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

England can chase 250 - Broad

George Dobell in Abu Dhabi

January 27, 2012

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

England fans at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Pakistan v England, 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi, 3rd Day, January 27, 2012
There was support for both sides in the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, as 14,000 fans turned up on day three © AFP

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety on (January 30, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

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

Posted by shahbazhussain 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!

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

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

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

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

Posted by JG2704 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

Posted by   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.

Posted by 5wombats 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.

Posted by landl47 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.

Posted by willmot 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.

Posted by baseersyed 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.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (January 28, 2012, 5:15 GMT)

Well broady is a good all rounder. but he does not know what he is talking about. in the previous game in the second innings they made 30 runs less than the 1st innings. This is a desert area. Pak team is also strugling more in the 2nd innings. 250 will be very dificult for this team in batting last on this turning wicket.

Posted by explorer76 on (January 28, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

We are getting a bit too carried away with this talk of 200 or 250. We have a lead of only 55 right now and it will take tremendous application for azhar and asad to get anywhere near the 200 mark. So tall his talk about whether england can chase 200/ 250 or not is a bit premature. Lets first wait and see how the pakistan innings evolves before talking about England's innings.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

I like Broad's assesment but more than that I really am enjoying the wat Braod is playing his cricket game.. If England win's this test then it is because of Broad's very aggressive bowling and excellent batting. He has turned into a thinking cricketer. He is also very passionate about his cricket. I am a Pakistani fan but if England wins- and the chances are more for a England's victory, then Braod should be the man of the match!!!

Posted by dmqi on (January 28, 2012, 2:44 GMT)

DO NOT ALLOW Gul and the under lip mustache new guy bowler Junaid, to bowl as they will give two beautiful delivery and 4 crazy balls to hit for fours. Rather use 4 spinners and tell them to keep the run check. No loose delivery as you will possibly defend 150 at the most. Ajmal is no threat to English now.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2012, 2:18 GMT)

I just hope Azher and Shafiq dont get over confident tomorrow morning and get out cheaply. Broad is right about the new ball. If tomorrow results in a swinging atmosphere then I think Shafiq and the remaining batsmen will not be able to put up much of a fight. Clearly, England has the upper hand. I would say 90% England, 10% Pakistan.

Posted by 5wombats on (January 28, 2012, 0:19 GMT)

@JG2704 - dead right. Told you Pakistan fans were alright didn't we! This Test is a classic, and the discussions and the spirit here are precisely what cricinfo is all about. You came in on an apocalyptic ODI tour of india - but what we have here is authentic cricket-speak. As it should be.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 23:10 GMT)

Billy Bowden put England in a commanding position in this test.

Posted by mushir on (January 27, 2012, 22:49 GMT)

Hmmm!!! With the given fragility of English middle order I feel more than 200 would be tough for Trott,Cook ,Swann and Broad to chase because rest all other will combined may contribute only something more than 50 to 60 runs!!!

Posted by iBilal on (January 27, 2012, 22:29 GMT)

respect mr JG2704. 250 will be difficult total batting fourth. i think 200 will be competitive. Anything above 150 is respectful

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (January 27, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

Hmmmph! Stuart Broad did NOT say "England can chase 250" as the story makes clear. My guess is that if Pakistan set 200 they will become the favourites. One thing is clear though: this is classic Test cricket and just the Test that we hoped Pakistan would give England. If England do win, no one will say that the victory was not earned.

Posted by mhk21 on (January 27, 2012, 20:53 GMT)

hahahaha....broad getting carried away by his 50...feel 150 is enough on a day 5 pitch to wreck england

Posted by Stark62 on (January 27, 2012, 20:33 GMT)


I hope Pak do get 250 lead on the board now after this statement!

Posted by 5wombats on (January 27, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

He's bigging it up a bit with the stuff about 250! Chasing 250 would be a hideous task. Meanwhile, we really like the confidence of Azhar. Quality! Don't want this game to end....

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

Anything beyond 220-225 will be tough ask for English team ...

Posted by   on (January 27, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

can England chase 250? yes they can, I agree with broad. But can Pakistan bowled them out before 200? yes they can and they did with many teamsin the past and recently in Dubai. Since 2nd day evening, we can see the way pitch is behaving. Batting is getting difficult. But why broad managed to struck boundaries? My opinion is because he was fearless.And when you are fearless, then you dont care about the surrounding and ground facts. Having said that, brilliant stuff form English bowlers and fantastic resistance from young pakistani batsman. Loving the test cricket and wonder when ICC will think about world championship of test matches ? If England win this match, no body will be favorite for the 3rd match. Can't wait for tomorrow. Being Pakistani supporter, I hope we can put some descent total to defend, but for now my money is on England.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 27, 2012, 18:15 GMT)

@My Fellow England Fans - I'm echoing the comments of some of my fellow fans here. Please let's not have any more gloating/sniping comments. By and large the Pakistani fans have been very respectful of us and after recent months it has made a very pleasant change to have constructive debates/conversations in comparison with having to respond to tiresome digs from obsessives from other countries. If we do beat Pakistan in this test , by all means praise our players but please do not snipe at the Pakistan fans in general. By all means if a particular member has said something derogitary about England then give it back to that person and hope that Cricinfo publish it. I feel that gloating and sniping not only lacks class but can come back to haunt you. Pakistan have already proved that they are a team performing well above their ranking and have already given us a very tough series and could still become the 1st team to beat us in a test series since early 2009.

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