Vaughan knee injury adds to England's worries
Pakistan A 138 and 31 for 1 (Farhat 12*, Nazir 0*) need another 214 to beat England XI 126 and 256 (Collingwood 61, Strauss 56, Mansoor 5-97)
The initial signs were none too encouraging. Vaughan twisted the same right knee ahead of the Lord's Test against New Zealand in May 2004 - the match in which Strauss stepped in to make a memorable debut century. Today Strauss was at the non-striker's end when Vaughan pulled up abruptly after turning for a third run. After several minutes' treatment on the field, he was taken to hospital for a scan, and though he returned to the ground before the close, he was walking gingerly. Dr Peter Gregory, the ECB medical officer, later admitted the chances of him playing at Multan are "slim".
Vaughan's injury came at a most inopportune moment for England's jittery top-order. Marcus Trescothick had already been pinned lbw for 1 by Pakistan A's first-innings destroyer, Mohammad Asif, and Vaughan himself had faced just one delivery when his injury jinx struck. Kevin Pietersen, who had been middling everything in practice but had managed a top score of 10 in three innings so far, was then sent on his way by Asif for a first-ball duck, and at 10 for 2, England had not even wiped off their slender first-innings deficit of 12.
It could have got worse before it got better. Strauss was dropped in the gully on 8 as he slashed firmly at Shahid Nazir, and Collingwood was reprieved on 15 when Asif at deep fine-leg stepped over the rope after catching a top-edged hook. But, slowly at first and then with increasing flamboyance as the sting went out of the pitch, the pair turned the innings around, with Collingwood in particular enjoying the conditions.
But, having added 113 for the third wicket, both Strauss and Collingwood fell in the space of seven balls to leave England wobbling once again on 124 for 4, effectively five. Strauss was adjudged caught-behind off Nazir for a composed 56, and in the next over, Collingwood chanced his arm once too often at Mansoor, with Nazir hurtling in from deep midwicket to hold onto a swirling top-edge.
Andrew Flintoff enjoyed himself in his brief stay, slamming four fours and two sixes over long-on before top-edging a sweep to Nazir at square leg, again off Mansoor. But Jones produced his first significant start of the tour, and as the tail wagged with its now-habitual freedom, Ashley Giles accumulated steadily. He was the last man out, caught at mid-off for 49 to give Asif a hugely deserved ten-wicket haul. Matthew Hoggard then added a fifth wicket to his match tally before the close, to leave England handily placed in this particular fixture. The real battle, however, concerned the captain and his wounded knee.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo