Steve Harmison has caused jitters in the Pakistan camp with his double blow after England had declared their innings at 528 for 9. Pakistan are tottering at 66 for 3 at stumps on Day 2 of the 1st Test with Mohammad Yousuf and Mohammad Sami, the night watchman being the not out batsmen. The bowling from England looks good to bowl out Pakistan soon and the visitors need special knocks from Mohammad Yousuf and skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq to pull them out of trouble.
The Tale of the Morning Session
Pakistan finally took the second new ball in the 93rd over and soon it provided the result with Alastair Cook coming down late in his drive to a quick delivery from Mohammad Sami. Cook was bowled for 105 to give Sami his first wicket of the match. Ian Bell who was fighting for his place in the England Side then put on a brisk partnership with Paul Collingwood and things looked like going to a plan for the homeside. Collingwood continued from where he had left yesterday and he along with Bell was helped with some wayward bowling from the Pakistani seamers. Paul Collingwood was let off by Steve Bucknor after the centurion was forced to nick a short of length delivery from Mohammad Sami who was looking a different bowler today. Sami was still not getting past the 90mph mark with his short run up but there was definitely a better performance from him today. England went to lunch at 426 for 4 with Collingwood on 179, which had by some margin had become the highest individual score for England against Pakistan at Lord’s, Ian Bell who started off with lots of shots settled down to remain on 43. The morning session belonged to England with 117 runs coming in the 30 overs bowled.
The Tale of the Afternoon Session
Pakistan did extremely well in stifling the scoring after lunch and both Collingwood and Bell looked satisfied in playing out safely. But Collingwood fell to a beautiful leg break from Danish Kaneria that deceived him in the air and brought him forward and then it turned and bounced to beat Collingwood’s forward lunge. Kamran Akmal took the bails off in a flash with Collingwood dragging his back leg way outside the crease. Danish Kaneria finally got his prayers answered by the almighty and Collingwood fell 14 short of his maiden double century. Collingwood had faced 323 balls and had hit 23 fours. After Collingwood’s departure, Geraint Jones came in and blasted Kaneria over his head for a four and after sometime played a cut over covers off Sami to pick up a six. The aggressive Jones was gone for 18 after missing a googly from Kaneria in his sweep shot and was given out lbw by Steve Bucknor. Plunkett came in and disappeared back in the pavilion driving a top spinner from Kaneria to the slips that wasn’t there for the drive. It was interestingly the first slip catch taken by Imran Farhat in this match and those who had watched the first day’s play would never forget the two simple slip catches he had dropped. England closed the post lunch session at 495 for 7 with Bell on 75 and with him was Matthew Hoggard on 8.
The Tale of the Final Session
Pakistan got rid of Matthew Hoggard with Afridi slipping in a quicker one that thudded onto Hoggard’s pads and next was Harmison to go trying to get Bell on strike. Ian Bell was approaching his hundred and he had pushed Afridi to the onside and ran for the 2nd run, Harmison at the non striker’s end could not make it in time at the non striker’s end. That left Ian Bell on 98 and he just had Monty Panesar with him in the middle. It was soon 1 run to get for Ian Bell for his hundred and for that Panesar had to survive four deliveries from Danish Kaneria which he did. Ian Bell in the next over got to his 3rd Test Match hundred and Strauss wasted no time in declaring the innings.
Pakistan started their innings on a promising note with Salman Butt pulling Steve Harmison’s fiery short one over mid wicket and at the other end, Imran Farhat was at his attacking best taking care of Matthew Hoggard. Salman Butt lost patience though as he drove carelessly to a delivery pitched outside his offstump by Steve Harmison. Andrew Strauss took a comfortable catch at 2nd slip and two balls later, Harmison sent Faisal Iqbal back to the hut with a nasty lifter. Faisal Iqbal who fended that short one was taken superbly by a leaping Collingwood who took a stunning one handed catch at gully. Mohammad Yousuf had then walked into join Imran Farhat and the former played a couple of beautiful shots to show his class. But at the other end, Imran Farhat lost his mind as he went back to Liam Plunkett only to leave his inswinger in the end and saw his offstump disturbed. Imran Farhat might have been done in by a smart move from Andrew Strauss who had set up the field for the hook shot and the left hander might have been expecting the bouncer and was looking to leave it! Sami was the night watchman sent in to shield the Sleeping Giant Inzamam who would only wake up tomorrow and Sami survived four deliveries from Steve Harmison in the final over of the day’s play to see Pakistan through at 66 for 3 in the 19 overs bowled at them. Mohammad Yousuf is looking good for his 20 which has four hits to the fence.