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The Bulletin by Jenny Thompson
November 16, 2005
Two wickets in four balls from Danish Kaneria triggered a collapse in which England lost nine wickets for 111 runs and although a dogged eighth-wicket stand of 49 between Geraint Jones and Shaun Udal brought England back into contention, it was unable to save them.
While both sides' batting was inconsistent, England will be worried by the fact that more than half of their runs in the match came from two batsmen - Marcus Trescothick and Ian Bell. No other player notched a fifty.
But the day belonged to Pakistan who thoroughly deserved their victory. After coming up on the outside for the best part of two days, their bowlers cemented a solid position on the final morning, taking six wickets to reduce England from 64 for 1 to 117 for 7.
Pakistan were losing ground: time for Inzamam-ul-Haq to jostle two more bowlers into position. It did not take Kaneria long at all to induce the edge, as Bell gave himself room for the cut which flashed through to Kamran Akmal. Strauss fell a blink later, similarly bamboozled, his defensive prod finding first slip.
Mohammad Sami blazed in at the other end with whole-hearted fervour. Paul Collingwood had no answer to him, and no question to ask either when a ferocious inswinger trapped him plumb.
This was a situation made for Kevin Pietersen and Flintoff: both men for the big occasion. But with Kaneria finding turn and bounce on this fifth-day surface, this would be no cakewalk, as Flintoff was soon to find out.
He made an encouraging start to his innings, a cover-driven four off Sami to settle in, and he began to work the ball around. But just when England needed a hero, a rush of blood got the better of him and he swept away a legside delivery straight to Younis Khan at midwicket. It was an ill-advised shot at the best of times. This was not the best of times.
If Pakistan were licking their lips with Flintoff's dismissal, they were positively salivating when Sami went on to remove Pietersen with the faintest of edges. As usual, Pietersen oozed attacking intent, a six off Kaneria over his favourite midwicket region announcing his arrival. His departure, though, came not long afterwards.
In among the wickets, the appeals were coming thick and fast, and the umpires had their work cut out. So did England, who were struggling to recover from a nervous 90 minutes. They were soon rocked again. As Pakistan's amazing comeback gathered more steam, so did Akhtar, who took his cue from the energetic Sami.
But with their tails up and their noses in front, Pakistan scented more blood after lunch, although Udal and Jones played an evasive game: edging, nudging and nurdling their way towards their target. Time to bring together the premier hunters.
Akhtar instantly went for the kill, roaring in to remove Jones with a searing inswinger and Udal fell two balls later, Kaneria's fourth wicket of the day. Akhtar applied the coup de grace not long after, with Steve Harmison caught at slip.
Before this match England had laughed off concerns about their shaky batting on the warm-ups. But their middle-order really wasn't at the races; stumbling, faltering and being finally unseated. They have some thinking to do ahead of the second Test which starts on Sunday. Pakistan will take a moment to reflect on their success at turning from hunted to hunter.
Marcus Trescothick b Shabbir 5 (7 for 1)
Ball kept low; chopped on
Ian Bell c Akmal b Kaneria 31 (64 for 2)
Attempted cut; feathered through
Andrew Strauss c Raza b Kaneria 23 (67 for 3)
Edged defensive shot to slip
Paul Collingwood lbw b Sami 0 (67 for 4)
Ball headed for middle-and-leg
Andrew Flintoff c Khan b Kaneria 11 (93 for 5)
Holed out to midwicket
Kevin Pietersen c Akmal b Sami 19 (101 for 6)
Attemped expansive off-drive; feathered through
Ashley Giles b Akhtar 14 (117 for 7)
Soundly beaten for pace by yorker
Geraint Jones b Akhtar 33 (166 for 8)
Full inswinger knocked back middle stump
Shaun Udal b Kaneria 18 (166 for 9)
Completely missed attempted drive
Steve Harmison c Younis Khan b Akhtar (175 all out)
Fended to gully
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