Brothers in arms raise the Pakistan standard

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The Independent Online
Ijaz Ahmed and Salim Malik are married to two sisters in Lahore. Their third-wicket partnership of 130 in 38 overs, after Pakistan had been sent in, could be said to be a stand for family values.

Ijaz, the junior by five years, became the highest scorer for either team on this ground and achieved a career-best. He pinpointed an England error: "I was looking for the ball outside the off stump. I like to play cut shots. The pitch was difficult for two hours, slow in the middle but bouncy wide of the stumps, good for me. I think 350 will be a good score, enough for our bowlers." Salim, once with Essex, reached his best score of the tour.

David Lloyd, England's coach, conceded: "It was Pakistan's day but we are not out of it. They were apprehensive at the start and we lost patience at times while they were always positive."

On the controversial selection of only four bowlers he added: "We picked the side we thought best capable of bowling them out twice in the prevailing conditions. We now need to get them out as quickly as possible."

The first day may also be remembered in what is beginning to be an England management and team in flux, for a whisper that John Emburey will shortly replace Peter Lever as the England bowling coach and for a banner that proclaimed "Henry Blofeld is God."

The attendance, 9,000, was so poor that a local colleague claimed that the Yorkshire team would have drawn more. He was also quick to add when Dominic Cork and Chris Lewis were bowling like apprentices before lunch: "We could have have had Goughie here to bowl this crap - and we would have had more to watch him."

Test match receipts are still approaching pounds 850,000 and the attendance today and tomorrow will be near capacity but yesterday it was no Darren Gough, no crowd, no Western Terrace brawling - one reason suggested for the stay-away - but very much Pakistan.

Misbehaviour on the open side of the ground, including fighting, drunkenness and much bad language, made the Terrace almost a no-go area for families and for many regular cricket watchers, but the Yorkshire club, by limiting the pedestrian area and by increasing the number of stewards, have certainly effected a clampdown but yesterday the atmosphere on what can be a noisy ground was limp.

The mother-in-law in Lahore might be happy to visit England in contrast to Ian Botham's, whom he said he would not send to Pakistan.