Pakistan crumble at Trent Bridge after Prior ton

England 354 & 262-9 dec v Pakistan 182 & 15-3

Pakistan stumbled to a hapless 15 for three after Matt Prior's unbeaten 102 left them needing to rewrite Test history by making 435 to win at Trent Bridge.

Prior took guard at 72 for five, as Umar Gul (three for 41) added wickets to the 65 not out he made from number nine this morning to help the tourists avoid the follow-on in this first npower Test.

England were 98 for six before tea. But Prior shared stands of 49 with Graeme Swann, 56 with Stuart Broad and then an unbroken 49 with last man Steven Finn in reaching his third Test hundred from his 136th ball, having hit seven fours and two sixes.

He had left time too for Broad to take two wickets in three balls, Salman Butt flashing an edge head-high to Paul Collingwood at third slip and Azhar Ali getting the rough end of a marginal decision review to go lbw.

Umar Amin was then lbw playing across James Anderson's swing, making Pakistan's prospects of avoiding defeat some time over the next two days utterly negligible.

Gul followed his maiden 50 in any form of cricket with three wickets for seven runs under heavy cloud cover.

But Prior responded with a chanceless innings, capped by two sixes in three balls off the leg-breaks of Danish Kaneria.

The wicketkeeper helped England to almost quadruple their total before his cut for three off Shoaib Malik brought a declaration on 262 for nine.

Finn stayed put for 50 minutes to allow Prior to move from 63 to three figures.

Gul (65no) had earlier made a mockery of his single-figure batting average, with a clutch of pedigree shots which carried Pakistan from an overnight 147 for nine to 182 all out.

England then lost captain Andrew Strauss to a bizarre caught-behind from the fourth ball of Mohammad Aamer's opening over. The left-armer got away movement and bounce from a dangerous area, and Strauss edged to second slip. Umar Akmal was unable to take the chance at the first attempt, but somehow parried the ball back over first slip for his brother Kamran to dive to his left and intercept with the gloves - leaving a disbelieving Strauss to troop off for a third-ball duck.

Pakistan's wicketkeeper, so fallible in the first innings, showed he was back on his game with a catch down the leg-side to see off Alastair Cook and give Mohammad Asif his 100th Test wicket.

Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen needed much determination and skill to avoid further losses beyond lunch, against Asif in particular.

But the best of Akmal was about to ruin Pietersen's hard work, before some more of his worst reprieved Collingwood.

Pietersen got an inside-edge on a short ball, and Akmal flung himself to his left to take a breathtaking catch off Gul. Next ball, though, Collingwood avoided a caught-behind golden duck only because Akmal could not collect another diving chance away to his right.

First-innings centurion Eoin Morgan was also a whisker away from an early departure when Butt's throw from mid-off just missed the stumps, with the batsman short of his ground for a single.

Trott was not so fortunate, Gul bowling him with one that kept devilishly low - and Collingwood went lbw pulling.

Morgan was to go run out after all, Prior involved in a third-run mix-up for the second successive innings but his partner the victim this time after being sent back.

The suspicion was England probably already had enough runs. But for comfort, they needed Prior and the tail to grab another 50 at least.

He decided on a belt-and-braces job, starting with cautious defence and branching out to some of his favourite cuts and off-side drives only as conditions began to ease under sunnier skies.

He lost Swann when Kaneria used DRS to good effect for an lbw. Broad then played well enough to prove he retains his batting ability down the order, before Malik had him caught at slip from an off-break - and Anderson skied a sweep into Akmal's gloves.

Gul had earlier not only near single-handedly taken his team past the follow-on mark but passed his previous career-best with the first of three brilliant pulled sixes off Finn.

He drove the first ball of the day for four wide of mid-on when Anderson overpitched, after the tourists had begun needing eight runs to avoid the follow-on.

Gul then nicked a single off the fifth ball, leaving the vulnerable Asif only one to survive against Anderson - and then taking 18 off Finn's first over.

A high-class back-foot drive for the four still required was followed by a six which sailed over Trott's head at deep square-leg, and then a pull fine of long-leg to complete a 50 which contained eight fours from just 40 balls.

Gul was simply 'in the zone', and two more huge pulled sixes followed in Finn's next over - before a mix-up over a single left Asif short of his ground when a direct hit from Morgan at cover ran out the number 11 for a duck.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones