Ajmal fights back for Pakistan as match evenly poised

Pakistan was bowled out at 257 runs in their first innings and England lost their fifth wicket at the dying moments of the day with a score of 207 runs.

Saeed Ajmal
Saeed Ajmal

The second Test of the three match series witnessed its second day’s play on January 26, 2012, at Sheihk Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

Earlier, Pakistan started the second day at 256 runs for the loss of seven wickets and they had lot of hopes from their Captain, Misbah-Ul-Haq who was unbeaten on 83 runs.

The new ball was thirteen overs old when the proceedings of the second day begun as James Anderson took charge of the bowling and Misbah stole a single on the very first ball. Stuart Broad took the ball from the other end and earned the biggest success of the day when Misbah was adjudged leg before wicket on the fourth ball at 84 runs. The hopes of Pakistan for adding some more useful runs in their overnight total vanished with the departure of their Captain.

The England quickies ripped through the tail of Pakistan without adding a single run in the total and the whole team was sent back to the pavilion on 257 runs.

Broad was the superior bowler with four wickets, Greame Swann got three, Anderson held two and Monty Panesar chipped in with one wicket.

England made a reasonable start of their innings as Pakistani fast bowlers remain unimpressive in the initial five overs. Misbah decided to introduce spin from both ends and handed over the ball to Mohammad Hafeez in the sixth over. He delivered a maiden over and Ajmal took charge from the other end and gave away one run in his first over.

The trick of consisting with the spinners paid off when Andrew Strauss was caught smartly by Asad Shafiq at short leg off Hafeez after he had scored just 11 runs. The first wicket fell at 27 runs and it looked like spinners will play their part again when Jonathan Trott came to the crease and joined in with Alastair Cook.

Misbah persisted with spinners until lunch interval and England went on to score 48 runs without losing another wicket. Umar Gul took the ball just after lunch and Trott punished him with 11 runs which included two consecutive boundaries as well. He achieved his fifty in the 43rd over as Cook followed him in the 48th over by dispatching a four to Saeed Ajmal.
The duo took the visitors to stability and by tea interval and they were in a commanding position at 132 runs without losing any further wicket.

Pakistan got the second breakthrough of the day after tea on the last ball of the 64th over when Trott was bowled by Abdur Rehman on 74 runs. The second wicket contributed 139 runs as Kevin Pietersen walked in the centre and joined with Cook who was playing well at 75 runs. They added 32 runs before Cook lost his wicket as he was unlucky to miss his 20th Century by six runs. Ajmal got him lbw at the total of 198 runs, got rid of Pietersen and Eoin Morgan just before close of the second day’s play.

England had scored 207 runs with five first innings wickets in hand, still lacking behind 50 runs and has to play well on the third day to get firm control of the game. Saeed Ajmal is getting back to his rhythm and will try his best to restrict England to a nominal score but Pakistani Fast bowlers have to perform well to put their team in the winning mode in the on-going match.


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