Pakistan struggles to save the second Test

The first innings of Pakistan was folded back at 257 runs and England negotieted the rival bowling attack with application and smashed 327 runs.

Can Saaed Ajmal save Pakistan?
Can Saaed Ajmal save Pakistan?

The home team managed 125 runs for the loss of four wickets at the close of the third day’s play.

The second Test of the three match series is being hosted at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, from January 25, 2012.

Earlier the visitors resumed their first innings at 207 in 84.5 overs after losing five wickets, Ian Bell was unbeaten on four and the new batsman has yet to arrive at the crease.

Matt Prior joined him in the morning and got a life on the third ball of the 87th over when he was dropped on three runs by Junaid Khan in the deep backward square off Saeed Ajmal. The lapse did not prove costly for the home side as he was declared leg before wicket off the same bowler after the addition of just one run in his total.

The sixth wicket was gone at 227 runs and in came the all rounder Stuart Broad who joined with Bell. Broad changed his gears after settling down initially and dispatched two subsequent fours to Ajmal in the 95th over and carried on with his game plans.

Pakistan got the second success of the day whenUmar Gul claimed Bell lbw after he had scored 29 runs. He contributed 41 runs for the seventh wicket and Broad took charge of the game later in the innings. He remained unbeaten on 58 runs off 62 balls which included one six and six fours as England was bowled out at 327 runs in 112 overs.

Saeed Ajmal was once again star performer with four wickets, Mohammad Hafeez held three, Abdur Rehman two and Gul one wicket.

Pakistan conceeded a lead of 70 runs and started their second innings with caution and could score 25 runs in the first ten overs. The opening partnership was broken in the 11th over when Hafeez lost his wicket at 22 runs while Monty Panesar got him lbw. Graeme Swann struck from the other end on the fifth ball of the very next over as Taufeeq Umar was bowled by him on seven runs.

Pakistan was in hopeless situation as they had lost two wickets for just 29 runs and suffered another blow when their most experienced batsman Younis Khan’s off stump was uprooted by Panesar at mere one run. Their Captain Misbah-Ul-Haq joined in with young Azhar Ali and counter attacked the English bowlers.

Misbah dispatched successive fours to Panesar in the 20th over but was unlucky to be given lbw off the same bowler in the 28th over on referral even when it was not clear whether he got his bat or pad first.

Pakistan was still 16 runs behind the English lead when two youngsters, Azhar and Asad Shafiq joined together and negotiated almost 33 overs in rest of the day. They were unbeasten on 46 and 35 runs respectively as the home side crawled to 125 with six wickets in hand.

Pakistan has to take a minimum lead of 200-225 runs in the second innings to make a match out of it whereas England will be keen to wrap up their innings to a lowest target.


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