Collingwood shines but England fail to convince

England 126 & 256 Pakistan A 138 & 31-1
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The Independent Online

Andrew Flintoff slogged 28 and Geraint Jones spent a useful hour and a half at the crease. It was just as well, without the 58-run, seventh-wicket partnership between Jones and Giles, Pakistan A would be chasing far less than the 245 they need for victory.

The home team's openers made their intentions clear as the shadows lengthened at Bagh-I-Jinnah. Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umar smashed 27 runs off the opening 16 deliveries before a Matthew Hoggard bouncer struck the gloves of Taufeeq and gave Jones a simple catch. Pakistan A had reached 31-1 when bad light forced the players from the field and they start the final day of this three-day match requiring a further 214 runs for victory.

Low-scoring matches do not only deprive the batsmen of quality time at the crease, but they also prevent bowlers from bowling, and it will be interesting to see how substitute captain Trescothick uses his bowlers this morning. England will want to win their final game before the first Test but they will also want to give all of the bowlers a good workout. Trescothick and Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, are aware that their seamers are the likeliest match-winners but they also know the spinners need a good bowl.

Shaun Udal has played in both of England's warm-up matches, a policy which suggests that he will play in Multan on Saturday, but the lack of time either batting side has spent at the crease - the longest innings to date is 74 overs - has meant that he and Giles have bowled very few overs.

Udal has yet to bowl in this match and Giles has bowled 15 competitive overs on the tour. Stephen Harmison and Flintoff played against Australia for the Rest of the World in October but they too are short of bowling here. The sight of Flintoff bowling in the middle on his own after close of play told a story in itself. The confidence of these bowlers will benefit from taking two or three wickets each today but England would ideally like to dismiss Pakistan A for 230 half an hour before the close. Then, each of them should have had a decent bowl.

England took less than four overs to claim the remaining two wickets, Harmison's pace was too much for them, but the remainder of the morning session gave the visitors very little to smile about.

Trescothick was trapped in front in the fourth over of England's second innings and Vaughan collapsed clutching his right knee four balls later. The sight of the England captain limping off would not have helped the concentration of Pietersen, and he played all around the first ball he faced.

For the fourth occasion on the tour, Collingwood strode to the crease with his team's innings in tatters and for the second time he played a leading role in their recovery. Here he accumulated 113 with Strauss, but both fell in consecutive overs to indifferent strokes. Strauss wafted at a wide one and Collingwood top-edged a sweep to deep square leg. Flintoff plundered 28 off 19 balls, with all his runs coming in boundaries, before he too was caught sweeping.

Jones and Giles allowed England to set Pakistan A a competitive total but the leg-spin of Mansoor Amjad proved too much for the tail. Mansoor can also bat - the 18-year-old scored a century against Australia A earlier this year - and England will see more of him and Mohammad Asif, who had match figures of 10-106, in the future.

Scoreboard from Lahore

England won toss

England - First innings 126 (Mohammad Asif 7-62)

Pakistan A - First innings (Overnight: 127 for 8)

Shahid Nazir not out 11

Mohammad Asif c Trescothick b Harmison 6

Mohammad Khalil lbw b Harmison 1

Extras (b4 nb4) 8

Total (33.5 overs) 138

Fall (cont): 9-132.

Bowling: Hoggard 8-0-39-4; Harmison 10.5-0-54-2; Collingwood 4-0-14-1; Flintoff 7-2-13-0; Giles 4-1-14-3.

England - Second Innings

M E Trescothick lbw b Mohammad Asif 1

A J Strauss c Amin-ur-Rehman b Shahid Nazir 56

*M P Vaughan retd hurt 0

K P Pietersen lbw b Mohammad Asif 0

P D Collingwood c Shahid Nazir b Mansoor Amjad 61

A Flintoff c Shahid Nazir b Mansoor Amjad 28

ÝG O Jones c Amin-ur-Rehman b Mansoor Amjad 30

A F Giles c Shahid Nazir b Mohammad Asif 49

S D Udal c Faisal Athar

b Mansoor Amjad 12

M J Hoggard b Mansoor Amjad 3

S J Harmison not out 9

Extras (b4 lb1 w2) 7

Total (63.4 overs) 256

Fall: 1-4 2-10 3-123 4-123 5-154 6-212 7-226 8-230 9-256.

Bowling: Shahid Nazir 11-2-55-1; Mohammad Asif 11.4-2-44-3; Arshad Khan 17-2-55-0; Mansoor Amjad 24-3-97-5.

Pakistan A - Second Innings

Imran Farhat not out 12

Taufeeq Umar c G O Jones b Hoggard 15

Shahid Nazir not out 0

Extras (lb4) 4

Total (for 1 wkt, 4 overs) 31

Fall: 1-27

To bat: Shahid Yousuf, Hasan Raza, Faisal Athar, Mansoor Amjad, Amin-ur-Rehman, Arshad Khan, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Khalil.

Bowling: Hoggard 2-0-22-1; Harmison 2-1-5-0.

Umpires: Mian Aslam and Saleem Badar.

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