Stumps Day 2. England 192. Pakistan 288-7
If England get out of this test match with a draw or a win, the batsmen ought to take the bowlers out for a night on the tiles. Oh hang on, they’re in Dubai aren’t they. Maybe they should go out for a quiet meal and a few lemonades instead.
Yesterday evening England were looking down the barrel. The pitch seemed flatter than Jessica Alba’s stomach, and Pakistan seemed destined for a huge first innings lead.
However, after a spirited fight back by the bowlers today, England certainly aren’t out of the game yet. The first inning deficit is still likely to be about 120 to 140, but if we bat well in the second dig who knows what could happen. Pakistan won’t want to chase much more than 250.
Our bowlers deserve a great deal of credit for the way they performed today. It was reminiscent of the Ashes, when we had to bowl the Aussies out on a number of slow unresponsive surfaces.
The plan, as always, was to bowl a tight line, apply pressure, and wait for the batsmen to either nick one behind or make a mental error. It eventually paid off.
However, imagine how much easier it would have been if Monty was playing? Tremlett is a good bowler, but he was never going to be effective on these kind of pitches. Everyone knew it apart from the England management apparently – which is kind of worrying if you think about it.
Anyway, as Sir Geoffrey wisely pointed out on TMS, our bowlers’ performance will be in vain if our batsmen capitulate tomorrow. That means they’ll have to play Saeed Ajmal with a straight bat.
Anyone out sweeping should be flogged in public. Apparently they enjoy that sort of thing in the UAE. Shame they don’t allow it back in the UK, really. Hmmm, I really should stop reading all those right wing tabloids.
A quick note to manage your readers expectations a little:
Of the four spinners playing in this match only one – Ajmal – has caused difficulties. None of the four (inlcuding Swanny and Ajmal) have turned the ball prodigiously, in fact they have barely turned it at all.
Ajmal has only caused difficulties because my colleagues struggled to pick up the pitch of the ball when he was bowling (oh, and Belly got a good one first ball).
I’m afraid I can’t guarantee to do any better than Graeme, but will hopefully play in the next test nontheless (it’s expected to be even flatter)!
Oh Monty. You really should have more faith in yourself. Spinners do better on slow pitches than seamers – and they get more turn as the match goes on. Don’t listen to flower, who will do anything to keep you out the side, listen to the fans and media pundits. We all love you and you should be playing! Well, TMS agrees anyway.
England were clinical on day two, although the balance is still in Paksitan’s favour. There will be more pad action, keeping umpires and DRS busy with more LBW appeals through the next couple of days. With little deviation and low bounce, LBWs will remain the favoured route for bowlers. Expect Rehman and Ajmal to be a handful in the second innings. England will have to battle hard with the bat next. Game on!
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