Stauss falls on frustrating day

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The Independent Online

England lost only Andrew Strauss' wicket as Pakistan failed to inflict more significant damage in the hour of play possible at a damp and gloomy Lord's on day one of the fourth npower Test.

After heavy overnight and then light morning rain had wiped out the first session, Pakistan won the toss and unsurprisingly put their hosts in under heavy cloud cover.

It was an obvious opportunity for the tourists' strong seam attack to steal a march on England as they seek victory which would square the series at 2-2 after this final match.

In those circumstances, it was a slightly under-par return to shift only the England captain in a mid-afternoon and eventually stumps total of 39 for one - before bad light forced the players off and closed in terminally thereafter.

Mohammad Aamer began a disappointing passage of play for Pakistan by delivering four leg-side wides with the first ball of the match.

Aamer was not to blame in his next over, though, when he had Alastair Cook edging to third slip off the back foot - only for Umar Akmal to put down a regulation chance and reprieve the opener on one.

There was plenty of predictable movement through the air for new-ball pair Aamer and Mohammad Asif, and a touch off the pitch too for the former in particular.

Yet Aamer was to have his hopes dashed again when Billy Bowden gave Cook out caught behind on nine, only for DRS to prove the ball had done enough to beat the outside edge.

By the time darker clouds moved in again and brought the floodlights into use, Wahab Riaz had replaced Aamer at the pavilion end.

But it was to be Asif who struck when he snaked an inswinger between Strauss' bat and pad to bowl him off-stump and continue the captain's sequence of moderate returns in this series.

It meant too that Cook and Strauss must bat together at least once more before they surpass Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe as their country's most prolific opening partnership.