Pakistan v England, 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi, 3rd day January 27, 2012

England can chase 250 - Broad


Stuart Broad has said that England "would not want to be chasing much more than 250" in the final innings against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Broad, the England allrounder, followed up his excellent first-innings bowling with an aggressive half-century to help his side gain the initiative in the second Test. A fightback from Pakistan's fifth-wicket pair of Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq brought the hosts back into the game, however, and left them leading by 55 with six wickets in hand at the close of the third day.

"We're delighted with our position," Broad said. "They're only about 50 ahead and we are only 19 overs from the new ball. We just have to remember we are only two wickets away from being into their tail.

"We don't want to be chasing more than 250. Scoreboard pressure plays a huge role and even if the wicket does get a bit flatter that's still a decent score. We have to bowl well and that new ball will be the key. Hopefully we can restrict them to about 200 and then chase that down."

Broad denied that England were frustrated by Pakistan's resistance and instead reasoned that batting conditions had eased.

"Frustrating isn't the word," he said. "In Test cricket, you expect partnerships. The wicket today played at its flattest - I just don't know if it will turn more or play flatter tomorrow. But the important thing is we didn't start chasing wickets; we didn't start trying for magical deliveries. We just stayed patient."

Earlier Broad had struck six fours and a six in a 62-ball innings of 58 to help England gain a first-innings lead of 70.

"Looking at how difficult it was to defend against the quick-turning ball at the end of the second day, I thought my best option would be to try and manoeuvre the field, try to counter punch," he said. "Once I hit a couple of boundaries, everybody seemed to move out and I could pick up some singles and twos. It was a personal decision to give it a bit of a go with the amount of turn there was the night before and it paid off."

Azhar, meanwhile, saw things slightly differently. He reasoned that a lead of 150 would prove "very good" on this wicket and that anything "above that would be excellent".

"We're very confident," he said. "We are fighting back. We lost four wickets but we're determined and will not give up.

"No one gave their wicket away. The England bowlers are very good, it has to be said, but we don't want to give up. We were determined and we knew that if we stayed there, the runs would come."

Both players also praised what Azhar called the "fantastic crowd". Around 14,000 spectators took advantage of the free entry to attend the third day's play, creating "brilliant support for both teams", in the words of Azhar.

Their presence also helped drown out Sky Sports commentator David Lloyd, according to Broad. "The Barmy Army have been brilliant throughout," he said. "But it was so quiet on the first day that we could hear 'Bumble' commentating and we had to ask the umpires to turn the speakers down.

"I keep thinking when I go to leave the ground at the end of the day, 'Tomorrow is a huge day - tomorrow evening I'll know what the result will be'. But I keep getting to the end of the day, and I'm no clearer.

"This has been an amazing Test. It's been one for the purists, I suppose. The cricket has been quite slow at times, but very intriguing. It really can go either way."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on January 30, 2012, 0:10 GMT

    Well I think Stuey will want to have this page erased!!!!!

  • Shahbaz on January 28, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Broad was telling that England can chase the 250 - but not against Pakistan. He did not mention which nation they are going to chase 250! Very broad assessment Mr. Boad!

  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    @JG2704 well said and thank you for sticking up for common sense!

  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    hohoho!! broad went helpless when his team in need....

  • John on January 28, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    @iBilal on (January 27 2012, 22:29 PM GMT) - It's difficult to know what the benchmark is. When SA beat Aus in the 1st test , I felt that their (Aus) 2nd inns total would be more than competitive but SA chased it with ease. It's one of those where if England had to chase 250 I wouldn't say it was impossible but by the same token chasing 150 , I wouldn't be 100% confident either. Your totals seem a fair assessment

  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Broad just want to win over Pakistan psychologically. Even they know that any figure around 170 will really be a challenging task for them on this turning track, in 4th innings, 4th&5th day of test and against a quality bowling attack.

  • Martin on January 28, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    @Sports4Youth on (January 28 2012, 05:15 AM GMT) - you are always dissing Pakistan, so you are not Pakistani and on a nearby thread you called England a team of "Donkeys". Clearly you are an india fan who enjoys eating sour grapes 8 at a time. I didn't think it snowed in india but there have been 2 heavy falls of white stuff there lately. Take your bitter comments away. We are true cricket fans here. Please publish.

  • John on January 28, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    Broad might be right, but I would much rather not have to find out. I think 150 will take some getting against the Pakistan spinners on this pitch.

  • Karen on January 28, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    seems the difference may be the strength between the english tail to pak tails.Pak may wish to consider umar akmal instead of Adnan akmal.The former is the best battingtalent pak have produced for years.

  • baseer on January 28, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    pakistan will be bundled out early in the morning as goes their batting history.whenever they won ,mostly it was bowlers' extra ordinary performance.this side is always let down by their inefficient batting and sloppy fielding.

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