.. tourists need eight runs to avoid follow-on; Mohamamd Asif grabs five for 77
(REUTERS) – England fast bowler James Anderson celebrated his 28th birthday by taking five for 49 as Pakistan slumped to 147 for nine before bad light ended play on day two of the first Test at Trent Bridge yesterday. The umpires led the players off the field at 1612 GMT despite the ground’s six floodlight towers shining down on the field. Pakistan trailed England’s first innings total by 207 runs and needed eight more to avoid the follow-on.
Umar Gul was 30 not out from 29 balls and last-man Mohammad Asif is yet to score.
Anderson used the cloud cover to swing the ball against the Pakistan batsmen, while 21-year-old paceman Steven Finn performed impressively with three for 20.
“I thought (Finn) bowled fantastically well,” Anderson told reporters. “(He) did exactly what we talked about before we went out there. He uses his height, bangs the pitch and is very consistent — always asking questions of the batsmen.”
Salman Butt, the Pakistan captain said: “Anderson was the one who made it happen today. He was the stand-out man. Not many bowlers in the world can swing the ball both ways with that much control.”
Butt said that England’s bowling attack is “better than Australia’s” in the kind of overcast conditions that favoured the home side yesterday.
Pakistan, seeking to avenge a 3-0 series loss in England in 2006, have a tough task to survive with the pitch and overhead conditions encouraging the spinners and quicker bowlers.
But Anderson said a decision on enforcing the follow-on would have to wait.
“It’s something we have to weigh up tomorrow,” he said. “There’s a lot to take into consideration — the freshness of the bowlers, which is pretty good at the moment, conditions in the morning.
“But first and foremost, we’ve got to get another wicket.”
The sold-out crowd witnessed 15 wickets for 170 runs in a pulsating day in which ball dominated bat.
England had earlier lost their last six wickets for 17 runs but still posted a competitive first-innings total of 354.
Eoin Morgan made 130 and Paul Collingwood 82, while Asif claimed five for 77 with some accurate outswing bowling.
Pakistan started badly by losing their most dependable batsman, Butt, before lunch, caught behind off Anderson for one. Then, in a bizarre period, they lost five wickets for 15 runs, collapsing to 47 for six.
Left-hander Imran Farhat (19) was bowled by a near-perfect Anderson delivery that swung into him only to straighten off the pitch. Farhat smashed his bat into the ground in anger but better players would have struggled to combat such a ball.
Umar Amin (2), in his third Test, continued to struggle in the elite arena, and edged Finn to Graeme Swann at second slip.
Azhar Ali (14), also in his third Test, was given out caught behind off Anderson but replays showed the ball missed his bat and flicked the pocket of his trousers.
With two referrals in hand, it was surprising Azhar did not ask for a review of his dismissal having had a mid-pitch discussion with partner Umar Akmal. Pakistan still had those reviews in place by stumps.
Umar Akmal was also caught by Swann off Finn, while his brother Kamran lasted just two balls before he edged a wider Finn delivery to Collingwood at third slip for a duck.
Top-scorer Shoaib Malik (38) and the prodigious 18-year-old bowler Mohammad Aamer scrapped for every run in their seventh-wicket stand of 58, and ensured Pakistan surpassed their lowest Test total of 87 against England at Lord’s in 1954.
Malik’s 53-ball innings ended when he edged Anderson to Andrew Strauss at first slip, catching the ball at the second attempt. Aamer followed in Anderson’s next over, a third slip catch for Swann.
When Gul, whose pulled six over square leg off Anderson roused the Pakistan fans briefly, added 39 in 44 balls with Danish Kaneria, it seemed as though Pakistan would avoid the follow-on. Then Kaneria was bowled by Stuart Broad.
In the first session yesterday, Asif added to his wicket the previous day with four English scalps — all leg-before wicket — that included centurion Morgan and Collingwood.
ENGLAND first innings (overnight 331-4)
A. Strauss c Akmal b Aamer 45
A. Cook c Farhat b Aamer 8
J. Trott lbw b Aamer 38
K. Pietersen b Asif 9
P. Collingwood lbw b Asif 82
E. Morgan lbw b Asif 130
M. Prior run-out 6
G. Swann lbw b Asif 2
S. Broad b Gul 3
J. Anderson lbw b Asif 0
S. Finn not out 0
Extras: (b-5, lb-14, w-5, nb-7) 31
Total (all out; 104.1 overs) 354
Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-93, 3-116, 4-118, 5-337, 6-344, 7-351, 8-354, 9-354.
Bowling: Aamer 24-7-41-3 (w-1), Asif 27-9-77-5, Gul 18.1-5-61-1 (nb-5), Kaneria 21-0-100-0 (nb-2), Malik 11-2-39-0, Ali 1-0-9-0, Amin 1-0-3-0, Farhat 1-0-5-0.
PAKISTAN first innings
I. Farhat b Anderson 19
S. Butt c Prior b Anderson 1
A. Ali c Prior b Anderson 14
U. Amin c Swann b Finn 2
U. Akmal c Swann b Finn 4
S. Malik c Strauss b Anderson 38
K. Akmal c Collingwood b Finn 0
M. Aamer c Swann b Anderson 25
U. Gul not out 30
D. Kaneria b Broad 7
M. Asif not out 0
Extras: (b-5, lb-2) 7
Total: (nine wickets; 50 overs) 147
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-32, 3-35, 4-41, 5-45, 6-47, 7-105, 8-108, 9-147.
Bowling (to date): Anderson 20-6-49-5, Broad 17-4-59-1, Finn 11-5-20-3, Swann 2-1-12-0.