Arafat serves England batsmen crash course

England 256-9 dec & 39-6 Patron's XI 211
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Having been 60 for 6 in their first innings, England were 39 for 6 at stumps of day two in this three-day match. Paul Collingwood (1) and Ian Bell (0) were batting with the tourists just 84 runs ahead in their first tour game.

Having taken a first-innings lead of 45 runs after dismissing the home side for 211, England shuffled around with their batting order and were rocked by the pace bowlers Mohammad Irshad and Yasir Arafat, who took five wickets between them.

Arafat said: "We went out under pressure because these guys have come fresh from beating Australia, but I think they have not been able to adjust to the pace and bounce of the pitch."

But the England assistant coach Matthew Maynard refused to panic. "Ideally, you would want all the batsmen to retire at 50," he said. "That has not been the case, and we would obviously have been pleased with a bit more time in the middle.

"To lose the wickets has been a disappointment. But the guys look in top nick in the nets, and the practice wickets are totally different to the centre wicket we have here. That will be totally different to the Test wicket we will have in two weeks' time, so I wouldn't read too much into it."

England's decision to hold back their first-innings century scorer Marcus Trescothick and send in Matthew Prior with Strauss backfired as six wickets fell in 9.3 overs.

The left-armer Najaf Shah started the batting slide by dismissing Strauss for six when he was caught at first slip by Bazid Khan in the fifth over. Irshad then had Alex Loudon caught behind for one, trapped the captain Michael Vaughan leg before for a duck and forced Prior (16) to pull straight to Arafat at deep square leg. Arafat produced two beautiful off-cutters to bowl Kevin Pietersen (10) and Geraint Jones (0) in the same over, leaving the visitors on 38 for 6.

The pace bowler James Anderson said that England's second batting collapse of the match was not too much of a concern. "These are early days of the tour and we have had five or six weeks off from cricket. It is a matter of switching on for us. The guys look in good nick in the nets. I know it's different in the middle, but the conditions in the middle are also a lot different to the nets. Which explains what happened."

England had declared on their overnight total of 256 for 9, with Trescothick unbeaten on 124. They went through the Patron's XI top order and reduced them to 79 for 6 but Shahzad Malik's 37 and a final-wicket stand of 61 from Zulqarnain Haider (34 not out) and Tahir Khan (32) rescued the home team.

England's own Test back-up bowlers fared well on a surface allowing occasional exaggerated seam movement as well as swing in the muggy air - Anderson and the off-spinner Shaun Udal returning to the fold with three wickets each and the debutant Liam Plunkett doing likewise. Ashley Giles did not bowl due to a upset stomach. None of the successful trio figured in England's Ashes triumph last summer, and all are likely reserve options this winter. Yet these were the wicket-takers - the all-rounder Collingwood struck once, too - as the hosts mustered 211 all out.

Anderson has not played for his country since a discouraging display in a one-day warm-up match in South Africa at the start of this year - while Udal has been out of the reckoning since his last limited-overs appearance a decade ago.

The Lancashire pace bowler looked rusty in his first over with the new ball as he overpitched and was hit for three fours. But continuing to operate at a full length he found telling swing and struck in both his second and third overs to see off Asher Zaidi and Bazid Khan.

The Patron's XI innings followed a similar pattern to both of England's, six wickets down for well under 100 as Anderson and then Plunkett chipped away - with Jones taking five catches behind the wicket.

But some wristy strokeplay from Shahzad Malik - who hit 38 sixes in an unbeaten 403 from only 137 balls in a Hertfordshire league match last summer - and then that 10th-wicket partnership meant that the hosts inched a little too close for England's comfort, even before the day turned really sour for the tourists.

Rawalpindi scoreboard

England won toss (second day of three)

Overnight: England First Innings: 256-9 dec (M E Trescothick 124 no, M J Prior 50; Yasir Arafat 4-45).

PATRON'S XI - First Innings

Ashar Zaidi c Vaughan b Anderson 11

Yasir Hameed c G O Jones b Anderson 28

Bazid Khan c G O Jones b Anderson 2

Misbah ul-Haq c G O Jones b Plunkett 9

Asim Kamal lbw b Collingwood 14

Faisal Iqbal c G O Jones b Plunkett 9

Khalid Latif lbw b Udal 2

Shehzad Malik c Pietersen b Udal 37

Yasir Arafat c Strauss b Udal 16

Zulqarnain Haider not out 34

Tahir Khan c G O Jones b Plunkett 32

Extras (b5 lb5 w5 nb2 pens0) 17

Total (60.5 overs) 211

Fall: 1-19 2-21 3-49 4-55 5-79 6-79 7-115 8-132 9-150.

Did not bat: Imran Tahir, Mohammad Irshad, Yasir Ali, Najaf Shah.

Bowling: Hoggard 12-3-33-0; Anderson 12-2-50-3; Plunkett 8.5-2-41-3; Collingwood 11-3-24-1; Udal 13-3-36-3; Loudon 4-2-17-0.

ENGLAND - Second Innings

A J Strauss c Bazid Khan b Najaf Shah 6

M J Prior c Arafat b Irshad 16

A G R Loudon c Zulqarnain Haider b Irshad 1

M P Vaughan lbw b Irshad 0

K P Pietersen b Yasir Arafat 10

P D Collingwood not out 1

G O Jones b Yasir Arafat 0

I R Bell not out 0

Extras (b1 lb4 pens 0) 5

Total 6 wkts (14 overs) 39

Fall: 1-18 2-19 3-23 4-38 5-38 6-38.

To bat: M E Trescothick, A F Giles, L E Plunkett, S D Udal, M J Hoggard, J M Anderson.

Bowling: Najaf Shah 5-0-11-1; Irshad 7-2-22-3; Yasir Arafat 2-1-1-2.

Umpires: Riazuddin and Z I Pasha.