72 all out: Pakistan get a dosage of their own medicine
Pakistan plunges to another low.
England does to Pakistan what Pakistan did to Australia a few weeks ago at Headingley. Anderson, Broad and Finn reduce the visitors to 72.
One of the characteristics of the highly entertaining Pakistan team is that they can do anything anytime on a cricket field. The current side, short of experienced batsmen with Yousuf having to sit out due to jet lag, was never very good with their run-scoring. Salman Butt, whose fortunes have taken a U-turn after the debut Test as captain against Australia, chose to bat in bowler friendly conditions that in such context was a very difficult judgment to fathom.
Result – Pakistan consumed a mammoth 39.3 overs to be all out for 72. Umar Amin scores 23 which turns out to be the highest individual score, two of the top three batsmen score ducks in an innings, and consume more than 50 deliveries in doing so – the first time this feat is achieved. Pakistan batsmen eat up 70 deliveries without scoring a single run, and fall to their joint fourth-lowest total in Tests.
In reply, England score 112 with the loss of two wickets to already lead Pakistan by 40 runs at stumps on day one of this second Test between the two side at Edgbaston.
The rot started at the end of the eighth over when Imran Farhat departed for naught having faced 24 deliveries. Apart from the fourth and the seventh wicket partnerships of 17 and 27, all other stands were of single figures as wickets kept on falling without runs being scored.
As if this was not enough, Pakistan backed it up with terrible fielding. They dropped as many as three catches, as if they wanted to hand over the match to England as quickly as possible. Jonathan Trott was dropped by Imran Farhat when he was on eight; Kevin Pietersen, on 9 then, survived when Umar Gul did not try hard enough to get to the ball and hold on to the catch at mid-on. Pietersen again got a life when rookie keeper Zulqarnain Haider grassed an inside edge.
Asif and Aamer claimed Cook and Strauss to give a hint of respectability to a pathetic first day performance by Pakistan – a match-losing performance.
Pakistan may bounce back with the exploits of Asif and Aamer, but with a score as low as 72, even a draw for them here seems impossible.
Cricket is a funny game, and Pakistan make it funnier.
Woes of the Pakistan cricket team expectedly have not gone. After all, how can you change the fortunes of a team by chopping and changing and banning? Pakistan have talent, but no side in the world can prosper if its governing body does not have faith in a core group of players.
Needless to say, slit throats and SOS calls are round the corner.