Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 1st day

England squeeze into lead as wickets tumble

The Report by David Hopps

February 3, 2012

Comments: 182 | Text size: A | A

England 104 for 6 (Strauss 41*, Rehman 3-23) lead Pakistan 99 (Shafiq 45, Broad 4-36) by 5 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Having fallen once again to left-arm spin, Kevin Pietersen walks off, Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 1st day, February 3, 2012
Kevin Pietersen looked confident before falling again to left-arm spin, Abdur Rehman trapping him lbw for 32 © Getty Images

England's batting has been so ineffably weak in this Test series that even the sight of a Pakistan side bundled out for 99 was not about to fill them with resolve. Where once they were steadfast now they are overwrought. All logic suggested they should have ended the opening day of the third Test in a position of authority but logic left this series long ago.

It is the first time that Test cricket has been played in winter in the UAE and the pitches have been enlivened from their usual moribund state as a result but not remotely to the extent that the scores suggest. Every day brings something more bizarre. This should not by any stretch of the imagination have been a 16-wicket day.

Pakistan avoided their lowest Test score against England thanks only to 45 from Asad Shafiq, the one batsman to pass muster as England's new-ball pair, Stuart Broad and James Anderson, made full use of encouraging conditions. Pakistan began the final Test imagining they could whitewash England in a Test series for the first time. It is quite something to be dismissed for fewer than 100 on a decent-enough surface and still be in the match.

An England innings has become something fantastical. The DRS has sapped their resolve. It was introduced to reduce umpiring mistakes, and it has achieved its purpose, but in this series at least, it has shifted the balance of the game fundamentally. Umpires in this series are giving most marginal calls to the bowler, too many marginal calls. Batsmen are confused about their technique and spinners are bowling straight and imagining themselves as superheroes. It will right itself in time; the authorities are not fond of three-day Tests.

This series has already produced more lbws than in any three-Test series in history - 35 and counting. There were eight umpiring reviews and the Australian Simon Taufel, who has mused about retirement more than once, had an uncomfortable day as he had several decisions overturned.

Almost unnoticed, Andrew Strauss reached the close of a bewildering day unbeaten on 41, an England captain labouring to add a major batting contribution to his undoubted leadership qualities. Overlook a flirt with a sweep or two and he stood alongside Shafiq and Kevin Pietersen as the most secure batsmen on an insecure day.

Memories of England's batting debacles in the first two Tests must have preyed on Alastair Cook's mind as he fell to the sort of hesitant jab against Umar Gul that Australia, in England's victorious Ashes series barely a year ago, must have dreamed of. Gul also had Trott lbw: a dodgy decision by the umpire, Steve Davis, which England failed to review.

Then came the curiosities. Kevin Pietersen looked in good trim but fell to left-arm spin once more, a marginal decision that might have been designed to taunt his pre-match assertion that his record against this type of bowler was "not a train crash". Ian Bell was out to Saeed Ajmal for the fourth series, straying out of his crease and stumped fortuitously by Adnan Akmal off a blur of pads and gloves - that is how his brother Kamran used to do it. Eoin Morgan, his reputation as a good player of spin now in tatters, was trapped on the back foot by a quicker, flatter one. And finally Matt Prior, desperate not to be struck on the pads, was bowled by one that turned.

Pakistan were no better. By drinks on the first morning, England had five Pakistan wickets; shortly after drinks came round again in the afternoon they had them all. This was far from a fast bowlers' feast but Broad, England's outstanding player of the series, and Anderson made full use of a little swing and some unexpected bounce.

Broad's new-ball return of 3 for 12 in six overs included two overturned decisions for Taufel as England successfully resorted to DRS. The dismissal of Mohammad Hafeez was the most controversial of the day.

England were searching for a lbw decision but there seemed to be little conclusive evidence to overturn Taufel's decision. Indeed those blessed with the eyes of a hawk and high-definition TVs insisted there was a slight mark on hot spot that should have reprieved Hafeez. Shavir Tarapore, the third umpire from India in his fourth Test, gave him out, causing Hafeez to slap his bat in unconcealed disgust.

In the seconds a fielding side has to decide on a review, the captain, Andrew Strauss, mentally dons a business suit, calls a meeting, studies a report, draws conclusions and lays out a systematic process. The sense is of clipboards, posh pens and PowerPoint presentations. Misbah tries to do the same for Pakistan but he is a bit short of reliable middle management.

In England in 2010, Pakistan collapsed for 72, 76 and 80, three batting disasters at Edgbaston, Lord's and Trent Bridge that count among their eight lowest Test scores in history. They no longer had to contend with a surly English summer but they did face the debilitating effect of a series already secured.

Their collapse began in the first over, Taufeeq Umar defeated by Anderson's inswinger. There were few demons in the ball from Broad that dismissed Azhar and Younis Khan's jab at a wide, rising ball, even allowing for the unexpected steepness of the bounce: another poor shot in a career nearing its end.

Misbah and Adnan, who should also have been run out by Morgan, both turned to DRS without success to try to stem the flow of wickets. Rehman's slog at Graeme Swann, in his solitary over, was the worst batting moment on a day replete with them. Shafiq was ninth out, trying to cut Panesar and getting struck on the pad in front of middle.

For Pakistan the morning had brought back bad memories of their first Test in the UAE. Against Australia in Sharjah ten years ago they were dismissed for 53 and 59 - their two lowest Test scores. Misbah, Taufeeq and Younis were all in the top six then. In some ways little has changed in Pakistan cricket. In other, more significant ways, everything has changed.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 6, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

@Long-Leg on (February 03 2012, 16:48 PM GMT) - He'll be too busy laughing at his extremely funny jokes to listen to your comms my friend

Posted by JG2704 on (February 6, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

@Haris Usmani on (February 03 2012, 22:21 PM GMT) Being that it's only a 2 test series I feel it is unlikely. Unfortunately for your good self

Posted by JG2704 on (February 6, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

@Shahnawaz Khaliq on (February 03 2012, 14:28 PM GMT) - Except Bell? - Bell has been the worst of a poor performing batting line up in this series

Posted by JG2704 on (February 6, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

@HumanhHoneyBadger on (February 03 2012, 09:35 AM GMT) - A little ungracious there , Pakistan have battled very well to go 2 up in the series and it could still very well go 3-0 to Pakistan. Also the Pakistan fans by and large have been very respectful towards us on these boards . England had a 70 run lead in the last match and only had to chase less than 150 and look what happened. We'll do very well to get a 70 run lead from here and that's just the first part. Our bowlers are doing the business but our batsmen again seem very uneasy at the crease. Can't remember who it was but another Engl fan was gloating before the final day of the last match when we were in a stronger position then than we are now. Please give team Pakistan respect. They have beaten us fair and square and could still whitewash us.

Posted by Ryousuf on (February 4, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

no doubt batting is the weakest area of this pakistan side but these pakistani players are very good fighters. They always keep their hopes and goes on attack. See they went after england to defend the score of 99. Courageous green shirts. Keep it up.

Posted by 5wombats on (February 4, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

@Meety - well, just for a change you are making sense. A commendable trait. Agreed - England hopeless and pathetic against Pakistan slow bolwers. But we think the hopeless patheticness is all in the mind.

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 4, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

I'd just like to say a big "Cheerio" to all those who are trying to limbo under our recent 47. .. keep trying guys, you can get there. ... see, it's not that easy to collapse in truly clueless style is it ? ... . meanwhile the Kiwi's breath a sigh of relief. The all time low score is about the only record they hold, so they get a bit protective of it !! ... seriously though, as a long retired bowler, its just so sweet to see those jumped up batsmen falling like ten pins all around the world. ..Suck Eggs Batsmen is my war cry.. lol

Posted by   on (February 4, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

nw if Pakistan take a lead ov 150 i m nt sure england can b bowled out again in the 2nd innings so england ahead in the test Pakistan have to take a lead of 220-230 to trouble england the big wickets r younis n misbah they have look up n get some runs if these two doesn't prfrm match iz GONE

Posted by DilbertZA on (February 4, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

Why all the fuss about about DRS? IMO we are seeing a high % of good decisions world wide - it brings an improved balance to the game. We should be thankful that the shockingly wrong calls by umpires seen in cricket from time to time can now be eliminated from the game and we can debate 50/50 calls on a forum like this.

Posted by Khans_word on (February 4, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

The Third Test for Pakistan is taking a similar pattern as far as the batting is concerned.

Unfortunately, the main culprit is Taufeeq Umar. Poor opening batsman who keeps on playing daft shots outside the off stump. Because of his wicket early on, it exposes the rest of the batting early on to the new ball.

If Pakistan bat past the 20th over with 2 wickets down then they can build a good lead

Posted by   on (February 4, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

@5wombats: I suppose in one respect it is still attritional. Pakistan has a modus operandi that ought to work wonders in t20, and be highly successful in ODIs too, but trying to get wickets via strangulation is not the best way to go about it in tests, where batsmen are naturally comfortable playing out maidens. Traditionally Pakistan has truly been attacking, and it helped when we had Wasim, Waqar and then Shoaib. Misbah's team though, if one can see through the current chaos, is still following that basic plan: strangle them and you will get them, and Pakistan's bowlers have the lowest economy rate recently. The secret is so simple really, all about attrition, and these wickets merely aid the war of attrition, thus appearing so much more lethal than they are. Imagine India batting against their own bowlers here... Even go back to Pak vs Sl and Pak vs SA and compare. The Abu Dhabi track changed but the Dubai one is the same as back then.

Posted by   on (February 4, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

i never seen such a top top top class bowling from both sides. Anderson,Gul,Broad,cheema,swan,ajmal,panesar, 2 watch.

Posted by Meety on (February 4, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

@5wombats - it aint the pitches, though threy are more sporting, it's just an artform is slowly dying (grind out an innings of 3/200 off 90 overs in a day). I think the pitches have been more responsive to seam than spin. In this series, your mob haven't got a plan (in some cases like Bell, a clue) against good spin bowling, whereas Paki batsmen are still very suspect against good seam bowling. If this series had been one all, I'd say after day 1 of the 32d test, this is a great TEST series in the true meaning of the word!

Posted by   on (February 4, 2012, 6:34 GMT)

@Sports4Youth a batting coach would do india a lot good as well. the two pakistan spinners are in the top 10 how inexperienced do you think they still are ?

Posted by JB77 on (February 4, 2012, 6:10 GMT)

Hey, an article about England that doesn't mention winning the last Ash-....oh wait. Yep. There it is.

Posted by JustIPL on (February 4, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

DRS not against the ground reality. Bowlers are attacking and look like taking wickets to nacked eye and the review system facilitates that by confirming that batsmen are out. We could be more critical of the system if batsmen were batting freely and still record number of lbws are given. I think all this talk against the DRS is rubbish and was started to save indian batsmen specially fab4 in england and australia against swann. Opposing the DRS did not do any good the confidence of indian batsmen and two whitewashes and two very competitive series with lowly windies. In short if you bat with good technique then even DRS will not get you out.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (February 4, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

Its sad that England batsman of Cook, Trott, and Bell were told to be in the form of their life and they all averaged close to 100 last year. Whats their average in this series may I ask?

Posted by Anwaruzz on (February 4, 2012, 5:26 GMT)

Pak will be in a good position if they can get Eng out within 140. Points to be noted Pak lost most of their wickets to swing and bounce whereas Eng lost theirs to spin. Swing and bounce will be missing 2nd hour/session of 2nd day so Pak will do better in 2nd innings whereas Eng will remain confused with much helpful spinning track in their 2nd innings.

Posted by   on (February 4, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

I think the first session will decide the whole story.... If England Score 150+ then it could be trouble for Pakistan, but remember Pakistan have bowled out only in 72 runs in the Fourth Inning.......... Pakistan can beat England....!!!!

Posted by dravid.s on (February 4, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

England going to lose another match...........

Posted by eglets on (February 4, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

Match Report: England will take lead maximum 50 runs then pakistan will make 300+ after that England will make maximum 200.Good luck Pakistan

Posted by tompuffin on (February 4, 2012, 4:18 GMT)

Strangely, I think that this English batting needs a couple more NZ type players. Often NZ is circumspect to getting out in stupid fashion against spinners, like in the last test against Australia, with needless slogs. But this English team is the opposite! They seem to treat Ajmal and Rehman as if they were firing spiked cannon balls. Pieterson and Morgan should be playing that aggressive, up the tempo role, but they're failing by getting out. All credit to the Pakistani bowlers for bowling great, but honestly, I expected more from the English. Its very painful to watch. As for playing on the back foot strategies, that REALLY doesn't seem to make sense. Coaches tell batsman to get to the pitch of the ball, but if you're playing on the back foot sooo often, then you're basically letting the ball spin, dip, curve, explode, bamboozle!? Common sense dictates that the closer you are to the ball from where it bounces, the less the ball will spin BEFORE the bat!

Posted by Available on (February 4, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

Stone-Aamir don't forget the outcome of 2nd test. If Pakistan got lead of 140-150 runs it will be the end of series in Pakistan favor. Long live Pakistan cricket.

Posted by BravoBravo on (February 4, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

@Damian Chandler: I thought ENG and PAK fans are prettty fair in their comments and they don't come up the excuses for their team failures. Whitewashes and excuses are habitual for IND. I just want to say in response to your comment about Ajmal's bowling that when Wasim and Waqar invented and mastered the art of reverse swing, they troubled ENG and AUS. And their bowling became suspect and now reverse swing became an art. So calling Ajmal's bowling a chucking is wrong, as it will be soon accepted by ENG and AUS as an art too. No doubt that ENG team has lot of talented players, and they are pretty good unit. At this time point they have slight edge over PAK. But like they say, "it is not over until the fat lady sings". @Ali Raza Kazmi: I didnt mean to offend PAK fans, and I agree with you that it is anyone's game as of now. After watching 2 whitewashed series of Mighty Batting Line up (???), this series between ENG and PAK is quite competitive and entertaining. Good Luck to both teams!

Posted by Available on (February 4, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

Look like an exciting finish of the series if Pakistan could have squeezed England Batting to 40-50- odd runs lead and got 140--150 runs chase for England.

Posted by Kirk-at-Lords on (February 4, 2012, 3:09 GMT)

@shoaib: LBW is one of the most complicated rules in any sport. It is all about estimating a reality that does not physically occur, because the ball never touches the stumps. It is a critical pressure point that decisively affects the balance of bat and ball. First the bat got the upper hand, and now unexpectedly DRS has flipped the equation around to favour the ball. What Test cricket desperately needs is a dynamic balance. A reworking of DRS to eliminate the naked bias toward the on-field umpire's call, and putting most of the work load on the 3d umpire rather than the players, could allow such a balance to evolve with little or no disruption to cricket traditions. If the ICC also put in place global standards for stadiums and grounds prep, using grassier, bouncier wickets as the base line, fair play & a Test Championship would also become realistic outcomes. Those are things I am truly willing to embrace. I hope a reformed, more independent ICC will, too!

Posted by   on (February 4, 2012, 3:06 GMT)

@5wombats thanks for clearing up the strange comments by someone who didnt seem to be supporting either side ....unfortunately we have fans from other teams who are in a win win situation who are not even giving constructive critisism.... in regards to the pitches i sort of agree 16 wickets in a day is far too much but thats probably down to bad batting(Missing straight bowls and playing at balls well outside the off stump) and excellent bowling from both sides.... everyone who actually saw the pitch were saying all though it had grasson it, it looked flat as a pancake... pretty strange because everyone else who played on these pitches struggled to get 20 wickets including the might SA??? it may just be flat in the next few days lets see... what i can say is i also thought someone was going to nick it 1-0.... great series so far regardless

Posted by subbass on (February 4, 2012, 2:35 GMT)

England will win - Inshallah !

Posted by Desihungama on (February 4, 2012, 2:31 GMT)

As far as I can tell Pakistan has a fair chance of pulling this one too. I reckon English lead to be not more than 50 runs and if Pak puts a 250 next innings score, it's a toss up.

Posted by Harry_Kool on (February 4, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

@5wombats. Leave the Indian fans alone! After all they are happy, they showed everyone, no team, and I mean NO TEAM, inflicts defeat on India for the 17th consecutive time away!

Posted by jango_moh on (February 4, 2012, 2:17 GMT)

now ENG is against DRS??? so u were for it until u got some supposedly "rough" decisions... either u support the ball tracking part of it, or u dont!!! so wich one is it??

Posted by   on (February 4, 2012, 0:40 GMT)

@ bravobravo: I think it's too early to draw a conclusion from 1st day progress. In my opinion match is still well-balanced though ENG hold slight edge. But don't forget the come back from PAK in the 2nd test, 3rd innings after trailing by a margin. I think anything above 150 would be a challenging target for ENG in the 4th innings. It's all mind-game now...whichever team bears pressure, keeps their mind cool...will take the match.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 4, 2012, 0:31 GMT)

England looked somewhat more positive with the bat, which is a step in the right direction, but the results are no better. Trott was obviously unlucky but no complaints because that's what DRS is there for. Bell was unlucky to be stumped off that particular ball, given that Akmal didn't collect the ball, but if he can't pick Ajmal's doosra then it was only a matter of time anyway. He looked more positive though so that bodes better for playing against spinners without a doosra or one that's easier to pick. If Morgan keeps his place after this series it will only be because others failed as well. Here's hoping Broad and Swann can score a few to give England a buffer, which they'll likely need batting last. Their saving grace will be that it is unlikely to be on a day 5 pitch, or even day 4 maybe.

Posted by   on (February 4, 2012, 0:06 GMT)

ajmal should have been called for chucking. the second last ball of his second last over. that was chucking and the umpire should have called it

Posted by Nasir55 on (February 3, 2012, 23:57 GMT)

Pakistan players batted pretty poorly, except Asad Shafiq who showed little bit of resistance. But worst thing that left quite some questions unanswered is that if Sir Ian Bothem can spot something why can't a person who is paid for this and is blessed with technology ... ???

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 23:55 GMT)

I think its about time that you should give credit to Pakistan. they have balled well though their batting is no where close to what it should be.But i think they came a long way.and stop making excuses for england. every time when some country beat England u guy always make excuses like oh the balling action is questionable. oh the wickets are poor. oh the decision were poor. I think England is no longer # 1 team.

Posted by 5wombats on (February 3, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

@Aina Maria Waseem - Ok. But read what we wrote again. We said we like this sort of sporting pitch! Much rather have this than the boring rubbish you see in some countries. My point is - before this series all the talk was about "grinding out results" and "attritional cricket". The reality has turned out far different! Why? As for you @Haris Usmani - as before, plenty of big talk from india fans, many of whom seem to enjoy sour grape flavoured humble pie..... the reality for india fans is indigestible isn't it?

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 3, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

The first hour of play on second day will decide the outcome of this match. What ever the result here, one thing is very sure that indian batting is far superior to Pakistan's and if English batting doesn't improve quickly then they are up for a couple of white washs and sure to lose badly this year.

Posted by dmqi on (February 3, 2012, 23:41 GMT)


Posted by shoaib on (February 3, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

i think england will do well in india and srilanka. because they lack quality spinners. rather i think that the spinners in english team are better than those in srilanka and india

Posted by shoaib on (February 3, 2012, 22:43 GMT)

i really cant understand people talking against DRS!!! come on batsmen play with your bats, NOT WITH YOUR PADS. these batsmen need to go and learn their technique. dont blame DRS. batsmen in yester years who enjoyed all that "benefit of doubt" are lucky that they are not in this era. the way it was being done in that era was done because there was no technology available. now that we have the technology. we should use it!

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 22:32 GMT)

@5wombats: Aren't you being a little ambivalent here? You are relieved at no draws yet you question these pitches? Frankly I prefer this to the dull draws we were all dreading. And these wickets were NOT turning square. I was reading of the Sharjah matchof 2002 where Pakistan collapsed twice in the 50s, well Pakistan can collapse spectacularly ANYWHERE, and England is not good at playing a good spin attack in such conditions, so no surprises in my opinion. Lastly, everyone knows the Pakistani bowlers are not even turning it much, despite a supposedly turning track. The thing with UAE tracks is (and Pakistanis are mini-experts on them by now) they are just extremely slow and low and frustrate batsmen into making stupid mistakes. Credit to Broad and Panesar for making Pakistan abandon the discipline that was making their typical collapses so rare, at least on these grounds.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (February 3, 2012, 22:31 GMT)

It's painful watching this Eng batting lineup in these conditions. Definetely part of it is mental, just like watching Ian Bell block for 5 overs. I know he had a plan and stuck to it but it's been proven that blocking over after over just does not work. The test only players likes Strauss and Prior have between now and the SL series to iron things out while the rest needs to work things out on the fly in the ODI series. Right now as it stands, Eng can't play spin...that's a fact that's been proven. Like Flower said, they need to figure it out themselves and hopefully they'll do that in SL.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 22:21 GMT)

@5wombats - england will be butchered 4-0 in India this year. pray that they dont get whitewashed 3-0 by srilanka.

Posted by BravoBravo on (February 3, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

I believe that ENG will win the test. PAK has already won the test series. If PAK win this test thee whitewash will be inflicted on ENG which is less likely. In my opinion IND is the only team which specializes in being white washed. IND is the most whitewashed team in the history of cricket, and I hope they will retain this record forever.

Posted by cricket_fan_1980 on (February 3, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

5wombats, I would't read that much into the pitch. I think its very sporting, has good variation, is lively, the weather and wind is contributing, but I think it is no different from many other very good quality test pitches all around the world. I think the reason for these results (the 6 innings we've seen) is the extremely high caliber of bowling, distributed between both sides. That, compounded to some extent, with some poor batting as well. And ofcourse, no one is talking about pressure and temperament. Pakistan have a lot to prove, hence the extra venom in their bowling, whereas England also have a lot to prove, being number 1 and venturing to Asia, hence the extra pressure on their otherwise highly decorated batsmen, so I doubt the pitch really deserves that much analysis. I think it is a pretty complex mix of all these factors.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (February 3, 2012, 22:02 GMT)

@5wombats . but we were never bowled out for 72 . lol

Posted by shoaib on (February 3, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

@Kirk-at-Lords LBW means that you should play with your bat and if any part of your body is stopping the ball from hitting the stumps then you are out. which is a fair enough rule.

it does not matter that it is hitting the stumps flush or clipping. as long as it is touching it, batsman is out according to the rules. gone are the days of prodding forward with ur pad and negating all the spin and good work. almost removing the effect of quality spin from tests. DRS has revolutionized test cricket for good. embrace it.......!!!!!!!

Posted by 5wombats on (February 3, 2012, 21:30 GMT)

@Asghar Maqsood on (February 03 2012, 17:50 PM GMT) - friend, @sports4youth is an india fan with axes to grind against England and Pakistan. On another forum he was calling England "donkeys". Funny thing is, after 2 4-0 india whitewashes @sports4youth ought to know a donkey when he sees one. please publish.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

go pk go.....3-0 on the cards bowling

Posted by 5wombats on (February 3, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

Look, this is crazy. Weren't we all worried that these games would be dull bores on super-flat pitches?!?! Maybe one team or the other might nick a 1-0? Whatever happened to that theory??? 1st Test ends in 3 days, 2nd Test ends in a hurry in 4 days, and now 16 wickets fall on the first day of the 3rd Test. What on Earth is going on with these pitches? Test match pitches should not be like this on the first day. In Abu Dhabi it was turning square in the first hour of day 1. Is this deliberate? create these kinds of surfaces in order to add interest in a region where the stadiums are empty and dull bore-draws would extinguish what little interest there is? We don't mind that actually - afterall, both teams have to play on it. We like exciting competitive games like the Second Test - and would rather have that than flat plodding rubbish with nothing for the bowlers. So, no excuses about the pitches - but lets have some sort of explanation for why these surfaces have been produced.

Posted by 5wombats on (February 3, 2012, 21:04 GMT)

@Kavindeven on (February 03 2012, 13:14 PM GMT); lets' just set the record straight with some facts shall we? We'll use your words in order to keep it simple for you..... ROFLMAO! india have had a 1 year long nightmare. What a pathetic team they are away from home. Shame on them. This is the No.1 team? Are you kidding me? - There, that's much better. 16 away games in all formats and india have finally coaxed their first win. Bravo. Now - back to the Aus V ind forums with you. People in glass houses should not throw stones.

Posted by swingstowin on (February 3, 2012, 20:53 GMT)

really surprised to see English Journalists turning so negative about DRS all of a sudden! ts always been working the way its working in this series. Both Pakistani and English batsmen have had really close calls... Surely, you cant blame DRS for the abject performances of English batsmen (and also Pakistan's batters, for that matter). Really surprised how people change their opinions when things dont work in their favor!

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

Mr David Hopps again you are doing the same thing as other eng writers have been doing.... Writing about Anderson, broad but not showing any respect to Rehman or Gul... Not giving credit to pak to fought back well after just going down back on just 99.... Crying about DRS & other issues... But not discussing about the beauty of the game I am very sorry to say but I feel that "You all are Sick"... & take my words if Pak won this match they would continue this Drama...will write about everything but not the success of PAK..Respect of PAK that they have earned by proving themselves in the ground. Get Well Sooon :)

Posted by Mitcher on (February 3, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge: Let me get this straight, all of Asia is the final frontier? So if England win one out of three series on these tours you'll be happy? Geez, I know England have been woeful for the best part of 20yrs, but talk about some low expectations. I guess it's hard to understand for an Australian fan, since we actually had a real FINAL frontier to conquer not so long ago in India and did it. guess it's unfair comparing a great side with this apparently average English one.

Posted by mazii on (February 3, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

cricket_fan_1980... I can understand your desperate efforts to convince others about your say. It is too early to predict anything significant at this point in time. England batting line-up has been more fragile than Pakistani one because England have already been rolled over thrice in this series under 200. Thanks to England's tail that this side had able to achieve this meagre total, otherwise, things could have been much worse for England. Its nice to see many England's fan hanging about cheering their team and hoping the same to win this test and revitalize some of their badly dented pride and confidence. All those who have been giving their expert opinions after the end of first days play should rethink contemplate before giving any prediction regarding this test match. As it already happened earlier, those who chanted hollow slogans for England's win had to embrace embarrassment after seeing the actual results of the first two test matches. There will be more pressure on England.

Posted by applethief on (February 3, 2012, 20:28 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge Not sure about 'flawless'... kinda got away with the plumbest lbw eyes can see. 'Scrappy' might be more appropriate. But you're right, he's still there. Only Shafiq has managed to stick around so far, and even then, not for long. And quite a few people have mentioned the bowling performance as well...

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 20:28 GMT)

Target of 150 Will be in uf inshallah ....

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 3, 2012, 20:20 GMT)

Well if we have another day like that this game could finish tomorrow! DRS seems to be the big talking point it has certainly had an effect on this series and I think many batsmen around the world are going to have to think long and hard on how to combat slow bowling on slow pitches. If we carry on having series like this I can see Warne and Murali coming out of retirement to see which one can get to a 1000 wickets first!

Posted by MrBrightside92 on (February 3, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

I haven't commented so far in this series (cricinfo has been losing my comments) but well played Pakistan...Misbah has really kept them gelled (even after being skittled for 99!) Do not understand any of the criticism that is levelled at him. Also, well done the fans (and the Pakistan commentators) for not going on about the Hafeez dismissal...he shouldn't have been given out..but they discussed it and moved on....Botham/Shastri would've burst a hernia..glad in a way Trott didn't review! India came to England as No1 and were it's England's turn....that's why I think SA should be No1..they've been embarrassed enough and they're immune to the's got to the stage where Mr Gravitas has more faith in an England fight back than I do...we're going to have to bowl well again....Go England!

Posted by Nerk on (February 3, 2012, 19:57 GMT)

Quite different from the usual Sharjah run fest! It seems that after 15 years of benign pitches worldwide, batsman are being shown up by this new breed of pitch with a bit of bite in it. Strauss is struggling, the bowlers on top, he needs to make 50 at least. England have a strong lower order, so even from this position a lead of a hundred is not totally out of the Q. However, Pakistan's bowlers are really firing them in, and any substantial lead will be hard work. Gotta love test cricket! BTW @SKK75 - Yes, we Aussies and English do talk a lot when we win at home, quite unlike yourself of course who just talks all the time.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

if pakistan can manage a target atleast of 200 runs then pakistan will be having very bright chances to win ..........

Posted by khurramsch on (February 3, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

there are other marginal decisions in this series not only KP. & wasnt strauss out but not given ? it was also a dodgy decision. hafez was also a mistake by tv umpire. its not drs its the people who are making decisions on it are causing more problems we have seen straus caught behind, straus caught @ leg slip, now hafez. these mistakes are making anti drs case more strong.

Posted by endofageofaquarius on (February 3, 2012, 19:12 GMT)

Good thing we have the DRS. Otherwise we would have had to live with Taufel's innumerable blunders in this game. He's had a real nightmare. Let's hope he has a better day tomorrow.

Posted by Tlotoxl on (February 3, 2012, 18:47 GMT)

@ Sohail Inam: I don't quite get your logic, England get a lead of 80 then Pakistan have to get an absolute minimum of 200 to have any chance at all and that is double what they got in the first innings?!?! I don't think that England will get an 80 lead, maybe 40-50 but that will be enough to ensure they are heavy favorites. (according to the British bookies England are already clear favorites)

Posted by SKK75 on (February 3, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

hope pakistan win this test and make it 3-0, i'm indian but rooting for the pakistani team here. these teams england the aussies speak too much when they win at home...

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

@ David Hopps .... really YUCK ... what a hell kind of analysis is this? "Batsmen are confused about their technique and spinners are bowling straight and imagining themselves as superheroes." i can understand your feelings that you want to see your dreams come true..... Alas

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 18:33 GMT)

Once DSR is implemented across the board, ICC should reduce 5 day test to 4 day test.

Posted by cricket_fan_1980 on (February 3, 2012, 18:19 GMT)

woah, 99 all out is terrible, but broad was on fire. cracking bowling. however, this was really the moment for england to capitalize. the top 6 are out, but then broad, stauss and swann can all swing it a bit, if england can put about 80 or 90 more runs, I think they may put a lot of pressure on pakistan. 2-1 is remembered very differently to 3-0

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

Posted by Shamshir Hussain on (February 03 2012, 14:17 PM GMT) :- .. agreed mate that england are 6 down but Pak batting in their 2nd innings is always bad. My worry is that if the pitch gains more turn then Pak will be in spin in the 3rd innings. Although it gives them an edge when Eng bat last. But you will agree that asking the bowlers to bail them out every time is a bit too much of an ask from this inexperience bowling attack.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

@Sports4Youth which team do you support?misbah is doing a great job england were bound to put up a fight...... When times are hard remember.... Falling down is not defeat, real defeat is when you are refusing to get up... i know many teams would have been reeling right now....

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 17:49 GMT)

Posted by AbrarAhmed on (February 03 2012, 14:19 PM GMT) :- ... thanks a lot. I was not familiar with the term.

Posted by doctornikki on (February 3, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

Its a shame that instead of praising the DRS,ppl r complaining about it..if the wrong decisions of today for example wrnt correted by DRS,it wd have been so least it gives the players more fairness... england won more sessions argument indicates a sick and rigid mind...accept the fact mr.honeybadger

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

Misbah need to attack from very first ball. Pakistan need to restrict England within 50 run lead and to bat in moderate way to get runs coming when they come to bat . 150 runs target be good to have 3-0..

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

great day 4 crickettttt and v hope pakistan will win this match again inshahallah

Posted by RohithMedisetty on (February 3, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

What a pathetic display from england even after bowling out pak under 99. They simply can't put bat on ball when the ball is turning a bit. Look at the batting averages of england's middle order in this series : Pietersen - 9 , Bell - 8 and morgan -10 . For a guy whose average is more than 100 last year playing in home conditions averages 8 in this series. Ajmal and anderson got more runs than Ian bell. ECB should prepare more spin tracks at home to give their players some practice.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

@Paul Ron-Clarke : Great comment ! When ICC changed the laws for Murali and Shoaib, all Boards should have been smart enough to realize that when laws change, the game changes. Since the chucking controversy brought a bad name to the game, it was evident that ICC will not pursue these cases in future; it had rather accepted the unorthodox styles of bowling.

Maybe the English feel the Asians would be vindicated if they were to follow their footsteps. Maybe they feel the arm bending clauses were simply added for certain players. But then why not push for getting it removed from the law book ? What is England's stance in regards to arm-bending ?

Bob Willis whines about it, Michael Holding has reservations about the doosra. I suppose the older generation of players find it hard to accept that the game has innovated : new formats, new batting shots, new deliveries. It's just too hard for them to let go of their predispositions.

Posted by drlimpel on (February 3, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

Its funny how quickly Mr. Hopps has changed his stance from what it was in the earlier session reports. While the talk was all about how Broad and co. were "mercilessly squeezing every inch of life the dead wicket had to offer" when England were on top in the pre- lunch session, it has since changed to how the DRS is being taking advantage of by the opportunistic Pakistani spinners, masquerading as heroes on the basis of these performances. You would do well to maintain some consistency in your writing sir! And while we are on the topic of DRS, the English seamers also employed a similar approach of targeting the stumps and had several not out decisions overturned as well.

Posted by Stark62 on (February 3, 2012, 17:06 GMT)

I don't how much swing or seam movement there was in the morning but how do you end up on 53/7 @ lunch?

This Pakistani batting line up is the definition of Pathetic! Need Umar in the starting line up and lets hope Younis is not picked for the ODI's or T20's.

Also, there wasn't much spin either but the English batsmen have struggled again.

Btw, can we now say that Bell is Ajmal's bunny?

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

Here's the conspiracy theory : Indian TV umpire was instructed by BCCI to undermine DRS hence the Hafeez decision. BTW things sometimes do even out e.g. 2 non referrals of Trott (not out) & Strauss (out) - both not reviwed

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 3, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

A flawless innings from Strauss, which is good to see isn't it?

Posted by Rahulbose on (February 3, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

Neutral umpires with DRS and Eng journos still find ways to whine about LBWs when playing Pakistan. I guess some things will never change.

Posted by Peterincanada on (February 3, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

Sports4youth - Totally agree with you about M Yousuf. He is head and shoulders above anyone in this batting order and he still has mileage on the tires. Not picking him is a sin.

Disagree about Bell and Pietersen. Bell never handled Warne and Pietersen did although the pitches never favoured spin. I don't recall either handling Murali except on those green tops in England in May. Playing spinners on flat tracks is light years away in talent and technique from playing them on turning wickets.

Posted by Long-Leg on (February 3, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

@Kavindeven: "Green top bullies"! You are completely wrong. I can't remember the last time England played on a green top. Green tops would not be welcomed by the authorities in England as they would lose revenue if test matches were over too quickly. Test match pitches in England are nearly always flat, dry batting surfaces designed to make tests last four or five days. The truth is that English bowlers are able to cause problems to any team on any surface. If only our batsmen could do the same.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

just think if England seamers and Pakistan spinners are combine in 1 team, it will be disastrous for the opponent..

Posted by reality_check on (February 3, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

@HumanhHoneyBadger: If this was 20/20 cricket you would be 100% correct BUT this is test cricket and it's called TEST for a reason i.e. unless you win majority of the sessions, you will lose the match so it's an oxymoron to say that Eng lost both matches BUT they won majority of the sessions LOL. E.g. in 2nd test, England SHOULD HAVE bowled Pakistan out for< than 100 lead (Pak were 58/5 so it was doable) but they didn't which means they lost that session and allowed Pakistan to take a crucial 145 run lead which was enough to win the match. In test cricket you don't look at what appears to be a winning over or a session. You have to look at all the factors. BTW... were'nt you the one saying that "normal service has been resumed" on 3rd day of second test. Never count out the opposition UNTIL the last ball.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 3, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

Quietly but emphatically, the DRS is triggering a revloution in test cricket. The days of batsmen thinking that a big pad thrust down the pitch is a satisfactory or safe method to negate accurate, wicket-to-wicket spinners, have gone. Bat in front, with soft hands when in defence has now to become the preferred defensive technique. Get forward or get back! Indecision is courting destruction! The cricket that is being played in this series therefore heralds a new era, that of the dominance of the bowlers, both quick and slow. And the cricket is all the more enthralling for that. The days of bloated batting averages could truly be over (Hurrah!) and centuries could become the rare gems that they really deserve to be. All of this makes me think that 4 day tests should be re-introduced without delay. As it is, this test looks as if it may not go more than half way through day 3. Three/four days of excitement beats five days of tedium every time.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

Cant Understand Cheema inclusion in this test , he would have rested and instead someone else should have played.

Posted by ihaq1 on (February 3, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

it seems that teh day of cricket was overshadowed by DRS decisions and taufel meekly accepting what he thought was wrong...too many lbw decisions... the bowlers bowling straight and moving in or out...teh if/or nature of pakistans batsmen was displayed quite clearly and teh english refusing to make changes suffered as a result...and an indian third umpire used DRS to as they say to sober teh pakistanis..the hotspot was clearly visible...hafeez obviously did not realize that it ws teh third umpire and not the DRS that was at fault...

Posted by cricket_pak419 on (February 3, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

Pakistan will win inshallah! I just hope our bowlers can get the wickets quick, so we can have some time to Pakistan. Good Luck!

Posted by stari09 on (February 3, 2012, 16:28 GMT)

England to chase down 120 in the 4th innings..will finish up 120 - 4...lose the series 2-1...will go home on a high...magnifying the last win, saying how they beat a very good Pakistan side...only good as your last performance talk...PR spin on it all...propaganda machine will be in full force and it will happy days for them in their world. Reality is no matter what happens here, England have a lot of serious problems, and I dont know if they got alot of guys coming through the ranks. That must be concerning.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 3, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

IF Pakistan can sort out the slight inconsistency in their batting, THEN they will be safe. Otherwise, it's tough to compete with this English team. They'll come hard at you.

Posted by Kirk-at-Lords on (February 3, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

@likeintcricket: You say there is nothing wrong with DRS: 'If the ball is hitting the stumps than that's out in any neutral observer view'. The 'hitting' is determined by probabalistic estimates that lose validity at distances beyond 2.5 meters from the stumps. Another aspect of 'hitting' involves the likely proportion of the ball that hits the stumps. The DRS stumps are actually smaller than the actual stumps to make mistakes less likely. Even then, how much validity is there in an LBW decision like K Pietersen's today, where the umpire's decision stood because 2.2mm of the ball was predicted to clip the DRS leg stump? Perhaps there is a simple solution: eliminate the "onfield umpire's call" provision. Overturn umpire decisions where DRS shows that less than half the ball pitches in line or strikes the stumps. This will reduce the effect of umpire guesswork and discourage too much guessing. Howlers will be eliminated, and balance between bat & ball will still be improved.

Posted by um44rr on (February 3, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

first off what a fascinating game of cricket, well done to the bowlers on both sides, the batting line ups on both sides need to sort themselves out quick-fast, DRS is a good thing in helping more correct decisions, funny thing is 2010 Pakistan was in England playing as though they never held a bat before, 2012 England are doing the exactly the same…well done to all the bowlers for making this a brilliant series

Posted by Imad_K on (February 3, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

It's surprising how teams after winning 1 or 2 games just get carried away and talk about being number 1. I said this before the third test and will say it again. The problem with Pak for the last 10/15 years has been their batting. They normally have 2/3 reliable batsmen and end up losing wickets either giving their wickets away playing stupid shots, hitting the ball in the air needlessly etc. Although with this team it seems they have more technical issues rather than giving their wickets away. I reckon many of the batsmen in this team would suffer like the Indian batsmen when playing on quick bouncy tracks against good decent bowlers and swing bowling considering they are struggling against the quick bowlers on these kind of wickets. Pak think because they win a T20, win a test match because one of their bowlers Ajmal, Mohammad Amir has had a blinder of a game they will start winning. When Pak can sort their batting out and can score 350/400 + in an innings then they can talk.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

Pakistan as it has happened time and time again flopped on what is supposed to be a decent batting wicket in Dubai.They were unexpectedly skittled out for 99 with Asad Sahfiq scoring more than half of the runs.Once again their poor batting performance demonstrated their frailties in playing swing bowling.However they are in the process of being rescued by their bowlers from the quagmire.If Pakistan succeed in restricting England's first innings lead to below fifty runs then Pakistan with the help of their high quality spinners will be able to skittle out England on a deteriorating wicket and win the Third Test as well.

Posted by Kirk-at-Lords on (February 3, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Reporter David Hopps uses the word "bizarre" to describe this Test. The words "Test cricket" and "bizarre" do not sit well together. Any one session might produce strange results, but for this sort of thing to occur repeatedly should set the warning flags flying. Strange goings-on have become the rule for two Tests in a row, on reportedly placid tracks in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. LBW decisions are already at a record level in this three-Test series (35), and there are still two innings and a bit to go. Fragile batting and good bowling have been magnified artificially by DRS technology. As commentator Michael Atherton put it, the Law of Unintended Consequences has taken hold. Umpires are emboldened to guess, the traditional benefit of the doubt to batsmen has disappeared, and this has handed a dramatic and decisive advantage to bowlers, particularly of spin. Ironically (and for all the wrong reasons), Indian resistance to DRS has proven correct. Bizarre cricket is harming the sport.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 16:06 GMT)

Pak should not allow England to extend the lead beyond 50....If that happens we could be treated with another nail biting finish

Posted by dmqi on (February 3, 2012, 16:02 GMT)


Posted by Ishtiyaqrasool on (February 3, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

I've been saying since the start of this series that umar akmal should be picked up but i don't know the reason behind his exclusion,if he should have been there it would have been a different story.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

as before i told here pakistan bating has seriouse problum the team which is selected by pcb is not good enough time to change the opner as wel as fast bowler like 1- hafiz 2- asad shafiq 3- azhar 4- younus 5- m.yousuf 6-misbah 7- kamaran akmal (adnan is same as you see he drop chances kamran is good batsman he win for pak many times) 8-gul 9-ajmal 10 - rehman 11- wahab riyaz

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

Another Sizzler in the making....cant wait :D

Posted by KashifMuneer on (February 3, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

David you didn't need "eyes of a hawk and high-definition TVs" to spot that Hafeez edged the delivery that he was given out on. Indeed both teams have had dubious decisions against them but Pakistan have borne the brunt of bad DRS decisions in this series and this match so far. I/A I hope that Pakistan win this match as well for the whole nation.

I don't think England will get a lead of more than 50 but its anybody's game at the moment. Obviously England are ahead currently but that could change within the first hour tomorrow.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

Everyone from the Pakistani fanclub are cursing the team for not batting well enough in the first innings! Why rule out the fact that england have been equally poor! I dont see them getting lead of over 50! Not unless miraculous Strauss digs in nicely and takes the english innings lead to over 130! For Pakistan, their batting sure has been disappointing but bowlers have done enough to hide batters' shame!

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

First of all, some people such as alimeer need to stop posting comments which try to make out that this is a religious match. You can't say that every Muslim is a Pak supporter. I am a devout Muslim, but an English cricket fanatic who is distraught afterwatching the first two matches. It is quite frustrating to see our bowlers play phenomenally only for the batsman to again make a pig's ear out of a match-winning situation. We will be lucky to get a 50 run lead, and even then, a half decent Pakistani innings is required for us to lose, as our awful batsmen just can't be trusted anymore.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 3, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

Interesting no one's mentioned the English bowling attack, clearly they're the best attack in the world but everyone just seems to accept that and talk about England's poor batting. And why not, their batting's certainly a talking point.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

England fan here!........well, its groundhog day again in the middle east....England's bowlers bowl wonderfully well, only to be let down by inept England batting....just as in the 1st 2 tests, the situation was crying out for some positivity from our batsmen, and whilst KP was there it looked good...Once he got out Strauss retreated into his shell and that was all she wrote....need a 1st innings lead of at least 100 or this test match will be confined to the bin as far as england are concerned....not happy!

Posted by yorkshirematt on (February 3, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

Will they ever learn? IT'S NOT SPINNING!!! JUST GOING STRAIGHT ON!!! Unbelievably brainless batting. They've played more than four and a half innings, and probably seen countless replays and they still haven't worked it out.

Posted by getsetgopk on (February 3, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

why was Hafeez given out??? there was a mark clear enough on the bat from hot spot the field umpires decision should have been upheld why this royal treatment of England??? fair play? andy flower?? your gona check on that Indian umpire again right?

Posted by kp289 on (February 3, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

but england have enough depth in its batting to be confident... the resilent strauss is still there.......then broad has to come... later swann..... so we can expect england to take a lead 100-150 runs... then the england has to depend once again on its bowling to bundle out pakistan..... k.p showed some signs regaing form....

Posted by jonnybtestmatch on (February 3, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

Seriously what is going on with the levels of batting in both sides. I can't think of a series in which the techniques, temperament and abilities have been found wanting. I understand that it is interesting to watch a heap of wickets fall, but the contest needs to be evened up by some quality batsmanship. We have not seen a classy Younis ton, or an aggresive England counter attack against some good spin bowling. The second the ball has swung or seamed the PAK batsmen looked all at sea. The minute it has spun the ENG batsmen look like bunnies. It has been an interesting series but the viewers have been denied one real quality session, where Perhaps a great dual between KP and Ajmal has developed, or Younis took the offensive against Broad. I have said it before on various forums, but I am convinced that the quality of batsmanship has been reduced in the last five years ( probably a knock on effect of the dead pan wickets they have played on).

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

What aFight back by Paksitan team This is once again evidence that Great Bowling attack can make up the fragile batting line up.they made England to earn their runs while defending mere 99.If the remove the last four Englsi batsman by conceeding the lead belo 50 they have eal chance to Wrap the series 3-0 as England are batting Fourth

Posted by allblue on (February 3, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

This really has been a bonkers series. The last 31 wickets have fallen for 319 runs in 140.2 overs. Someone needs to give the batsmen a good talking to!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 3, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

England have spend the last two years leaving their opposition's fans feeling beaten up and depressed, so watching England's batsmen play all round the non-spinning spinners must sure have provided some light relief to fans of Australia and India in particular. England have been a bit embarrassed here, but nothing compared to what they've put their opposition's supporters through in the last 2 years. This is the 'final frontier'. as Strauss said. If they can't conquer it just yet, they'll have another shot at it in Sri Lanka.

Posted by likeintcricket on (February 3, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

It is foolish not to admire the spinners as they are bowling on a wonderful line and there is nothing wrong with the DRS system also. If the ball is hitting the stumps than that's out in any neutral observer view. As always they find something to discredit the opposition. It is as simple as that, when you can't pick the bowl and get beaten and hit your pad before hitting the stumps than that's out. But Pakistan's batting is just pathetic in these conditions and I am seriously worried about its long tail. A lead of 100 by England and Pakistan could be inning defeated in 2 days. But a 150 target in the fourth inning could bring England closer to the white wash.

Posted by a.syed81 on (February 3, 2012, 14:35 GMT)

England 104 for 6. Keep in mind they have to bat in 4th innings. Who has guts to put money on Pakistan now? Anybody?

Posted by Purple-Patch on (February 3, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

@ HumanhHoneyBadger, England may have won more sessions but the FACT is they LOST the series so get over it. The reality is Pakistan's battling is not as good or strong as England's, everyone including Pakistani Fans won't argue with that but the reality is and it's another FACT is Pakistan BEAT England who are No 1, therefore that would & DOES make them World Beaters in my eyes, in most people's eyes but of course not in the eyes of a HumanHoneyBadger ;)

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

I watched the first Coften net of the year last week. One young lad could bowl a doosra with a bent arm (probably flexing less than 15 degrees) he was taken out of the net by the coach and told to "straighten out his action". No coach at any level would allow a youngster to develop a genuine legal doosra in England, as soon as they see a bent arm they are admonished. Like the reverse swing 20 years ago, England live in fear and ignorance of new skills and are now in the dual positions of both refusing to adopt new skill while at the same time fearing to criticise them openly in others. That's what I call a "lose/lose" situation, and while the ECB sits back under the guise of the woefully incompetant Giles Clark - that's how it will remain. As in 1992 - Pakistan innovate while England hesitate - and deserve to lose becasue of it.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

Englnd players except trott and bell r not gud players of spin.....i m not worried abt this match much coz series is already decided and still pak fans can expect miracles from there spinners.....but ma question is simple, can pak afford such a low score in subcontinent aganist best players of spin india and srilanka? is so dishartning when ppl discuss abt batting line of pakistan and they forget M.yousaf one in seniors in present pakistan desrve more than genius this the way we shud treat our great players....wot a shame

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

I think Pakistan can save this match because of its spin attack..... England will have to bat fourth on this pitch

Posted by AbrarAhmed on (February 3, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

@ Sports4Youth

A "chinaman" delivery is essentially a left-arm legspin wrist delivery to a right-handed batsman, delivered over (from the bowler's perspective) the wicket . That is to say, to a right-hander the ball will spin from off to leg, but unlike right-handed off-spin, the ball is likely to kick and turn more, due to the wrist movement.

Apocryphally, the term derived from Ellis Edgar ("Puss") Achong, a West Indian player of Chinese descent with such action, who played against England in the Old Trafford Test of 1933. On being stumped by such a delivery, Walter Robins, the exiting batsmen turned to the umpire and said : "Fancy being done by a bloody Chinaman!"

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

@Sports4Youth.. Now its time for you to wake up mate.. Have you seen England crumbling against spin on day one pitch.. Already 6 down.. Nuless they get a lead of 100 plus, they are out of game, and it looks almost impossible.. So, the match is even at present.. Stop blaming Misbah

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

i expect alot of twists and TURNS in this match as the other two games! mind the pun!

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Misbah has to brought Hafeez early in the morning as Anderson is Left handed and hafeez has excellent record against lefties.IF Pakistan manages to Bowled out England with lead less than 80 then Pakistan definitely has a chance to wrapp up the series 3-0.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

@Sportsforyouth, you get right arm offspinners & leg-spinners. Off-spinners spin the ball from left to right, and are more common than leg spinners, who spin from right to left. (leg spinning is hard, try it!)

Correspondingly you get left arm "orthodox" and "chinaman" bowlers. "left-arm orthodox" is the equivalent of an off-spinner, but left-arm. They spin from right to left. "chinaman" is the equivalent of a left arm leg spinner. They're quite rare. They spin from left to right, with their left arm. So there. Now you know.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

Well, this test series couldnt get better than this.. 16 wkts fall in first day of test, loving these low scoring match... stunning fight back by pakistan they just can't giveup are they ?... still this match is very even for both teams...

Posted by ishrat1971 on (February 3, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

Pakistan should come out tomorrow attacking like the fourth innings in Abu Dhabi maybe we can get them for less than 30 runs lead. Taufeeq and Hafeez then have to put their heads down and bat for a long period.The seniors especially Younis Khan also has to put his/ their hand up and contribute

Posted by alimeer on (February 3, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

ASSALAM WA ALYKUM to all not worry....INSHALLAH Pakistan will Win this match.but one thing to keep in mind get the tail out quickly.Broad can bat as well as swan so get them out lead more than 20 runs for england..and post a score of 250 and INSHALLAH we will win. ALLHAMDULLILLAH we have already won the series and after that we will win the One day series as well INSHALLAH


Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 14:06 GMT)


Posted by Newbury_1 on (February 3, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Both the Pak & Eng bowling attacks have done their jobs with application and perserverance.....well done!! It is a shame that apart from notable individual innings on both sides over this series, both sets of top order batsmen have failed to turn up or show the work ethic their bowlers have displayed!!

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

As the pitch looks like, it will keep on turning more and more as days passby and England have to bat last, it will be difficult for England to save this test match .

Posted by doctornikki on (February 3, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

absorbing day of cricket..Broad,rehman and ajmal stand out in bowlers..asad and strauss in batting...

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

wow...what a day of test cricket...reminds me of those golden eras when bowlers had the upper edge against some quality batting..16 wickets in a day and could have been more if there was more time left in the day but still another complete shocking twist in the series lets see how much england can get in their bags and how pakistani batsmen response in the second innings..buckle up guys this match is far from being this is test cricket at its best..loving itt!!!

Posted by eglets on (February 3, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

Misbah won the toss and he should not bat first,he forgot what happend in the first test with England in Dubai in the morning session.On the other hand you can say, you should not change the gear when you do not need.It made a BIG MISTAKE.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

Who'd be an England bowler, keep putting the batsmen into match winning positions and they keep fudging it. Bell in particular played a horror innings.

Posted by wnwn on (February 3, 2012, 13:55 GMT)

This should definitely not be described as a home series for Pakistan because the pitches are so different. You would never get 16 wickets falling in a day in Pakistan but in saying that, these pitches are better for Pakistan because there is an equal contest between ball and bat. Quality seamers like Broad and Anderson can get bounce and swing from these pitches and will test our batsmen so that hopefully their technique improves against this kind of bowling. We should continue playing in the UAE.

Posted by Shahzadhussan on (February 3, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

Why the reports on cricinfo are written from England's perspective always particularly in this series. Is it a good example of quality journalism or English want to tell that this site only belongs to them

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

Pietersen!....hes not the south african Robin Peterson!!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (February 3, 2012, 13:44 GMT)

pakistan can win this test if they wrap up england innings under 150 & make 200+ in second innings . i don't think england can chase 150+ in second innings .

Posted by Newbury_1 on (February 3, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

What a great days cricket for the neutral supporter......

Posted by Romenevans on (February 3, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

ROFLMAO! Endland have a 1-2 year long nightmare ahead of them in Asia. What a pathetic green top bullies they are. Shame on them. This is the No.1 team? Are you kidding me? Bwahahahahaha!

Posted by Dubaieyes on (February 3, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

Batsmans have invisible threat of bowlers.................I bet for Pakistan: even if just 100 runs are lead from pakistan, it will be tough for England to score it....

Posted by yorkshirematt on (February 3, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

It's been a bowler's series this one. Pakistan have just played the conditions slightly better.

Posted by talmaeena1 on (February 3, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

Trust an Indian third umpire to overrule the field umpire and give Hafeez out, when there was no conclusive evidence to overturn Taufel's decision. Why must Indian umpires be so bad?

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

This time again Strauss got lucky. Thanks to bad umpriing and inefficient use of DRS by Pak skipper, keeper & bowler.

Posted by M.Y.Ali on (February 3, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

Left-arm unorthodox (Chinaman) spin bowlers use a wrist hand action to spin the ball which turns from off to leg side of the cricket pitch. The direction of turn is the same as that of a traditional right-handed off spin bowler; however, the ball will usually turn more sharply due to the spin being imparted predominantly by the wrist. Some left-arm unorthodox bowlers bowl a leg spinner's "googly" (or "wrong'un"), which turns from right to left on the cricket pitch. The ball turns away from the batsman, as if the bowler were an orthodox left-arm spinner.

The left-arm unorthodox bowling action is bowled in common with a leg spin or leg break. Very few highly skilled left-arm wrist spinners have played at the international Test level. The South African Paul Adams, known for his unusual bowling action, is perhaps one of the best-known left-arm wrist spinners. Another notable wrist spinner is Michael Bevan from Australia, who was known for his speed and bounce.

Posted by Simoc on (February 3, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

When Brad Hogg bowls (left arm) the ball spins like an offie but because of wrist action normally sharper spin, his googlie which comes out the back of his hand is hard to pick. The batter has to pick the seam movement, ball spinning leg to off. International left arm leggies are rare which may be why he's doing okay so far.

Posted by Long-Leg on (February 3, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

Just heard that the last time a side won a test match after batting first and scoring less than 100 in their first innings was in the year 1907.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

Pakistan at the moment has the best spinners attack in comparison to rest of the World. They should capitalise on an oppertuinity that they have to win as many matches as they can. Batting is suffering a bit. Pakistan has to continue playing maximum matches in a year.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

50/2 @ 15 ovrs. Match running fast out of Misbah's hand. Too much of Gul. expensive 13th over from Gul. Misbah is abandoning his own strategy of spin attack.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

Petersen has a known weakness against left arm spin, i wonder why Misbah is sleeping and allowing Petersen to get off the hook.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

49/2 in 13 overs. Now Misbah is loosing the plot. He is allowing Petersen & Strauss to settle. He lost the urgency shown in the Abu Dhabi Match. Runs are flowing. 15 runs from one Umar Gul over. Misbah sleeping. Get on Abdur Rehman & Hafeez before its too late.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

@ dh74 :- .. Hello, Good Morning, Wake up. stop dreaming, ever day is not a sunday. in any case this pitch is not spinning like Abu Dhabi. This pitch never will. Only English fast bowlers are doing well on this pitch. One must admit, Broad & Anderson are fast, accurate and get movement.

Posted by Guernica on (February 3, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

Well done from the bowlers, but going by the last game I think England would need about 500 in the first innings to win this. I would be nervous about them chasing anything over 50 in the 4th innings.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Bradd Hogg the Australian is referred as slow left arm chinaman - bowler. Can someone explain what is left arm chinaman.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

@HumanhHoneyBadger. Just to remind you that England have already lost the test series. Even if England win here it makes no difference. They lost the series. I'm English by the way but dont have my head in the clouds like some.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

Tea, day 1, Eng 19/2, what a come back. The danger man Trott gone !!! Now this is any ones match. still dangerous players like Peterson, Bell, Prior, Broad to be dealt with. Though Petersen and Bell appear to be horribly out of from in the present series, but they can always bounce back. Both these guys had handled Murali, Warne & Indian spinners well in the past. If they get going they can be very dangerous.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

Don't worry guys.. the Pakistani bowling is ready to strike back! This series is going to be a whitewash InshALLAH!

Posted by JG2704 on (February 3, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

England haven't batted yet , so I'm trying to keep my feet on the ground.Our bowling has been at worst ok on this tour and it's our batting which has let us down. Broad has impressed me immensely.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (February 3, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

As others have said the England Bowling unit this series hasnt been a problem in fact its been one of the few highlights of thier performances in all tests. The batting unit has been woeful and I'm not expecting much from them today especially once the spinners start to bowl.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

Posted by Shahnawaz Khaliq on (February 03 2012, 08:40 AM GMT) :- ... the pak selectors have forgotten what a difference M.Yousuf made to the English tour in 2010 when the whole batting completely changed the moment he appeared in the 3rd test. Even Azhar Ali improved in the presense of Yousuf. There after when M.Yousuf got groin injury in the SA series, and A.Ali, Younis, Misbah, Shafiq came good, the selectors did a complete U-turn on M.Yousuf. Just showed their Tyranical attitude. But i thought that will change with the exit of Ejaz Butt. But it didn't. I don't Zaka Ashraf is changing anything at all, he is just conituing on the same lines.

Posted by applethief on (February 3, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

Well, at least they didn't get knocked over for 72. Excellent bowling from England though, they delivered an innings of 99. No talk of 'gifting away wickets' from the Pakistani side - we know when we've been outplayed.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Posted by Shahnawaz Khaliq on (February 03 2012, 08:40 AM GMT) :- .. i absolutely agree with Shahnawaz. Infact Younis Khan would have also been out if one of the several younsters (especially u.akmal) they tried would have performed even slghtly ok. The Emergence of Azhar Ali gave room to the selectors to show their Tyranny to Mohd.Yousuf. I agree that wiht an average of over 50 M.Yousuf deserves to be in any team in the world. Also still he is the record holder of most centuries in one year, which even SRt could not come close to.

Posted by PACEGUY on (February 3, 2012, 10:03 GMT)

I have mentioned loads of times that open the bowling attack Wahab Riaz or call up Mohammad Irfan or any other quicky from back home in Pakistan what is going on in Misbah's, Mohsin's mind is only known to God and the selectors of Pakistan Cricket Board God show them light becuase our very best players or not even part of this tour e.g. where is Mohammad Sami the Karachi Express he is one of those bowlers that aere miles more talented than Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif Karachi Express is way better than the current bowlers in this squad everything and evryone is all over the place including England where on earth is Finn

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

Pakistan Showed its originality, lack of temparament, lack of decision making. If Toufeeq Umar was dropped in this test it might be pakistan would not have faced this situation. Toufeeq umar cannot play against quality of bowling attack, pakistan made blunder mistake by including toufeeq umar, one more mistake for not including wahab riyaz, wahab riyaz must be included in the this time but he was ignored that causes pakistan suffered, definitely this test match was already captured by england. No one can save to suffer a huge defeat for pakistan. Shafiq played well to some extent but he did not maintain patiency. Every time he used to give the option either abdur rehman and ajmal, he should have to think they are not classical batsman, its shafiq responsibility to keep strike with him each and after every over. its already happened, very worst very worst cricket from pakistan. lets wait for inning defeat.

Posted by safwan_Umair on (February 3, 2012, 9:37 GMT)

Younis khan's career nearing an end???? whattt??? loll, if this series is determining careers swansongs, then the entire England batting line up should have retired by now. Stop with this emotive, silly piece of journalism buddy!

Posted by HumanhHoneyBadger on (February 3, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

The boys are back in town! This Pakistan team will go nowhere with such a fragile batting line-up. If you think about it England have won far more sessions than Pakistan in this series, and have just lost a couple really badly! Don't go thinking you're world beaters yet Pakistan!!!

Posted by Long-Leg on (February 3, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

Excellent bowling performance by England. The thing that both teams have in common is that their bowling attacks are stronger than their batting line ups, a combination which makes for very interesting, hard fought test cricket. Who will be the first batsman to make a century in this series I wonder?

Posted by Marktc on (February 3, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

Pakistan collapsed. It happens to all teams. They already have the series, this is not bad timing on their part. Well bowled though.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 3, 2012, 9:06 GMT)

England have definitely proved that they can bowl in these conditions. Both teams have bowled well in general but certainly Anderson and Broad have done what a lot of naysayers said that they couldn't. They bowled in the first test but the Pakistani batsmen batted with discipline in their solitary innings. That discipline slipped in the second game and, if their batting was the only criterion considered, didn't deserve to win the second test. That discipline has gone altogether here and, although there's a long way to go, England really have no excuse to not win this one from here. That's not to say that they will, if the last game is anything to go by, but if they come out and bat positively against the spinners then they should be able to put up a decent, if not quite big, lead.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 3, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

No worry. We all know that pakistani batting is not better than what scoreboard shows. BUT the bowlling can still win this match for us.

Posted by tjsimonsen on (February 3, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

Well, I'm not sure how much respect England has regained here. Their bowling attack has been excellent throughout much of the series - it's their batting lineup that badly need to regain respect. And We've yet to see how that goes.

Posted by khurramsch on (February 3, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

poor performance from pak and good bowling by england specially broad. i thing i m not able to understand is wht typ of home series pakistan playing by making such pitches? or these are made without pak consultation. series won but going down like this is very poor

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

well drop MOHAMMAD YOUSAF......and expect bowlers to do miracles......wot a shame player like him who is 2 yr younger to misbah avgs more than him and is more talented than him , younis or any player cant find a place.....

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

This article is right little has changed for Pak as far as their batting is concerned. The only difference is that earlier the other teams would make huge totals. But the pitches being a little respoinsive and the DRS helping the bowlers, even the other teams are getting out at low scores.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

@ Posted by Stone-Aamir on (February 03 2012, 08:25 AM GMT) :- .. thats right. but Pak never had a good batting line up. even their best batting line up of the last decade suffered in the same fashion. Pak need a good fielding coach first and then a professional batting coach.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

@ Posted by Qazi Jawad Hussain Qureshi on (February 03 2012, 08:20 AM GMT) :- ... i compleately agree with Qazi. I have noticed one thing about Pak batting. When ever they have batted first, they have always stumbled. i repeat - ALWAYS. Only this time it was worst. Some how Pak never had the batsmen so see off the early moisture in the wicket. When Misbah chose to bat first i was expecting a few early wickets, especially Taufeeq, and he was out exactly in the same manner as i thought. Planting the front foot early and getting caught in front of middle stump, LBW. This is one area which if Taufeeq improves may make him a very good batsman, but i guess this is one weakness he can never improve. Unless some good professional batting coach really works hard on him.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

so bad performance .........really disappointing

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 3, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

Well well, here we are. after all Pak's famed batting line up had to come to terms with the fine and diciplined english attack someday. But i must admit that i was surprised to see early movement in the first session. There was no movement in the fist game played on this ground, the reason being the typical construction of the pitch. However, this time however, little but Anderson managed to swing the balll and Broad managed to get seam movement off the pitch. This movement will not be available to Pak bowlers for two reasons. A - they are not as good as Anderson and broad. B- the early moisture/juice will be gone in the second sesson. If Eng get a first innings lead of 100+ (which they will get more) then the series could end as 2-1.

Posted by Stone-Aamir on (February 3, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

Innings defeat for Pakistan on Sunday is the most likely outcome of this match. Their batting is getting from bad to worse, England pacers are performing better on marginally favorable conditions. They need to learn more as rank turners are waiting for them in the next series in subcontinent.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

The team must be as I always said:

1. Shafique 2.Hafeez 3.Azhar 4.Younis 5.Misbah 6.Umer Akmal 7.Adnan (cuz he is a good keeper,dont let the opportunities down) 8. Ajmal 9.Rehman 10. Gul 11. (Cheema, Junaid, Wahab and the best will be M. Amir if he gets clearance soon Insha Allah)

Umer Akmal is the integral part of the test arena, he can push the attack back to opposition, force them to spread the field.... its good if you get out trying to score then get out blocking.....

Posted by   on (February 3, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

rightly so , so today pakistan ruin this test , due to over confidence decision regarding about toss, and batting first.

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David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
Tour Results
England v Pakistan at Abu Dhabi - Feb 27, 2012
England won by 5 runs
England v Pakistan at Dubai (DSC) - Feb 25, 2012
England won by 38 runs
England v Pakistan at Dubai (DSC) - Feb 23, 2012
Pakistan won by 8 runs
England v Pakistan at Dubai (DSC) - Feb 21, 2012
England won by 4 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
England v Pakistan at Dubai (DSC) - Feb 18, 2012
England won by 9 wickets (with 76 balls remaining)
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days