England win still possible for Broad
England believe they can still prevail in the first Test, according to Stuart Broad, after their late fightback on a tough second day against Pakistan.
Two wickets - including that of captain Misbah-ul-Haq - in the last five balls before stumps meant Pakistan closed on 288 for seven. That nonetheless gave them a lead of 96 after England’s under-par performance with the bat on day one.
But Stuart Broad, twice successful with the ball this morning, described an optimistic England as “delighted” with the twist in a tale which had previously seen him and his fellow bowlers toil mostly in vain.
He is hoping England can revisit the rearguards of last winter’s famous Ashes draw in Brisbane and their summer victory over India at Trent Bridge when they also came from way off the pace after a poor start.
Openers Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar, who hit 88 and 58 respectively, shared a Pakistan record fifth century opening stand this morning, and Misbah added another 52. But England got their rewards in the end for a wholehearted, disciplined and skilled display with the ball.
“Pakistan are still in a strong position - we’re chasing the game a little bit - but you look back to Brisbane, to Trent Bridge last summer, it’s going to be up to a couple of batsmen to score big hundreds,” said Broad.
“I think the batsmen are excited at putting the wrongs right from the first innings. Someone has an opportunity to score big runs on that wicket.
“If we can score 350 to 400 then batting last on that wicket could be quite tricky. That’s how you’ve got to plan. We’re quite clear in what we have to do. Someone’s going to have to bat big, bat long - and we have players who can do that. That’s the way we’ll win this game.”
England’s bowlers did little wrong on a fair pitch as they hauled their team back into a feasible, if not favourable, situation.
“Obviously as a bowler, you prefer to be bowling at 400 rather than 200,” he added. “But that’s dangerous thoughts.
“I’m in a position where I’m a little bit of an all-rounder, so I can’t really just blame the batsmen - because it’s my fault as well.
“We talked this morning in the huddle of letting yesterday go. We need to obviously learn from it - because we batted really badly - but it won’t do us any good dwelling on it.”
The reality was, though, that the only way to redress the balance was hard graft.
“It is hard work,” admitted Broad. “But that’s no Colombo out there. There is a little bit of seam, a little bit of encouragement for the bowlers, and we had one of those days where we got wickets with good balls. We didn’t get any drag-ons or anything from any poor, wide deliveries.
“We missed our half-chances, with two one-handed efforts going down and a missed run-out. But I think we deserved the wickets, because it was a really good bowling performance.
“We came to the ground this morning knowing it wasn’t going to be easy, and set our targets at going at under three-an-over. To go at 2.7 for the whole Test match day was pleasing - and with that pressure, you pick up wickets. To finish with seven, and the tail to come, we’re delighted.”
Faced with an opening partnership of 114, Broad showed enterprise to bowl Taufeeq for 58 from round the wicket.
Having produced two wicket-taking deliveries himself, Broad praised James Anderson and Graeme Swann for doing likewise.
“It’s a balance you need to find,” he said. "We talk about the discipline of our bowling unit, going under three an over and that will bring wickets through pressure. But sometimes the wickets just don’t offer you anything and you need to find a way of doing that.
“Today actually the wicket seamed a little bit for us, so if you were hitting the stumps you were in a good area. You look at most of the dismissals today: there were some good balls bowled, certainly Jimmy towards the end, Swanny managed some really good balls as well.”