double act had dominated the morning. They were together again in a Test for the first time in two-and-a-half years and to mark the occasion both had a wicket to their name by lunch, Swann bowling Taufeeq Umar in his fourth over, Panesar dismissing Mohammad Hafeez in the same fashion in his seventh.

Abu Dhabi is the driest Test ground in the world, with less than 100mm of rain a year. What little moisture there was initially came from England's spinners salivating. Both found appreciable, if slow, turn while the ball retained its hardness; in Abu Dhabi everybody wants to bowl with the new ball. Panesar looked slightly tense, pulling the occasional ball down short, but both he and Swann beat the outside edge enough to rally England's spirits.

The England management had stroked the pitch at length before play; stroked it, stared at it and finally accepted the inevitable. Fielding only two quick bowlers goes against the grain for England and they agonised until the final minutes but Abu Dhabi demanded it and Panesar made his first Test appearance since he stoutly blocked out for the draw against Australia at Cardiff in July 2009.

Panesar came on as early as the 10th over; Swann joined him three overs later. Both Pakistan openers fell to balls that slid on without turning. Taufeeq was guilty of misjudgement as he allowed a ball from Swann to strike his off-stump. Hafeez was undone by a quicker arm-ball from Panesar. He had been dropped the previous ball, Panesar failing to clutch a firm return catch down by his bootlaces, bringing a momentary appearance of his sad-clown expression.

The pitch flattened as the day progressed. That will tempt England to call for Jade Dernbach as replacement for Chris Tremlett, who is flying home with a recurrence of back trouble. The belief is that Dernbach's greater variety could be an attractive proposition.

The desert was a comparatively cool 18 degrees and there was cloud cover about. England fans had been instructed to show decorum and keep their shirts on. They needed little encouragement. One or two even huddled in blankets. Only Newcastle United football fans would have disrobed in such weather.

Taufeeq had one uncomfortable moment when he deflected a ball from Anderson into his grille, seeking to turn the ball into the legside, but the pitch was so slow it rested against his face like a disorientated butterfly. It was not long before Stuart Broad and Anderson began to mentally reduce their likely number of overs in the day. Two wickets for Broad in an excellent afternoon spell kept them busier than they might have imagined.

Broad flogged life from the pitch in an excellent nine-over spell, seaming deliveries back to strike the off stumps of Younis Khan and Azhar Ali. There was slackness about the intended on-drive that caused Younis' downfall. Azhar played straighter but with the same result.

Misbah had reason to ruminate, sensing that Pakistan's discipline during their 10-wicket victory in the first Test in Dubai was no longer quite as evident. He was intent at restoring order, ticking off his younger partner Asad Shafiq for an occasional flight of fancy.

Even in Misbah's defensive posture there was room for him to hoist successive deliveries from Panesar over long-on for six. Shafiq also struck Panesar over the rope at long-off but that came with quicksilver feet. Misbah is not the type to take to the dance floor, preferring to watch and wait, but he showed no indications of wanting to leave early.

Shafiq's ambition finally got the better of him when he fell lbw to Swann, attempting a slog-sweep, a decision that Pakistan failed to overturn by DRS. An over before the new ball was due, it was a headstrong shot.

Anderson viewed the advent of the second new ball so seriously that he refused to accept the ball plucked from the box by Ahsan Raza, the third umpire, from Pakistan. "Not the one I chose," was the gist of Anderson's comments - he chooses cricket balls as seriously as some people choose modern art - and there was a long delay and an early drinks break before he got what he wanted.

The new ball did not bring a wicket for Anderson - Misbah narrowly survived an appeal for lbw after England unsuccessfully resorted to DRS and Andrew Strauss dropped Adnan Akmal, chest high, at slip - but Akmal fell lbw to Broad and Swann nipped in with a third wicket, bowling Abdur Rehman for nought with one that turned, to round off England's day.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 5wombats on January 28, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    @Sumit Chatterjee on (January 26 2012, 00:58 AM GMT) - Rubbish. Take your whimpering comments back to india V Australia "whitewash" forums. England thrashed Australia on the "green carpet" which is the perfect dry batting track of Adelaide 2010. England thrashed india on the perfect flat dry pitches of Lords and Oval. Now Australia thrash india on the same perfect dry flat Adelaide pitch. You make yourself look like whipped dog that no-one has any sympathy for.

  • 5wombats on January 26, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    @iBilal on (January 26 2012, 00:16 AM GMT) Ok mate - good call. We'll see.

  • DrAtharAbbas on January 26, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    MS Panesar 33-9-91-1: is that really Impressive????????????? ------1 for 91----

  • on January 26, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Even balanced match - looking forward to Day 2!

  • shahbazchoudhry on January 26, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    Misbah is playing very well. He is leading from the front. But on the other hand England bowler also bowled well. They never give the free hand to batting side . I think that If pakistan get more than 300 runs in 1st inning it well be good.

  • JustIPL on January 26, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    Brave effort by Pakistan and Misbah. He has been such a great performer for Pakistan. England should have been in much better position being on number one position although statistically. This is the type of competitive cricket that can attract sponsorships and cricket lovers want it with quality.

  • DomP on January 26, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    England will need to dismiss Pak quickly and cheaply now. I'm not convinced that England will bat well. Still, a welcome recovery of sorts.

  • on January 26, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    Hi to all! My request is to PCB selectors that, please take A.Rehman out and put Y.Shah in to the 11 men squad for the third test against England! Y.Shah can Bat and field better than A.Rehman. He can play as an all rounder. Thank you!

  • RednWhiteArmy on January 26, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    Alot of people disrespecting England on here.

    England dont often lose 2 tests in a row.... Remember where australia beat them at perth, england responded with 2 consecutive INNINGS victories!

  • on January 26, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    @Ozzbozz Thats very true misbah isnt popular because of the t20 game especially because we lost to India.... BUT the dude is epic he is by far the best choice for captain for us I don't understand why every1 in Pak just wants to see some big hits, I mean crickets all about first getting used to the pitch :p

  • 5wombats on January 28, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    @Sumit Chatterjee on (January 26 2012, 00:58 AM GMT) - Rubbish. Take your whimpering comments back to india V Australia "whitewash" forums. England thrashed Australia on the "green carpet" which is the perfect dry batting track of Adelaide 2010. England thrashed india on the perfect flat dry pitches of Lords and Oval. Now Australia thrash india on the same perfect dry flat Adelaide pitch. You make yourself look like whipped dog that no-one has any sympathy for.

  • 5wombats on January 26, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    @iBilal on (January 26 2012, 00:16 AM GMT) Ok mate - good call. We'll see.

  • DrAtharAbbas on January 26, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    MS Panesar 33-9-91-1: is that really Impressive????????????? ------1 for 91----

  • on January 26, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Even balanced match - looking forward to Day 2!

  • shahbazchoudhry on January 26, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    Misbah is playing very well. He is leading from the front. But on the other hand England bowler also bowled well. They never give the free hand to batting side . I think that If pakistan get more than 300 runs in 1st inning it well be good.

  • JustIPL on January 26, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    Brave effort by Pakistan and Misbah. He has been such a great performer for Pakistan. England should have been in much better position being on number one position although statistically. This is the type of competitive cricket that can attract sponsorships and cricket lovers want it with quality.

  • DomP on January 26, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    England will need to dismiss Pak quickly and cheaply now. I'm not convinced that England will bat well. Still, a welcome recovery of sorts.

  • on January 26, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    Hi to all! My request is to PCB selectors that, please take A.Rehman out and put Y.Shah in to the 11 men squad for the third test against England! Y.Shah can Bat and field better than A.Rehman. He can play as an all rounder. Thank you!

  • RednWhiteArmy on January 26, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    Alot of people disrespecting England on here.

    England dont often lose 2 tests in a row.... Remember where australia beat them at perth, england responded with 2 consecutive INNINGS victories!

  • on January 26, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    @Ozzbozz Thats very true misbah isnt popular because of the t20 game especially because we lost to India.... BUT the dude is epic he is by far the best choice for captain for us I don't understand why every1 in Pak just wants to see some big hits, I mean crickets all about first getting used to the pitch :p

  • Ross_Co on January 26, 2012, 2:27 GMT

    At least the bowling is English - apart from Trott of course.

  • cricket_fan_1980 on January 26, 2012, 2:12 GMT

    Some people have criticized Pakistan's slow batting. That is a fair point. However, I really don't think Pakistan need to bat any faster for this specific game. I think that is what sets Misbah apart, he strategizes on a game by game basis. Here, we can see that the pitch is turning a lot and it'll be roughing up fast. Pakistan have two quicks who will rough up the crease for their three-prong spin attack. Three spinners, all of whom have caused immense problems for the English line up will lap that up. So, based on that, Pakistan don't need to risk losing wickets by playing riskier shots. They just need to tire out and demoralize England the best they can, and tick the scoreboard over. Stretch the day out tomorrow and try and reach around 280 - 300. This already will put pressure on Eng because if Eng can't exceed Pak by at least 100 in their first innings, they will really be on a backfoot throughout the rest of the game. Ajmal on Day 4 on a pitch like this will be hard to pick

  • Wilbur259 on January 26, 2012, 1:43 GMT

    All is talk that England have done so well. If Panesar and Swan got turn how much will Ajmal get? Positivity is fine but blind belief is not. England have a lot to do to be in front in this test. I have a feeling Pakistan's runs are worth a lot more than they are being credit with.

  • Chris_P on January 26, 2012, 1:41 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge. Who did they beat to get #1? From memory, I recall they totally FLOGGED India, twiice with record margins to reach there. jonesy, I do like your enthusiasm, but credit where it's due, most Aussies feel the Poms are deserving of their #1, and it takes more than one series loss to lose that tag. The best thing for global cricket is the rise of Pakistan as a serious contender, and to give credit also where it's due, NZ are also on the way up. With retirements, the Lankans are now battling, the Indians will freefall spectacularly when their legends leave the game, that's when the demands for tissues will skyrocket over there.

  • on January 26, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    @Bramblefly: big LOL at poor old Jonesy's 'England Derangement Syndrome'. You've nailed it. @5Wombats: yup, I'm with you: I have a horrible feeling that our four spilled chances may well be the difference between victory & defeat. Strauss's drop, I'm afraid, is yet another indication that his co-ordination & his reflexes are slowing with age: decent (but *not* great) captain though he is, he's become the weak link in our batting: time, perhaps, to think about blooding Joe Root - who can also bowl useful offies - or, on the basis that he might just be another Warner, Surrey's young buccaneer Jason Roy. As for Pakistan: the more I see of Misbah, the more I like, both in terms of captaincy & batsmanship. I know he fouled up that T20 World Cup final in 2007 & also, arguably, Pakistan's WC semi-final chase last year, but how can you NOT love a guy who blocks everything for three hours but then launches a demented assault in the last two or three overs of the day?

  • subbass on January 26, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    Lots of batters got in, but then got out, so that tells you batting is not impossible. Pak messed up imo, so yes it is Englands day ! But can they make the most of it, and even get them out for 280 and then get 400 ? I can see this happening, 1-1 here we go.

  • on January 26, 2012, 0:58 GMT

    no matter what england is going to loose 3-0 in UAE,they can only play on green carpets,it was seen in eng vs srilanka they were down 2-1 in odi series in england ,they started creating green carpets and then managed to win some matches which will be impossible in neutral venues ,so time to pull there weight and pull up their socks,specially they should create tracks in uk which offer spin,otherwise they will never be able to play spinners,and suddenly a ordinary bowler like swan will be called unnecessary great which we know is wrong

  • on January 26, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    What if Misbah scores more runs tomorrow, say 150+ with tail till lunch? Options PAK 310+/9 till lunch PAK 300+/7 till lunch PAK 265/275 allout PAK 350/allout

    Can't tell who wins until the 40th batsman/wicket out.

    Pitch looks to be behaving as it was last 2 matches. 500+ scored due to the umpiring mistakes and non-DRS last 2 matches.

  • iBilal on January 26, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    the pitch is mis-read. Usually, this pitch has life on 1st and the last 2 days. Last time Pak played here, they opted to field on first day, and dismissed SL for less than 200. Pak did well to get past that mark. Misbah might have opted to field this time as well, there will be no life in pitch tomorrow

  • 5wombats on January 25, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    @JG2704 on (January 25 2012, 21:36 PM GMT) - yah. Reflect on it. Saffers would call it "crip". Look, with England batting being so crip in the first Test - they were never going to drop a batsman here. The pitch - by all accounts was drier than a kangaroos jock strap. Monty had to play. Pakistan have already got too many. In a second dig they're going to get just as many. Hope I'm wrong - but can't see England surviving on this pitch let alone scoring enough runs at a decent lick. We fluctuate over the 4/5 bowler issue - but TBH England were never going to play 5 bowlers. I'm usually optimistic - but not this time. We're in the crip. Excellent innings from Misbah - we need 2 batsmen to play like that. If anyone can do it Cook and KP can, maybe Prior. That's probably put the mockers on them now!

  • Aura123 on January 25, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    thats what i call competetive cricket between two best team :) i am really enjoyging watching this game, Both teams performing evening until now , come on pak

  • on January 25, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    Pakistan looks good for another 50 which should be enough,England wont cope with the Pak spinners and their new leftie Junaid will be a great partner for Gul.England wont get to 200.

  • MohsinBallack on January 25, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    i think if pakistan cross 300 runs mile stone then it is very tough for english batsmans to survive against ajmal and abdul rehman on a pitch ball turning with a new ball and in first day as well if match goes to 4th inning chasing 150 runs thats gona be like impossible

  • Dadu786 on January 25, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    I think, next game try Umar Akmal and drop Azhar Ali, with this 6 batsman order, Taufeeq,Hafeez, Younus, Umar, Misbah, Asad. This game put 300 on the board, give redy cherry to Umar and junaid followed by Ajmal, Rahman and Hafeez.

  • Mervo on January 25, 2012, 22:31 GMT

    So England now want Jade Dernbach? Another South African? Can't they grow cricketers in England?

  • brittop on January 25, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    Interesting: Misbah should be more attacking - but perish the thought that he should "throw it away" like Shafiq. I think they got it about right. It was 103-4 when they came together, so Pakistan really needed a 100 partnership from them. When they had that, and Shafiq had a half century, he tried to up the rate a bit. Nothing wrong with that - just his execution needed to be a bit better.

  • Ozzbozz on January 25, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    Kudos to Strauss in finally picking Panesar, although I do think they did vascelate over that for far too long, but hey ho common sense prevailed.

    Onto whose day it was, I would have to say 60% in favour of England and really for some uncharacteristic shabbyness in the field Pakistan would have been out for about 200.

    However if's and maybey's don't win you any games so I reckon Pakistan will manage 300 and then we'll see if the "rabbits in the headlight's" return for England.

    Regarding Misbah I think he is playing responsibly and as a captain should, so could probably end up our best leader since the great Imran Khan. He may not exhude the same aristocracy as Khan but he does have a similar style of cool authority that the rest of the team respects. I think why so many Pak fans hate him has nothing to do with his play but everything to do with a certain paddle shot in the 2007 20 20 final that handed the game to India. Even I hated him at that moment in time.

  • JG2704 on January 25, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    @ JackBlackUK on (January 25 2012, 20:05 PM GMT) - Sorry bud but have to agree with Fayez Asar on (January 25 2012, 20:38 PM GMT) - The thing is Pakistan are already up in the 3 match series so slowing the game down suits them just fine. 2 bore draws and they win the series. England are the team that needs to win and IMO they have made a huge mistake playing only 4 bowlers on a slow scoring pitch. Even in the 1st test Pak were the quicker scoring side and that at only 2.8rpo. If Pakistan were the side that were a test down then you may have a point.

  • jattkadanda on January 25, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    Yeah 300 will make a good score for the innings. Asad & Misbah played really well. Broad bowling was the best. Clean bowled. Monty got pwned with 5 sixes. Haha

  • on January 25, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    Why this pitch was reported pale and placid. It kept everybody interested from the first over till the last over. By no means, it is placid. Its lively, provides assistance to hard workers. So you got to be very much concentrated for every bowl you play else a BOWLED is waiting for you.

  • JG2704 on January 25, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    @5wombats on (January 25 2012, 19:30 PM GMT)Hello,Do you really think we have the right team?Honestly think with 5 bowlers (with Finn the extra) we'd reduce the Pak total by more runs than we would increase our total by having Morgan as an extra batsman.The more I think about it the more it is a worse day for England.If we were a test up it would be a good day as Pak would need to win.But we are the team who needs to win and unlike at home where we are used to conditions + can score more freely it is different here.Even Pak score 2.7rpo + they're used to the conditions. Say Pak score 300 that will take another 15 overs or so.Then to get to 500(a 200 lead) Eng at 2.75rpo would need to bat for 2 days which would take them into mid morning on day 5 Even upping it to 3rpo we'd have a day to bowl them out and these I feel are best case scenarios unless we get bowled out for around the same as Pak and then bowl them out cheap 2nd time.Either way surely 5 bowlers would improve our chances.

  • subhanthegreat on January 25, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    Mind you England has to bat 4th inning, Pitch will be dangerous to play on from 4th day onwards.

  • subhanthegreat on January 25, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    I think if pakistan add another 50 runs to this overnight score, anything around 300 will be competitve score.Pitch is spinning, unusual for Abu dhabi pitch.England will really struggle to bat on against Abdul Rehman, Saeed Ajmal and Hafeez. Still thinks its a Pakistan game. First hour tomorrow morning will be crucial and might decide fate of the test.

  • jamal1253 on January 25, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    well i think it was a beautiful test cricket day. which belong to both sides, eng bowled well and misbah did his job very well.and if pak add another 40 to 50 runs tom then i would say that pak is on the driving seat, cuz the pitch looks not easy.but i hope pak gonna win this one tooo.INSHALLAH

  • hhillbumper on January 25, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    Broad continues to improve as a bowler and is able to think laterally and can do different things with the ball if he has to.If he can stay fit then he will get a large haul of wickets in the next few years.His batting is not bad either.And thankfully no South African connection for him.So will prob get dropped for Dernbach

  • zaf100 on January 25, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    256-7 is interesting score but not match winning by any means. Misbah needs to bat well with tail in the morning to score around 300 to 320. Ball is spinning but pitch is still good to bat. I think we are set for another cracking test match. Tomorrow probably will decide which team will win this test because behaviour of pitch will be very important for Pakistan, if wicket gets rough then Pakistan is already on the box seat but if it becomes typical Abu Dhabi wicket than Pakistan have problem in their hands. What I have seen so far seems to me a slightly different pitch than the normal Abu Dhabi pitch. Can't wait for tomorrow so alarm is set for 5.30 am. :-) good luck Pakistan this is your chance to go 2-0 up.

  • BlueyCollar on January 25, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    Will the English batsmen fail again????

  • rickyvoncanterbury on January 25, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    history tells you that low scoring test matches are the most exciting. So with the english spinners doing well on day1, it is going to be a low scoring test match one would think.

  • on January 25, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    @JackBlackUK - fair comment. in fact, most pakistanis have this same problem with misbah. i personally feel that in most games pakistan bowling gets the opposition out pretty quickly. so we don't need the batting to be too aggressive. most games involving pakistan end in 4 days (we get out quick and we take wickets quickly).

  • Shan.z on January 25, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    @Jack when England ll bat then we ll see how good their run rate ll be. Just to remind you they have already beated no1 team lol..thats what pakistan require right now to add another 50+ scores and what Misbah is doing is perfect..

  • risky on January 25, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    @ JackBlackUk..... So do u think that if there is a placid pitch, u can score runs freely? No.... There is no negative approach by Pakistan. If u ever have seen the stats, the average score on Asian wickets in a days play is round about 250. Scoring runs here is lot more difficult than Australia or England, coz ball comes very slow on the bat. Rest we will see, how positively can English batsmen bat. What will be their run rate. Its lot easy to talk than to play.

  • on January 25, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    @JackBlackUK...Even 250 score is good for Pakistan, judging by the bowling attack Pakistan has i just dont think England can even pass 200runs on the first day.

  • andrewstrausssmassiveforearms on January 25, 2012, 20:21 GMT

    fantastic bowling from the world's best team

  • zulfi43 on January 25, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    I found so many people mentioning UAE as subcontinent and Pakistan home ground UAE is neither sub continent nor Pakistan,s home ground.....What if Pakistan play in Chandighad or India play in Lahore can we say they are playing in their home ground moreover their are very few people in ground to watch, benefit of home crowed is out of question.

  • on January 25, 2012, 20:10 GMT

    well i think if Pakistan get past 300 hundred mark then that will be a very challenging task for england's batting order as they have to score 400+ runs to secure the match currently chances are bright for Pakistan

  • JackBlackUK on January 25, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    I don't understand why Pakistan plays so slow, if they have played with a run rate of over 3.5 or around 3.5 they would have scored around 300 runs. Even if you bat slow and are able to survive the whole day you only score what Pakistan has scored. So when you loose wickets you look at the scoreboard and you have around 250 runs and have lost almost all your wickets. This slow batting of Misbah and his defensive captaincy is bad for Pakistan cricket. I admit they have had success, but again they are playing #1 test team in the world and you can't and never will win with this run rate. Such negative and pathetic cricket display by Misbah.

  • landl47 on January 25, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    Hats off to Misbah. Pakistan has a long tail and if he'd failed they might not have made 200. Instead he massaged the score up past 250- he put on 27 wrth Rehman and 13 so far with Ajmal and he's made all 40 runs! England bowled pretty well but didn't field as a #1 side should. Catches win matches and so far England are 0-3. I was very pleased to see Monty in the side and with Swann at the other end not only did England exert pressure, but they wheeled through their overs in good time- 94 in the day. We'll see tomorrow whether this is a good score. Haha- poor old jonesy2 clearly has been in a coma and doesn't remember the pounding Australia got from England in Australia last year. Let us know when you wake up, jonesy.

  • on January 25, 2012, 19:49 GMT

    Aren't we being a bit premature in calling it England's day, after all there are still 3 wickets left and Misbah is at the crease. I'm not saying England didn't do well as clearly they did just that this pitch doesn't look "flat" to me at all and anything close to 300 would be a good score. It may not be a winning score depending on how well England bat but a challenging one I think and it makes for a very good test match. I couldn't help noticing how delighted the English pundits were when they saw the ball turning knowing that England had picked two spinners, I wonder if it was England batting and Ajmal was taking wickets would they still think it's a very good test wicket or that it wasn't a good test wicket as it had too much turn for 1st day, guess we will never know...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on January 25, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    @jonesy2, I take it you're going on the premise that there's no contest that England are far better than Australia. How is it that England won the Ashes and got to Number 1? Who did they beat to get there? Oops..

  • stari09 on January 25, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    When you take 7 wickets in a day's play then it usualy is your day, I would be a bit cautious here though to say it was England's day considering how they coped with Ajmal & Co in the first test. Honours even if they roll them for 280, if they don't then I am afraid they could be in trouble. Well bowled Stuart Broad, well batted skipper.Not so well fielded England.

  • SirViv1973 on January 25, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    Well if Eng can knock over the last 3 pretty quickly tomorrow and limit Pak to 280 - 290 then the bowlers would have done a good job. However everything hinges on how Eng will bat in the first Inns. If Eng are to rest the initiative from Pak in this series they have to excise the ghosts of Dubai and post a big score and give themselves at least 100 lead if they do that I see them winning this test and taking the momentum into the last game. However if they bat like they did in Dubai and get rolled for under 200 Pak will win this game, the series and have an amazing chance to register a 3 nil!

  • 5wombats on January 25, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    The wombats don't like the look of this. Hope to be proved wrong - but we think Pakistan have already got away. This pitch was turning on the first morning - but then seemed to get easier. Needed to get Pakistan on the run at 4/103, and all out for under 200, but it didn't happen. We think it was Pakistans' day. 300 will be a good score. Considering what a load of muppets England were with the bat in the 1st Test - England are going to be severely tested here as well. Can't see it going 5 days. At least England look to have picked the right team this time - but it's the batting that's the problem, and we're not confident. We're in a real fight here.

  • on January 25, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    @ jonesy2 It's not surprising to see that an aussie thinks that 256/7 is a good score against england, especially when their own batting can only make a huge 98. And don't forget 21/9 against S. Africa by the supposed best team in the world.

  • MartinC on January 25, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    @jonsey2 - Pakistan 256 for 7. England been dominated? Really?

    It was Englands day but not by a lot - assuming Pakistan are bowled out for say 300 or just over that's below par but Enland have to bat much much better than the first test for it to matter.

  • Bramblefly on January 25, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    Jonesy2 - You're up late again commenting on an England thread. England Derangement Syndrome isn't pretty and I'd try to hide it better if I was you. Interesting use of the word "dominated." You need to go over to the Adelaide thread. In case you needed reminding, Australia were playing India today. We don't play each other for another year and a half. 2010-11 still hurts doesn't it.

  • on January 25, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    the great thing is dat pitch is supporting to batsmen n bowlers it will b a fighting test match

  • True_Cricket_Lover on January 25, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    Well played England and Pakistan, both teams can be satisfied with their day's play. Tomorrow Pakistan will be all out for 327 and England will be all out for around 188, Pakistan will take a lead of approx 139 runs. On this pitch that will be plenty, Pakistan will win the test match shortly after tea on Day 4. Pakistan.....Zindabad!!!

  • on January 25, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    To be honest I don't think this is an easy pitch to bat this time. There is some turn for both kind of bowlers. England have to bat 4th innings in this match. I think Pakistan are favorite in this match.

  • on January 25, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    THE BALL IS GRIPPING THE PITCH,SO ENGLISH BAT GRIPS WILL BE LOOSENED BY AJMAL.

  • on January 25, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    If Ajmal can get in amongst the wickets again - then its bye bye England!

  • explorer76 on January 25, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Overall it is probably England's day. However Pakistan is not in a bad position either. Considering the way Misbah is playing, they have a good chance of making it to the 300 mark. Given the mediocre performance of england batsmen against spin on a pitch that didn't have much turn, 300 will be a tall score to chase for england batsmen on this track. More importantly we didn't see a panic collapse today, like pakistan of past or like england in both innings of last match. Even at this stage Pakistan has more runs than england managed in either innings of the last test match. Morning session tomorrow will be very important - if Misbah takes us through to 300+, we should be in pretty good shape.

  • Clive_Dunn on January 25, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    England will be pleased not to be batted out of the game on day one, Pakistan will think 300 is a good score against a currently frail top. Both teams better than Australia. The Ashes say hello jonesy.

  • nide on January 25, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    Match is even balance but score our 300 for Pakistan more better chance in match and remember surprise for visitor young Junaid Khan

  • big_al_81 on January 25, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    I was surprised by Jonesy2's view at first but have now understood the importance of his Australian context. He would naturally think that struggling to 256 for 7 was a good day's work having watched Australia against decent opponents for the last couple of years... ;-) Could be a good cricket match this, but people are right, of course, to say that we won't really know how good a performance it is by England until both sides have batted. If England capitulate in the same way it'll be seriously disappointing!

  • Ray24 on January 25, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Well played Misbah and Asad. From 103/4 to over 250 for 7 - I'll take that any day.

  • 2929paul on January 25, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    Can someone tell me why the moderators decide to put the likes of @jonesy2's comments onto a forum like this? It goes completely against the guidelines. He's only trying to wind all the England supporters up and has nothing to do with the article.

  • JG2704 on January 25, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    by and large a decent lot of comments so far. Difficult to assess whose day it is from here. Anderson's drop of Misbah could prove to be a pivotal moment in the test. Broad bowled exceptionally well again and seems to be maturing into a fine test bowler. As an England fan I'm still not convinced that because we have an extra batsman we'll score more runs but time will tell. We can't let the Pakistan tail wag and then have to hope that we can play Ajmal and co a whole lot better than we did in the 1st game. The worrying thing is that in the 1st game I feel that Pakistan (by and large) got their wickets by good pressure bowling rather than anything extraordinary and in this game there seems to be more in the pitch

  • on January 25, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    Even Stevens..... Misbah fights on England's day, I dont think that this is appropriate heading.... must change it because it was no one's day.. It could have been England's if Pak were bundled out for 240

  • 2929paul on January 25, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    Interesting old fashioned day of Test cricket. Both teams had to work hard for rewards. Pakistan had to graft and by doing so, Misbah has been rewarded and is 83*. Shafiq, however, did the hard work then threw it away. England's bowlers kept at it, bowling accurately, doing a bit with the ball, not trying to bowl the "magic" ball all the time and getting rewarded on a regular basis. All in all a pretty even day. Will be interesting to see if England's batsmen have worked out how to bat against Pakistan's spinners on a pitch that will offer a bit more. As someone has said, not sure that Dernbach's the answer. Too much variety and trying to get a wicket every ball is not the way to go here. It's a patience game.

  • on January 25, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    England will have to struggle to score more than 200 in this test match as well :) Go Misbah go:))))))

  • on January 25, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Once upon a time! (Before 1st Test vs Pakistan)= England was #1 Team. After 1st test vs Pakistan = Is England a #1 team???... Time is ticking and Answer is inevitable! Every ball brings the answer closer and closer! Best Wishes for both the teams!

  • Zahidsaltin on January 25, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    @Unmesh_cric, Dont you think that Umar Akmal instead of Azhar Ali will give a better tempo to a very slow innings. Abu Dahbi is a pradise of batsmen and I dont think a score of less than 350 being enough to put England under pressure. I doubt that Pakistan bowlers will get a success like Dubai here.

  • Zahidsaltin on January 25, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    Shafiq was really unlucky to be given out by Bowden when the impact of the ball is clearly out side the off stump. We have time and again seen some unconvincing decisions made by third umpires. Pakistan losing 5 wickets bowled and 2 LBW tells a bit about some lazy batting. They need to score 350 runs to be in a position very they can either win or draw the match.

  • on January 25, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    pakistan need to score more than 300, england never know which batsman is goin score big with strong batting line upto 9 swan. pitch behaviour is important, how it changes. tommorow will e the crucial day.

  • on January 25, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    @ Raymond: If Pakistani spinner are not better than the English spinners, can you tell me why a specific Mushtaq Ahmed is a spin bowling coach for English team?!? Can you name a single spinner emerging from your Island who was ever attractive to watch, let alone be "destructive"? PakistanĀ“s spin attack - at the moment - is THE most varied and multidimensional. Afridi (in ODIs and T20s), Rehman, Ajmal and Hafeez are more than a handful.

  • yorkslanka on January 25, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    this looks like a challenging score on a wicket that is turning quite heavily...Hope England can bat better against spin than in the last match or it will be series over...match is balanced nicely....

  • on January 25, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    misbah go get 100!!! Now this is called proper test cricket. A captain's knock by Misbah once again Pakistan look like they will get around 300 runs

  • on January 25, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Well done misbah.....pak must try to score in excess of 325 to 350 runs.....then they have a good chance coz they hav bowlers capable to defend this score and build a healthy lead.......

  • on January 25, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Pakistan Batting is weak for TEST cricket..they need big score batsman like Yousuf..I dnt see any batsman scoring 200 or more except Younus...Pak Bowling is strong ..wud be tough Battle next 4 days..looking forward to it..But Eng Bowled very well today..unlucky not to All out Pak innings..

  • cricket_fan_1980 on January 25, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    England definitely bowled well, overall, but at least 5 of the 7 wickets were due to poor shots and misreading the ball. Some of the clean bowleds could have been easily blocks out. Unfortunate. But, gritty performance from England, good spirit - I like the fight back so far in this test. Their batsmen must prepare for a tough few days, especially as the pitch begins to roughen and the spin kicks in more.

  • finch88 on January 25, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    Would have to put Pakistan slightly on top at this stage. I don't expect England to crumble as badly as they did in Dubai. But whatever Pakistan score in the 1st innings, England will probably need to match it + 100 runs. Batting last will not be fun on this wicket, so England's runs have to come in the 1st dig. In order for England to be on top, I think they need to get Pakistan out for 300 and then post at least 400. This time tomorrow, we will know much more!

  • dmqi on January 25, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    I think the match is EVENLY poised. England bowled well but it is not England's day. Any score close to 300 will be good for Pak, as England will not find ajmal, rahman, gul and Junaed giving easy balls to score.Expect a dramatic finish.

  • jonesy2 on January 25, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    england getting dominated again i see. if someone had gone into a coma ast year and woken up now they would just assume that the universe has run its natural course, not the travesty of england being ranked number 1. not for long. england to be bowled out for less than 150, twice, again.

  • rivernile on January 25, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    I am not sure why all the accolades are being thrown Pakistan's way. 256 / 7 is not really a great score by any means. Pakistan's tail is not very strong and they will have a hard time reaching 300. If the pitch is similar to south Asian pitches, then remember that Pakistan, India, SL routinely score 400+ in their first innings. So what's all the hoopla about Pakistan scoring 256 / 7? England still have Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Trott and company. If any two batsman click, then they should make a very attractive score. I hope Ajmal conjures his magic again and devastates the English side, but please, let us not get too confident or cocky!

  • cricket_fan_1980 on January 25, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    Average performance from Pakistan. If they had lost two wickets less and posted another 20 runs, it would classify as a good first day performance against a decent bowling attack. First thing, most pundits should eat their words about bashing Abu Dhabi as a placid track today. Perhaps in the past it has been, but today it was spinning monstrously. That is perhaps the only reason why even 250 for Pakistan is OK, because they'll be itching to let Rehman, Hafeez and Ajmal lose on the English line up. Other than Taufeeq (who looked solid too), all the Pakistani top order batsmen got decent starts, scoring over 24, and a couple made attractive half centuries. If Ajmal is resilient and Misbah farms the strike, there may be 30 - 50 more runs for Pakistan. Then, England will be under pressure I think. Credit to England though for bowling very well. Good move to have Monty in the side, even if he did get hit for a few, he looked very dangerous, especially early on. Evenly poised game

  • LastLaugh_PK on January 25, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    Wait till our boys get the ball in their hands!

  • Nutcutlet on January 25, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    Once again, I have to take issue with our correspondent - in the politest possible way, of course. I maintain that this day did not belong to either team - therefore the headline is misleading. It may be that Pakistan's 1st inns. score is in the region of 300. Is that par? No one can know because England will not have batted! Only when both sides have batted once will a clear picture begin to emerge. A score of c 300 will be tantalising and England will have to show a significant improvement from Dubai to take anything more than a token lead, if any lead at all. This match, at this stage, is anybody's! BTW, Can anyone work out why Dernbach? He'll never be a test match bowler (and I support Surrey!).

  • on January 25, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    I think tomorrow will decide the right vision of this game because right now we all don't know that how the English Bats Men Reply against Ajmal & Rehman & Don't forget Ummer Gull Inside with Junaid Khan.

  • on January 25, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    overall an interesting day of cricket, the way Misbah batted today was really interesting, specially the way he hits 2 sixes in the last over really stamp his authority over his game, i guess he is at his best, hopefully 300 + will be the difficult task for the English Mens as they have to bat at 4th inning, seems another victory for green machines, Go Pakistan Go........ our prayers are with you

  • Unmesh_cric on January 25, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    I am an India fan..but I have always supported Pakistan against England. I think Pakistan's plan of playing "steady" batsmen like Azar Ali, Taufeeq Umar and Asad Shafiq is working great. Earlier, there used to be too many flashy players which made consistently putting enough runs on the board very difficult. With the current batting line-up, they are consistenly putting close to 300 on the board. And with Pakistan's bowling, that is more than enough. I am hoping Pakistan will thrash England in this Test match too.

  • swingstowin on January 25, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Pakistan has to score a few more runs....doesnt look like an easy pitch to bat on!! The ball is spinning and reversing and Pakistan has bowlers who are masters of both... But they do need more runs...well played Misbah

  • suve on January 25, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    Englands day??, dont make me laugh. Biased report, Knew it was an English writer when I saw the name of this report. It was an even day but England did well coming back from a crushing defeat in the First test. England will stuggle with spin when come out to bat, and then blame it on the bowlers action. Thats the truth to be honest.

  • on January 25, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    First of all, main issue which many are missing here is that english team can't go for a draw here as they want to win this series. Drawing will never prove their point of being the No. 1 TEST side. Secondly, it will put more pressure on their batsmen to take a lead in second innings on this not so familiar pitch which could result in a worst collapse. And last they will try to play sensible against AJMAL which will help other bowlers to take wickets. In the end, MISBAH is still at the pitch so come on guys, RIP this No.1 Test Side in this ground.

  • voyager on January 25, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Welcome change for Pakistan compared to last few years is that batsmen did chip in and put in some contribution rather than got out for single digit scores. Area of concern is the conversion rates for ~25 run innings to ~60-70 innings and ~50 run innings to ~100 run inning is still very low. This is the differnece b/w ~300 team total to 450+ team total. Having said that I will take current situation over hopeless <200 run all out

  • khurramsch on January 25, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    @stumps. well if we go by paper yes it was england day but i would call it even day as england batting was propblem in 1st match not bowling.at the end it will come to batting again. but to win this england need bigger 1st inings lead considering that england will bat 4th on this pitch with way more turn than that.toufeq & asad were very poor at the end. but overall i think after 100/4 its a good recovery & if they manage 40/50 more than its very good.

  • on January 25, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    Well the match progresses to be at delicate balance between the Misbah's resurgence and perseverance batting and Board's lethal deliveries..however Pakistan on the whole edges England when it comes to spin....sure when English batsman get out to bat they would have to face the likes of Ajmal and Rehman when Panesar and Swann got ample turn on the very first day of the match when analysts speculated quite different pitch behavior prior to the match. Secondly, it bamboozles me the way English commentators praises the happenings of the day accredited to the English skill while comfortably forgetting the batsmen's mistakes that got them out.I agree English bowlers have shown some characters as compared to the dismal performance in the previous match but its amazing how Misbah muscles through the English pace and spin attack!! kudos to Misbah for leading from the front and strength o character he has shown!!!

  • cricpolitics on January 25, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    It may look like England's day but in reality England are actually in trouble. Their batsmen are going to have big issues playing the three spinner attack of Pakistan.

  • jonnybtestmatch on January 25, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    Even though I am an England fan I think Misbah is a legend. He just does not look liek getting out, and I think he would get in any test match side atm. Those critical of him are literally jokers, who do not understand the game of test cricket. It may not be pretty but as an opposition fan he is the one batsmen I act dread, bit like Dravid over the years. Also I really do not think the Eng commentators are biased, and nor are the Pak ones to be fair. I think the pairings for this series act provide the viewer with the best overview of the whole situation, without letting bias intervene. Certainly better than Ian Healy ( what a joker). Anyway it has been Eng day but still feel Pak are in with a great shout, and no Eng fan will complain to see a spinning pitch. We only complain about a lifeless pitch in which there is no assistance for any bowlers. This is a point that Indian fans do not get. It is not the turners we moan about but the dead tracks. I would not mind seeing more bunsens

  • TayyabG on January 25, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    Our batsmen did well particularly Misbah and Asad.....others got start but were not able to get bigger scores.....but on the average it will be a competitive score. I am very hopeful that our bowlers will get them under 200 INSHALLAH.

    But i am of the view that bowling is our strength, so why we batted first, we should not expose our week point first instead like DUBAI test should OUT them for lower score than went for lead......now see what will happen tomorrow.

  • on January 25, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    Misbah is by far the best captain i have seen for a long period of time in Pakistan.As a player i rate him really high because he has with him the great mentality to perform under pressure. i m very much assured he will come out as one of the great batsmen as well as a great captain.

  • Stark62 on January 25, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    If Umar had played, Pak would have got 300 or at least close to that score on the board because even a quick fire 30 odd from him is useful rather than 30 of 120 deliveries from Azhar, Younis, Misbah or Shafiq.

    He must play the next match in place of Azhar or Shafiq (did well today but didn't kick on) plus, he has a better FC average than both Azhar and Shafiq.

  • on January 25, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    All other players of team must come like captian

  • yorkshirematt on January 25, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    Salman Raza "I still think they're ahead at this point. This pitch is turning quite sharply on day one only, chasing here will be tough for the English with the likes of Ajmal and Rehman bowling." Ditto. Glad to see these pitches are not the roads we thought they would be.

  • on January 25, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    Pakistan spinners better than England spinners - what a joke! Pakistan batsmen better playing on subcontinental wickets - possibly. This any other Pakistan team are not in the same class as this England team.

  • X.2. on January 25, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    Got relaxed after and didn't realize that job was only half done. These young batsman (Azher, Asad, Umar) have to take responsibility and convert starts into big 100's.

  • KashifMuneer on January 25, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    Pakistan look like they will get around 300 runs (could be more as Ajmal is a fighter). I think the day was almost even and Pakistani bowlers (especially the spinners) will cause lots of problems for the English batsmen tomorrow. I think England will be 6 or 7 down by close of play tomorrow and give Pakistan a first innings lead of at least 50 runs I/A.

  • G4rgoyle on January 25, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    I find it amuzing how some people like to offer advice to the players in the field .. only if Taufeeq had played with the bat instead of leaving the ball, Misbah was too slow, and it goes on and on. I think considering the conditions, even they lost 7 wickets to some disciplined bowling, Pakistan did not do too bad. I am not sure if I would call it Enland's day. I thought it was fairly balanced. Misbah and Sahfiq displayed what they are good at. It is exciting to see the track is not as batsmen friendly as originally expected and am looking forward to see some good cricket in the next 4 days.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 25, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    Now this is called proper test cricket. A captain's knock by Misbah once again. Excellent effort by the English though they could have done even better. Who has the advantage? Can't tell. This is proper test cricket played on a proper test track.

  • Happy_AusBang on January 25, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    David Hopps is dreaming. At best from England's perspective they could say honours shared on the day. If Asad Shafiq had not gifted his wicket, they would be 256 for 4 now. I would say Pakistan is slightly ahead at this stage.

  • on January 25, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    misbah is always a fighter,loves to play more deliveries and play big inngs always and his batting average has also improved after becoming the captain,and overall pakistan's team performance has also improved substantially in the past six months,clearly these are gud signs for pakistan

  • on January 25, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    England seamers bowled really well. Im a fan of England seamers. Esp., Broad & Anderson. In a difficult conditions they were the heroes, not spinners. It would be great if they can get quick wickets but it will be tough. But lovely seam bowling Broady.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 25, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    @LILLIAN THOMSON . BUT INDIAN PLAYERS ARE MUCH BETTER PLAYER OF SPIN THAN ENG OR AUS . LOOOL

  • Elliott_Tree on January 25, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Lovely day's Test cricket - good bat/ball contest on a good pitch (much better pitch than a lot of people feared, I think). Not sure I'd say it was England's day - about even I reckon (but then you never know until they've both batted). I'm becoming a big Misbah fan: calm-calm-block-steady-SIX-SIX-block-calm-defend-SIX-SIX-calm-defend. Love it :o)

  • wrenx on January 25, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Not sure if this is as much of "England's Day" as the article would have us believe. England certainly have more of a monkey on their backs as far as batting goes, and the Pakistan spinners should be encouraged by what they've made of the pitch. And Pakistan have avoided a collapse, and put a decent number of runs on the board already, to which they can hopefully add to with the tail, as they did in the last match. Throw in the dropped catches, and Pannesar being hoisted over the boundary 5 times, and all in all, Ramiz Raja has it right: Pakistan can take a lot of satisfaction from the day's play.

  • Saad.Navaid on January 25, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    by the way... the pitch looks prettttttttyyyyyy intersting... would be exciting to see Pakistan bowl on it...!!! :)

  • Saad.Navaid on January 25, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    i think the Misbah and Asad have played really well today... but we should also praise England for a much better bowling performance...!!!

  • Yevghenny on January 25, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    OH and quick mention on Stuart Broad - this guy has gone from being attacked by everyone in England to the best bowler in the attack by a mile. He can produce some devastating, consistent spells at any time he's brought in. Always looks like he can run through a side if he gets 1 out

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    This is turning out to be a fascinating test series. Both teams look equally matched. Good decision by England to have an extra spinner. I think if Pakistan can score around 320 then they will be in a good position. I still think they're ahead at this point. This pitch is turning quite sharply on day one only, chasing here will be tough for the English with the likes of Ajmal and Rehman bowling.

  • SaleemSabir on January 25, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    it was like playing in Manchester today, the weather was chilly and cloudy, well the ECB's Idea of bringing the WAGS of English team definetely worked well, atleast we saw some International Standard Cricket from the English today, i hope they get better as the match progresses, to all English Commentators dont be so fast in giving all the credits to the English team like you did on the second day of Dubai test, remember what happened on the third day???? wait and watch how they bat against the trio of Pakistani Spinners, Ajmal, Rehman and hafiz.....

  • sal485 on January 25, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    1st target for pakistan tommorrow is 300.Match is currently in balance.It was one of intriguing day of test cricket.This pitch will take sufficent spin to make life difficult for england.

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    can misbah's innings let us win another test ???

  • yorkshirematt on January 25, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    England's day? Just about but there were too many dropped catches and they should have had Pakistan out for 260-270. And with some turn already don't bet agianst another 150 ao. Pakistan will be satisfied and confident that they can get up to 300 and bowl England out cheaply again.

  • WeeBee on January 25, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    well ! Pakistani Spinners are way better than English Spinners and lets see what they with English Batting tomorow. atleast 7 of English Batsman would be back to pavilion by stumps tomorow.

  • nogginthenog on January 25, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    Excellent approach by Pakistan and Misbah in particular. This is proper test cricket by a team on the rise - refreshing to see it. When England bat we will see if Pakistan has made a competitive score - I suspect they have.

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Well I am a little disappointed with the way our batsmen batted.Taufeeq should have played the ball with the bat instead f leaving it.Hafeez should have come forward.Azhar Ali and Younus should have simply blocked those deliveries.And Asad should not have played that slog sweep. But at the end of the day i must say we did not do bad either 256-7 thanks to Misbah having still there and Ajmal i know is not going to gift his wicket to the English bowlers.So I am very hopeful Pakistan has a very good chance to win even this test match especially considering how much the ball is spinning and 3 spinners attack of Pakistan.I don't see English batsmen scoring more runs than 250 in first innings.Should be an interesting test match.

  • WeeBee on January 25, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    hehe and i loved those two consective sixes in last over.! That was a sign from Misbah to English Team that Pakistan batting is not over it. And One thing i want to add here. .. i just read tweet of broad, Pieterson ... english players. They do tweet only when they have a good day! .. it was not totaly English Day , it would be if they already are batting on first day after making Pakistani Team all out.

  • Trickstar on January 25, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @maniiyer LOL yes because it's the pitch that makes the ball swing in England, mate you might want to go learn how the ball swings first before showing yourself up. The groundsman can control how much the ball spins though, he can't control how much moisture is in the air for swinging the ball.

    Anyhow thought the spinners bowled very well, Broad was excellent and Anderson with the second new ball bowled a awesome spell that deserved a couple of wickets. Hoping for a much better performance from the batsmen tomorrow and get some decent runs on the board, wouldn't fancy chasing many on this pitch but that will all depend on if the pitch deteriorates because this one is not meant to. Need to finish the tail off tomorrow as quick as poss, keeping them under 300 will have been an excellent bowling performance if they can do it.

  • WeeBee on January 25, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    It was not at all flat pitch! .. BIG turn was there!!! Hehe now i am killing myself to see ajmal bowling on this track! .. Ball is not coming on bat! and there is big turn with less pace , it means batsman have to use their own power on every stroke with timing along that they have got to guess which way ball is turning. I predict it will be a HARD day for England tomorow. I hope Pakistan do cross 300.

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    i predict 280 on this ground is good for pakistan and england would only make 200 t0 230 and junaid ,gul would get 3 ,2 wickets respectively with ajmal left with 4 . the remaining would be for hafeez ang rehman

  • Sohel_ahmed on January 25, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    He's not flamboyant,neither an IPL hotshot,nor has he endorsements worth millions of dollars under his belt.Tv screens or billboards are not flooded with his face sporting a (manufactured on the spot) I have won them all (and i'm from mars,actually)kind of smile.Yet he's someone you'd love to see captaining your country.He's someone you wish leading a side burdened with players whose bat's has become so heavy with corporate endorsements,they can't get in the line of the ball.Players who have sold their commitment and accontability to their franchises.Yes you have guessed it right,its Misbah ul haq i'm talking about here.He will not throw his wicket away in the face of a defeat and then tell the press he is not feeling like playing Tests anymore and he's eagerly looking forward to the (knocking at the door) 2015 world cup.He is never gonna do that and you can bet your life on that.He is an educated leader(literally) and it shows.keep on showing them Misbah that you are the real deal.

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Well Done MISBAH !

    First tym i like his tuk tuk style batting .... Pakistann Really need a partnership and he did with Asad Shafiq

    300+ will be a good run to beat England Inshallah !

  • wnwn on January 25, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    That was definately not a flat/placid pitch.

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    @maniiyer - I think you're being overly sensitive old boy

  • Tigg on January 25, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    @maniiyer I guess the difference is that swing is primarily due to the atmospheric conditions or the condition of the ball. If the ball turns square then it's a combination of the spinners wrist/fingers and, a bigger factor, the pitch. Large deviation off the pitch before a couple of days wear and tear suggests a worn and cracked (i.e. poor) pitch. Swing just suggests it's a cloudy and humid day.

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    Pakistan should score at-least 325 for put England non fight, But i think Bumble was wrong the pitch has a lot of spin and seam for Fast bowler and might be it will be a dead Lake for English batsman in a horrible way.

  • NALINWIJ on January 25, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    Before describing it as England''s day one needs to see if England can get a lead. If Pakistan can get 300 0r near the batting will not get any easier. What an unusual innings by Misbah with those sixes.

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    pakistan r playin well thats the way they need to keep moving they should finish atleast 350 if they need to keep england in trouble

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    @ Invincibless, I personally don't understand Pakistan supporters (although I am one myself). WC semi loss is entirely blamed on Misbah, while the fact is everyone else around him failed to make a start and stay on the wicket long enough to remove any pressure. Of course, he scored slowly because he was under a lot of pressure too. If he had played like Umar Akmal in that match, then Pakistan wouldn't even reach 200. So, I think the whole top order is to blame for not really starting the chase in that match. Misbah actually got Pakistan close enough to a respectable loss. Secondly, for this match, when your team has lost 4 wickets for a hundred runs, the sensible approach is to be very careful and focus on staying one the wicket. There are 5 days to paly this match. If the whole team gets out for 150 odd runs in half a day, then you already lost the match. Think about it mate.

  • Yevghenny on January 25, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    Misbah is a classic test match grafter. He's still there looking good for a ton. He seems to have the Captains Knock down to a tee

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    Turning pitch but slow. If England batters put a big total, a very big IF, then they will be in a good position. Pakistan will be slightly disappointed today but not out of the match as they have quality spinners. Roll on to the second day, it is getting intriguing!!

  • heathrf1974 on January 25, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Broad bowled well. What is a concern is the English have to face Ajmal and given that Swann has taken two wickets, Ajmal will cause more problems to the English batsmen than Swann is to the Pakistani.

  • gimme-a-greentop on January 25, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    All this stuff about Misbah being too defensive is rubbish. He is the captain and the senior batsman in the middle order, and he understands that his role is to stabilize that middle order as Younis Khan is a more free scoring player. Does everyone want all batsman to play like Sehwag? There would be no five day cricket i can assure you...Test cricket always has a place, and indeed needs, the 'boring' grafters...otherwise just watch 20/20 cricket and stop complaining.

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Well done Captian, take ur team to 300 plus and secure a 100 for u, good luck for tomorrow

  • aybec on January 25, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    My prediction is "Pakistan will play the 4th inning"

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    I think it was quite a balanced day for both. Pakistan showed enough resistance in reply of England's resistance. Pakistani batsmen handled the spin quite well untill they got out of their mistakes. Nevertheless, excellent bowling by Swann and Broad. Hats off to Misbah for sticking around and making it look pretty easy. Hoping for an exciting Day 2.

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    nice misbah Strange Wicket ! English Batsmen might struggle once again .

  • dmqi on January 25, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    England spinners have played well,so Ajmal and Rahman will have good time. If Pak can score another 30-40 runs,England will be trouble. Result expected by the end of 4th day. India getting another innings defeat. So, England has to do poorly, need a new ICC ranking.

  • Waqasahmed92 on January 25, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Loved Misbah's sixes...I just wish he did that more often and Pak would've been near 300 on the close of play today...Anyways a good day of cricket nevertheless..Hats off to the English bowlers for keeping it tight and diciplined while the grittiness of Misbah will surely pay dividends later in the game. Some unusual spin at the start of play, din't expect that at all while I have to mention Taufeeq's wicket was absolutely fail...the guy couldn't tell where his offstump was after an hour and half of play..absolutely utter sadness. The pick of the English bowlers was undoubtly Board with Swan and Panesar playing very valuable supporting roles. The pick of the Pakistani batsmen was ofcouse Misbah while Asad Shafiq was also very impressive. I was dissappointed with Hafeez, Azar Ali and Yonus as all of then got resonablly good start and sadly couldn't convert. Overall and 60-40 day for England and Pakistan respectively while tmrws 1st session will hold the key to the results of the match.

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    It was England day for sure, But remember its because of the pitch which suits bowlers, we should not get excited, so far very interesting lets see how England bats. Good Luck to both the teams.

  • Badgerofdoom on January 25, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    England bowled quite well but will be kicking themselves for those dropped catches. Well batted by Misbah but its hard to say what a good score is. I'd say that if England can finish it before 300 they will have the advantage, but we'll have to see how England get on against Ajmal before making any judgements.

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    once upon a time, there was kid who use to play cricket in streets. one day he was playing a cricket and played a shot, he broke the glass of window. his mother shout plz play slow, from that day this kid was known as misbah-ul-haq

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    good batting by Misbahulhaq and Asad Shafiq.. InshAllah Pakistan will defeat England.

  • CharlesCrasto on January 25, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    A great day of absorbing and interesting cricket. This is going to turn out to be a fantastic match!!! TEST MATCH RULEZ!!!!

  • jmcilhinney on January 25, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    I'd say that it was a fairly even day in the end. If you believe the pre-game talk then Pakistan should have made more runs for 7 wickets on this track and England should be able to take a decent first innings lead. England's previous batting performance doesn't inspire confidence though, especially if Ajmal gets reasonable turn. England should have been right in the box seat but if you can't hold your catches (3 fairly easy ones dropped) then you don't deserve to be. I'd say that odds are in favour of this game is going towards a result one way or the other. I think that the England bowlers, particularly Broad, have proven that that they can perform outside bowler-friendly conditions in England. Hopefully the batsmen can do the same tomorrow. Hopefully they will get the chance early, as I'd hate for Misbah to draw out this innings the way Akmal did the first innings last game.

  • 321asad on January 25, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    remarkable grit,determination and character was shown by misbah once again....hope he would continue like this till tea tommorow.

  • mhk21 on January 25, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    with the spin here .....i bet eng can never make past 200 .....hafeez can easily get 3 4 wickets .........350 score will be enough to write eng off by an innings ......

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    How can you call that Englands day the pitch seamed and turned I think it was an even day if pakistan get over 300 it will be very difficult for england...

  • SamRoy on January 25, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    @LilianThompson I agree Swann is far better than Ashwin (or Harbhajan). Panesar is slightly better than Ojha. But it doesn't matter all that much because all that boils down to is how well England will negotiate spin. Their second best batsman against spin (Bell) played one match in India and bamboozled by Ravindra Jadeja of all people. Their best batsmen (Prior) against spin bats at 7! Their potential best batter against spin (Morgan) is yet to prove himself. England hasn't beaten India in India in 30 years. But do they have potential. Yes they have. Will they? Let's see! No comments!

  • A_Yorkshire_Lad on January 25, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    I expect Pakistan will be reasonably pleased with that total at the end of the day , after being a hundred and odd for 4. An intriguing day's play what with no catches being taken , that's for sure. When was the last time Straussy hit 4 sixes in a test match innings , i wonder ?!

  • mhb1 on January 25, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    whatttt :S England day :S how come :S i bet if pakis were bowling they dint make it 150 because if swan/monty can spin much than gues how much spin variations would have ajmal produced think about it folks

  • Iftikhar.Uddin.Khattak on January 25, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    Well again Pakistani batsmen did t perform well, but end of the day i think fair enough total lookin at pitch one can feel that England will be playin last in 2nd inngs then spinner might come up with gr8 affect. The main worry is our batsmen are not playin with some aggression if we look at Aussies when they were down 3 for 84 runs but Ponting and Clarke played well and the most important maintain g good run rate scoring 604 where i think ve given chance to win the match even on that flat Oval wicket. But here in Abu Dhabi we did t maintain good run rate but i think score of round about 280 will be good enough to at least give some chance for our bowlers. Batsmen should give less pressure on bowling unit then we could win easily in test matches. Asad played v well and the best thing in his batting he was v positive which has really helped us to recover and able to score some runs. Azhar Ali should be dropped and U akmal be playin in next test match . Best of luck team Pakistan.

  • A.Ak on January 25, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    Once again, Misbah is playing a great knock. A proper test innings. I would say, its a great technique to play defensively, because the opponents wont notice that he is actually scoring. But in the end of the day, 83no is great. I think about 300 is a good score. England will be in big trouble as pakistan bowlers are much better than theirs and Eng batters are horrible against turning ball.

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    A very exciting and intriguing test match. England looked like the side who had the upper hand in the early sessions. Yes, England bowled nicely, but Pakistan came back quite strongly. At one stage, Pakistan looked like scoring a low total.

    Though, Misbah fired at the right moments. His partnership with Shafiq certainly helped to add vital runs to the total. Misbah kept his cool as usual. More importantly, he's still at the crease scoring crucial runs. The outcome of the first innings now very much depends on Misbah's ability to occupy the crease as much as possible on the consecutive day.

    With three wickets in the tank, I expect Misbah to preferably take as much strike on the second day. It's all about reaching the 300+ mark which would be very ideal. After that, additional runs are a welcome addition.

    On a different note, Pakistan needn't to worry about bowling options. They have plenty of quality options and are bound to get wickets. Key is for Misbah to occupy the crease.

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    english batsmen will struggle once again..very hard to study this pitch

  • Bhajia on January 25, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    @Invincibless: It's Misbah's "super defensive mode" that has salvaged something for Pakistan today. This captain is the best thing to have happened to Pakistan cricket in a long time. Why are some Pakistan supporters always so negative of their team? Maybe you are an opposition supporter and would be pleased to see Misbah give away his wicket?

  • keptalittlelow on January 25, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Pakistan batted badly, there is no denying that, horrible shot from Shafiq, Misbah was lucky. Pakistan lower order is nothing really, Akmal out 9, Rehman 0, no resistance at all. The score of 256 for 7 means again it will be Pakistan bowlers who will have to save Pakistan from defeat by bowling England cheaply, I pray they do, as they have been doing for the last 12 months and win it for Pakistan, there will be result in this so no question of 'saving' the match.

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Invincibless! can t u see?? misbah hit 5 fours n 4 sixes!!

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    Pakistani Fans: Told You. Wait. England 'could' come back since they are Test Team Number One. All depends on the England batsmen- if they are up to the task to raise their game. The England bowlers have done their job in both Tests so far.

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    Screw the cricket I was more enjoying 'Eye of the Tiger' being played constantly on a trumpet in the crowd. Isn't that just awesome, how could u even miss that?

  • stari09 on January 25, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    If Swann turned it like that on day 1, what will the pakistani duo do on the last day?

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    @INVINCIBLESS... With wickets tumbling all around... you gotta be crazy man. Skipper knows how to WIN, let him WIN from the poms and you keep your comments. It is not one day or T20 cricket mate. This is TEST cricket. Way to go MIsbah... well done.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on January 25, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    England know if they'd held their catches they'd have bowled out Pakistan for 150. But on a dead wicket, the bowling was aggressive and tight, it's just a question of them not playing around the non-spinning arm balls of Ajmal.

  • addicted_to_chaos on January 25, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    @mainiiyer: None of the comments earlier that your blamed pitch for turning..... and by the way english spinners are doing good job, they will dismiss your team on spinning tracks with the same score that your team usually makes in foreign lands....

  • Invincibless on January 25, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Can somebody please turn off Misbah's super defensive mode!!!

  • on January 25, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    they should bat till the end of day .. making a way to a decent lead ...

  • maniiyer on January 25, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    "The pitch turned as if it was the fourth afternoon, not the first morning" -i suppose it is ok if the ball swings throughout the 5 days in England or bounces throughout the 5 days in Aus or SA but if the ball starts turning from day 1 in Asia ,it should be mentioned in a manner as if the pitch is to blame.

  • Bhajia on January 25, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    @khurramsch. I must say that I fortunate that I do not have to be subjected to the bias of current English commentators. Oh John Arlott, how I miss you!

  • on January 25, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    I think English spinners are not doing too bad. Even if they don't show some extra-ordinary performance, the match practice in subcontinent will help a lot on Indian tour. To me, they look superior to Indian spinners at the moment.

  • PakPace on January 25, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    Shafiq is playing fine cricket.. .. All the Best Shafiq.. If i would want to predict anything i couldnt as its so even stevens at the moment.. England would need to work out of their skin to negotiate Ajmal.. if they are in any chance for the match going their way.. Pakistan so far so good,.. no ducks, no silly easy catches given, simplyy good balls beat very good players..

  • tahir989 on January 25, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    Well I expect a result out of this match.. With ball turning I think even a score of 280-320 would be competitive if a decent stand can be formed b.w Misbah and Asad here. It would then be left over to Eng on how they counter Ajmal / Rehman and Gul. With Junaid coming in would be a competitive match to see. Regardless of anything, I reckon an outcome and not a draw... Praise to Eng for taking 4 quicks within a 100 run score and all 4 of em' been bowled out.. This now has become interesting .... Let the best team shines out...

  • on January 25, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Strange Wicket ! English Batsmen might struggle once again .

  • loudmouth on January 25, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    Not a perfect start for Pakistan but then again 200 against this England side might be plenty! Ian Bell for two more doosras!!!

  • kikump on January 25, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Poor England have to bat 4th on this pitch. God save them.

  • PACEGUY on January 25, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    786

    A very good impressive start from these high-class teams, good luck to both Pakistan and England I really do hope that they both do well. But obviously I myself do support and want Pakistan to win.

  • LillianThomson on January 25, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    I'm surprised how much the pitch has turned, and at a decent pace. In these situations the second and third innings almost become irrelevant: the question is whether Pakistan can score more in their first innings than England can chase in the final innings. It's a good job that Gautam Gambhir has been busy in Adelaide, because if he'd been watching this match he'd know that Panesar and Swann are far, far superior to their Indian counterparts, and his idea of turning wickets for England's tour wouldn't look so smart.

  • 5wombats on January 25, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    This wicket looks like it will be a bit of a bunsen!

  • on January 25, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    Interesting match it seems to develop. I guess a tense finish, depends on how england play the 4th Inning of the match.

  • khurramsch on January 25, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    @lunch: well England should be thankful that misbah chose to bat 1st(only 2nd time he did in as test captain). 2nd english comentators on tv are very biased. its 73/2 not 45/5 like dubai but they were talking as if england got all pak team out & when pak spinners got wickets it was according to them gifts by batsmen but now what u say to toufeq's stupidty?they are calling it swanns master class.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • khurramsch on January 25, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    @lunch: well England should be thankful that misbah chose to bat 1st(only 2nd time he did in as test captain). 2nd english comentators on tv are very biased. its 73/2 not 45/5 like dubai but they were talking as if england got all pak team out & when pak spinners got wickets it was according to them gifts by batsmen but now what u say to toufeq's stupidty?they are calling it swanns master class.

  • on January 25, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    Interesting match it seems to develop. I guess a tense finish, depends on how england play the 4th Inning of the match.

  • 5wombats on January 25, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    This wicket looks like it will be a bit of a bunsen!

  • LillianThomson on January 25, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    I'm surprised how much the pitch has turned, and at a decent pace. In these situations the second and third innings almost become irrelevant: the question is whether Pakistan can score more in their first innings than England can chase in the final innings. It's a good job that Gautam Gambhir has been busy in Adelaide, because if he'd been watching this match he'd know that Panesar and Swann are far, far superior to their Indian counterparts, and his idea of turning wickets for England's tour wouldn't look so smart.

  • PACEGUY on January 25, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    786

    A very good impressive start from these high-class teams, good luck to both Pakistan and England I really do hope that they both do well. But obviously I myself do support and want Pakistan to win.

  • kikump on January 25, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Poor England have to bat 4th on this pitch. God save them.

  • loudmouth on January 25, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    Not a perfect start for Pakistan but then again 200 against this England side might be plenty! Ian Bell for two more doosras!!!

  • on January 25, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Strange Wicket ! English Batsmen might struggle once again .

  • tahir989 on January 25, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    Well I expect a result out of this match.. With ball turning I think even a score of 280-320 would be competitive if a decent stand can be formed b.w Misbah and Asad here. It would then be left over to Eng on how they counter Ajmal / Rehman and Gul. With Junaid coming in would be a competitive match to see. Regardless of anything, I reckon an outcome and not a draw... Praise to Eng for taking 4 quicks within a 100 run score and all 4 of em' been bowled out.. This now has become interesting .... Let the best team shines out...

  • PakPace on January 25, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    Shafiq is playing fine cricket.. .. All the Best Shafiq.. If i would want to predict anything i couldnt as its so even stevens at the moment.. England would need to work out of their skin to negotiate Ajmal.. if they are in any chance for the match going their way.. Pakistan so far so good,.. no ducks, no silly easy catches given, simplyy good balls beat very good players..