Anderson leads assault against Pakistan

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Birthday boy James Anderson took five for 49 as England ripped through Pakistan on a day laden with wickets for the pace bowlers at Trent Bridge.

Mohammad Asif (five for 77) was the first to make the most of conditions in an England collapse from an overnight 331 for four to 354 all out - losing their last six wickets for 17 runs.



But under persistent heavy cloud cover on day two of this npower Test series, Pakistan were always likely to struggle in reply.



Anderson and Steve Finn (three for 20) did not miss their cue, as the tourists stumbled to 47 for six on the way to 147 for nine when bad light brought an early close despite the use of floodlights.



Pakistan must therefore begin again tomorrow needing eight more runs from their last wicket to pass the follow-on mark.



Captain Salman Butt went in the 45 minutes before lunch, poking past his front pad to edge an Anderson outswinger behind to go for just a single.



Anderson, 28 today, produced a near unplayable ball to make Imran Farhat the first victim of the afternoon - bowled by one that was angled into the left-hander from round the wicket only to nip away off the seam and hit off-stump.



Finn made short work of Umar Amin, fencing the first of three catches to Graeme Swann at second slip from the last ball of the Middlesex fast bowler's first over. Umar Akmal went in mirror-image fashion to the same combination.



Kamran Akmal was Finn's third wicket for one run when he obligingly hung out his bat for a gully catch.



Before then, number three Azhar Ali - who had looked by far the likeliest of the top order to keep England at bay - had foregone his decision review system option when he was given out caught behind off Anderson, to one which appeared to flick the hip of his trousers. Finn, prescribed a mid-summer strengthening programme rather than one-day international action since his man-of-the-series performances against Bangladesh, was vindicating that safety-first policy with a fierce spell from the pavilion end.



Five wickets fell for only 15 runs. But Pakistan achieved some respite as Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Aamer closed out the session, and almost doubled the total for good measure.



Their resourceful stand extended to 58 in early evening, putting previous failures in context, before Andrew Strauss successfully juggled a slip catch to give Anderson his fourth wicket and see off Malik.



Aamer's resistance ended only three runs later with another Swann catch off Anderson. But there was still some unexpected, breezy strokeplay to come from Umar Gul - including a pulled six off Anderson - to help give Pakistan an even chance of narrowing the first-innings margin to beneath 200.



The procession of wickets was a world away from the seamless batting of Eoin Morgan (130) and Paul Collingwood (82) in their record double-century stand on day one.



Asif had caused havoc this morning with his wicket-to-wicket seam and swing in a spell of four wickets, all lbw, for eight runs from the Radcliffe Road end.



Morgan and Collingwood could add only six between them to the 213 they had racked up together by stumps last night.



Morgan, chanceless yesterday, had an early let-off when Aamer (three for 41) had him edging to first slip - where Farhat put down a straightforward catch.



There was to be no reprieve for Collingwood, though, when Asif pinned him lbw just on off-stump - a fact confirmed via DRS.



Collingwood did not appear convinced it was worth risking England's final review opportunity, and so it proved.



There was no such option available to Morgan when Asif struck again four overs later. But DRS would not have saved him anyway, because Asif straightened a ball dramatically off the pitch to do for the left-hander, who had mustered only five runs off 34 balls this morning.



The double departure left a decidedly awkward task for Matt Prior and Swann to try to get England up towards 400, with Asif already in full flow.



Swann was lucky on nought not to become Asif's third lbw victim, umpire Tony Hill presumably judging he had got just outside off-stump - a fact which could not be verified by video replay.



But Prior soon became the next unfortunate casualty, run out after Swann sent him back attempting a third - Aamer's accurate throw doing the rest.



It was a self-inflicted blow England could not afford, and it quickly became apparent they did not have it in them to recover.



Swann was eighth out, lbw pushing forward to Asif - who was on a hat-trick after Anderson shouldered arms and was struck on the pad next ball.



Number 11 Finn survived initially, only for Gul to swing a full-length delivery past Stuart Broad's defences for the final wicket and a third for no addition to the total.



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