May 20, 2001

Come on, hang your bat out there and pay the price

Unable to counter England's bowling at its devastating best, Pakistan laid down their arms for 203 in the 1st innings, accepting to follow-on, 188 behind. With a fantastic haul of 5 for 61 Darren Gough was the one to cause the rout of Pakistan's lower order while Andy Caddick's 4 for 52 took care of the rest. Scoring an enterprising 58 with 9 boundaries Younis Khan was the only one to defy England's crusade.

With wickets tumbling one after the other the 2nd innings was as horrible as the 1st. Abdur Razzaq kept England at bay for a while with a fighting 53 while the rest dangled their bats around irresponsibly to be mostly caught behind the stumps. The whole team was bundled out for 179 runs in only two sessions conceding defeat by an innings and 9 runs. Probably the most hopeless batting performance by Pakistan in recent times.

Earlier, Pakistan resumed on a disappointing note, losing Yousuf Youhana at his overnight score of 26. Younis Khan and Azhar Mahmood did look like bringing some stability but it was not be.

While Younis Khan showed tremendous courage facing the England's tirade and hit a sparkling 50, Azhar left after scoring only 14. He mistimed a short-pitched delivery from Caddick and skied the ball offering an easy catch in the slips.

Younis Khan , the `lone ranger' held on but misjudged Cork and was bowled through bat and the pad gap. He played a heroic innings of 58 hitting 9 boundaries. Pakistan's hopes were alive as long as he was at the crease but at 167 for 7 it was all over bar the shouting.

Former captains Wasim Akram and Rashid Latif got together, pooling their skill and energy to take Pakistan partly out of the woods. With a blistering square cut boundary off Cork, Wasim hoisted 200 of Pakistan's innings raising hopes of survival. However, a little later Rashid flicked at one off Gough into the safe hands of Alec Stewart for his 200 victims in test cricket. At lunch Pakistan was 203 for 8.

Bowling at their devastating best, the pair, Caddick and Gough gave no quarter to Pakistan's errant batsmen. Except for Younis Khan (58) the others showed neither skill nor wisdom to neutralize their pace, troubling bounce and measured accuracy.

Snapping up Waqar and Shoaib for ducks immediately after lunch, Darren Gough booked Pakistan for a total of 203, ending up with a marvelous figure of 5 for 61. Pakistan had failed to avoid follow-on, 188 behind England's 391.

Pakistan's 2nd innings was as miserable as the first, Saleem Elahi (0) stuck his bat out, away from his body to be caught in the slips with only one run on the board and was soon followed by Saeed Anwar (8) again offering an easy catch to Graham Thorpe at gully. Caddick had reduced them to 30 for 2 and the writing was on the wall.

Fighting for survival, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Abdur Razzaq tried defending hitting boundaries on loose deliveries only. They got to 67 when Inzamam was given caught behind off Cork after scoring a defiant 20. Since the ball appeared to have scraped the pad instead of bat the decision became a subject of debate among the commentators.

Yousuf Youhana and Younis Khan also made their exit in quick succession and at 87 for 5 little hope was left. A courageous Abdur Razzaq (47) carried on trying to achieve the impossible.

Though England's bowling was not quite as unplayable as in the 1st innings the procession continued mainly due to the batsmen's lack of application and the psychological ghost of English conditions. The odd controversial umpiring decision further reduced their morale.

Razzaq the hero of Pakistan's 2nd innings was out in typical fashion, offering a catch in the slips after playing a gallant innings of 53. Azhar (24) followed suit immediately after. Andy Caddick had struck again. Pakistan was 147 for 8 when Gough made short work of Wasim Akram (12). Pakistan had no hope of preventing the inevitable except for a prayer for heavy rain.

Rashid Latif departed after scoring 20 cheeky but solid runs at 167. Last pair of Shoaib and Waqar was in and it was a matter of touch and go. As suspense grew, light fading, Waqar Younis delighted the crowd by hitting a consolation 6 off Cork. But in an effort to square up the deficit he tried to pile up quick runs, losing his wicket in the process after adding 20.

Pakistan was all out for 179 and lost the 1st npower test to England by an innings and 9 runs. Andy Caddick was the chief wrecker with 4 wickets while Gough and Cork shared 3 apiece. Debutante Ryan Sidebottom bowled well but was unlucky not to take a wicket. The England fielders took some aweinspiring catches. Andy Caddick was deservedly declared Man of the Match.

Seven batsmen caught behind the stumps and the rest in the slips proved to be an abject lesson to only strengthen common belief that Pakistanis were hopeless when confronted with bouncy wickets and excessive movement of the ball. Certainly food for thought, not only for the PCB but for the touring party and coach as well.