Cricket / Fourth Test: Headingley's booby-traps trick Pakistan: Mallender and Pringle exploit the impatience of the tourists and eccentricity of the pitch to put England in strong position

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Pakistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165-8

England

UNLESS the International Cricket Council referee plans to speak sternly to the pitch for bad behaviour, the atmosphere could scarcely have been more cordial here yesterday. Clyde Walcott might also be offering up grateful thanks for the probability that the players only have to be good boys for two more days. Weather permitting, there might not be too much left of the fourth Test by Saturday evening.

Headingley, like England's angry letter-writer Graham Gooch, has a reputation to uphold, and did so with rare eloquence. Under grey skies, the ball moved around at varying heights, and the chronic lack of pace in the pitch was another ideal booby-trap for a batting side that possesses just about every virtue bar patience.

Pakistan's decision to bat might have been mildy surprising, but England would apparently have done the same. Unless there is a sudden unforecast heatwave, the ball will continue to wobble about, and the cracks in the pitch suggest that the uneven bounce will become more pronounced as the game progresses. Furthermore, the last two sides to insert the opposition here, England (against Australia in 1989) and the West Indies, last summer, both lost.

Get your score on the board first was the theory, although 165 for 8 may not quite represent the score that the tourists had in mind. It is probably because they had Headingley in mind, where collapsing is almost compulsory, that caused them to bat with all the relaxation of a Morris dancer in a minefield.

Only Salim Malik, who dismissed England's attack as 'popgun' in an eve-of-Test newspaper article, batted with anything approaching comfort, and he would have been out first ball had his edge off Derek Pringle carried to Graeme Hick at second slip.

Pringle has been called worse things than popgun, particularly on this ground, although his type of bowling is particularly well suited to Headingley. Leaving out the general carnage inflicted by the 1989 Australians, when Pringle returned match figures of 1 for 183, his five other Tests here have yielded an aggregate of 16 for 318.

Headingley does not make many demands on a bowler other than getting the ball in the right place. Pringle has less of a problem with this than getting his feet in the right place, and his two wickets yesterday came with the first and last deliveries of a nine- ball over.

Ramiz Raja was bowled off the inside edge essaying a limp forward prod, and Javed Miandad was then dropped at short leg by Robin Smith off Pringle's third no-ball of the over. The ninth delivery was legitimate, Javed propped forward again, and this time Smith held on to a much more straightforward offering.

This left Pakistan in a hole at 68 for 4, and as the first two wickets had fallen to the equally accurate Neil Mallender, Graham Gooch had clearly chosen his popguns wisely. Mallender, on his debut, had Aamir Sohail taken at first slip, and after the first of two breaks for rain, returned to bowl Asif Mujtaba off the inside edge.

Aamir, fresh from his 205 at Old Trafford, made no concession to the different climate on the other side of the Pennines, and, as usual, began as though he was 205 not out. He picked up five boundaries in his 23, off various parts of the bat, before a hernia-inducing thrash outside off stump resulted in a catch for Michael Atherton.

If it would almost be possible to boil a kettle on top of Aamir's head, Inzamam-ul-Haq is not far behind in the blood-rushing stakes, and his smeared drive at Tim Munton, resulting in the second of three slip catches for Graeme Hick, was arguably the ugliest shot of the day.

Unarguably the daftest moment of the day involved the dismissal of Wasim Akram, who top-edged a hook off Chris Lewis into safe pastures, and with Gooch's 39-year-old legs in pursuit, set off for a cosy two. Salim, however, fancied a third, and with Gooch's throw on its way back to the bowler's end, the only question was whether Salim would give himself up, or carry on running and sacrifice his partner. He opted, somewhat unchivalrously, for the latter.

On occasions such as these, it is seldom wise for the surviving batsman to return too quickly to the pavilion, and Salim took the wise option. Unfortunately for England, he also decided that there was not much to be gained either from prodding and blocking, and - class player that he is - he made a mess of Mallender's hitherto tidy analysis with a series of thunderous blows.

He also took this decision on the basis that, from 128 for 8, there was not likely to be too much productivity at the other end. Neither has there been, but the ninth- wicket partnership of 37 between Salim and Mushtaq Ahmed is the highest of the match so far, neither will it look too shabby after the completion of all four innings. England would have settled for what they got yesterday, but any total over 200 in this match will be a reasonable one.

Two hold-ups for rain accounted for the loss of almost two and a half hours, but with play going until 7pm under the regulations, it effectively meant only 80 minutes lost. The weather, one feels, will have to turn a good deal nastier than this for Headingley not to cough up its 11th consecutive Test match result.

ENGLAND were last night cleared of all blame for the angry scenes during the third Test against Pakistan at Old Trafford. The Test match referee, Conrad Hunte, who upset the England captain, Graham Gooch, and his team with his statement following the scenes caused by the Pakistan bowler, Aqib Javed, said that England's attitude during the troubled Test was 'exemplary'.

Hunte, appointed by the International Cricket Council as a stand-in during the Test in Manchester two weeks ago, angered England by adding a paragraph to his adjudication on Pakistan's outburst against the umpire, Roy Palmer, saying that he had urged the English players to maintain the spirit of the game.

HEADINGLEY SCOREBOARD

(Pakistan won toss)

PAKISTAN - First Innings

Aamir Sohail c Atherton b Mallender. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

(55 min, 45 balls, 5 fours)

Ramiz Raja b Pringle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

(114 min, 78 balls, 2 fours)

Asif Mujtaba b Mallender. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

(44 min, 33 balls, 1 four)

*Javed Miandad c Smith b Pringle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

(18 min, 8 balls, 1 four)

Salim Malik not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57

(168 min, 116 balls, 9 fours)

Inzamam-ul-Haq c Hick b Munton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

(26 min, 19 balls, 1 four)

Wasim Akram run out (Gooch-Lewis). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

(53 min, 37 balls, 1 four)

Moin Khan c Hick b Lewis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

(15 min, 13 balls)

Waqar Younis c Hick b Mallender. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

(21 min, 21 balls, 1 four)

Mushtaq Ahmed not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

(43 min, 41 balls)

Extras (b1 lb2 w7 nb14). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

Total (for 8, 283 min, 66 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165

Fall: 1-34 (Aamir Sohail), 2-54 (Asif Mujtaba), 3-60 (Ramiz Ramiz), 4-68 (Javed Miandad), 5-80 (Inzamam-ul-Haq), 6-111 (Wasim Akram), 7-117 (Moin Khan), 8-128 (Waqar Younis).

To bat: Aqib Javed.

Bowling: Lewis 16-4-36-1 w2 (first spell: 6-2-13-0, second spell: 10-2-23-1); Mallender 19-7-55-3 nb2 (13-5-32-2, 6-2-23-1); Pringle 17-6-41-2 nb10 (14- 4-38-2, 3-2-3-0); Munton 8-3-19-1 nb3 (one spell); Gooch 6-3-11-0 w2 (5-3-7-0, 1-0-4-0).

Progress: Rain stopped play: 12.05-2.29pm. Lunch: 36-1 (Ramiz 9, Mujtaba 0) 15 overs. 50: 89 min, 20.5 overs. RSP: 3.26-4.20pm. Tea: 68-4 (Salim 5, Inzamam 0) 27 overs. 100: 180 min, 41.2 overs. 150: 264 min, 61.3 overs.

Salim's 50: 159 min, 112 balls, 8 fours.

ENGLAND: *G A Gooch, A J Stewart, M A Atherton, R A Smith, D I Gower, G A

Hick, M R Ramprakash, C C Lewis, D R Pringle, N A Mallender, T A Munton.

Umpires: M J Kitchen and K E Palmer.

(Photograph omitted)

Comments