Brilliant Broad gives England the edge
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq led from the front for Pakistan with an unbeaten 83, but Stuart Broad’s three-wicket haul helped England take the honours on day one of the second Test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
After spin duo Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar had combined to remove openers Taufeeq Umar and Mohammad Hafeez, paceman Broad put England in control with a brilliant spell that saw him bowl Younus Khan and Azhar Ali through the gate in quick succession.
At 103 for four, Pakistan, who won the toss, looked vulnerable, but Misbah and Asad Shafiq combined solid defence with the occasional lusty blow to frustrate the tourists with an excellent fifth-wicket partnership of 100.
Swann then returned to take the wickets of Shafiq, who compiled 58, and Abdur Rehman, either side of Broad completing figures of 3-47 from 23 overs with the dismissal of Adnan Akmal, to give England the upper hand late in the day.
Misbah, who twice struck consecutive sixes off Panesar - the second two coming in the final over of the day, was the mainstay of the Pakistan innings. His defiant knock, which has so far spanned 168 balls, ensured the designated home side reached 256 for seven at stumps.
Taufeeq started confidently, hitting James Anderson for fours through mid-off and fine-leg in the first three overs, while Hafeez, usually the aggressor at the top of the order, took time to acclimatise to the conditions, opting to leave any full deliveries outside off stump.
Panesar, who replaced injured paceman Chris Tremlett in the only change from last week's 10-wicket defeat in Dubai, was handed the ball after nine overs and immediately found spin and bounce from the surface to justify his selection.
England skipper Andrew Strauss soon adopted spin from both ends with the introduction of Swann but Hafeez started to play his shots, cutting both slow bowlers through backward point in successive overs.
Swann, in the 16th over, decided against reviewing an unsuccessful lbw appeal after Taufeeq was hit on the pad in front, before Hafeez brought up the Pakistan fifty in the next set of six with another late cut to the vacant third man boundary.
The breakthrough came soon after when Taufeeq completely mis-judged a straight Swann delivery and was bowled for 16 failing to play a shot.
In the 24th over, Panesar, playing his 40th Test, dropped a sharp caught-and-bowled opportunity before making amends for his error with his next delivery, breaching Hafeez’s defences with a quicker ball as Pakistan slipped to 61 for two.
Azhar and Younus brought stability to the Pakistan innings after lunch, the latter sweeping Panesar to the vacant square-leg boundary in consecutive overs.
However, Broad returned with a double strike to reduce Pakistan to 103 for four.
Firstly, he skittled the dangerous Younus for 24 with a brilliant ball that nipped back through the right hander’s bat and pad. Azhar then fell in almost identical fashion four overs later.
Misbah relieved the pressure with consecutive sixes down the ground off Panesar, but maintained his tried and tested defensive approach against the two England seamers.
Shafiq was reserved at the start of his innings, but soon signalled his intentions by clubbing Panesar over mid-off for a maximum.
Jonathan Trott’s introduction to the attack almost reaped instant rewards, but an edge from Misbah fell just short of Strauss at first slip.
Pakistan then lived dangerously towards the end of the session when Shafiq, advancing down the track, was fortunate to inside edge Swann past Matt Prior and Misbah survived an edge that narrowly evaded Anderson at first slip.
Shafiq completed his half-century off 103 balls after tea with a push down the ground off Panesar, and seemed keen to step on the accelerator.
After almost providing Alastair Cook with a chance at short leg via bat pad, Shafiq rocked onto the back foot to pull Panesar to the midwicket boundary and bring up the Pakistan 200.
But his aggression was to be his downfall when he attempted a wild heave off Swann and was adjudged lbw, a review proving unsuccessful for the right-hander.
The new ball almost brought instant reward for England, but Strauss, at first slip, shelled a routine chance after Adnan had fished at a wide Anderson delivery.
Adnan’s luck soon ran out when, from the final ball of the 86th over, he prodded forward uncertainly and was trapped in front by a full Broad delivery.
Misbah, who reached his 12th fifty in 14 Tests as Pakistan captain with an excellent straight drive off Broad, was running out of partners at the other end when Rehman was bowled by a brilliant flighted delivery from Swann.
In the final over before stumps, the Pakistan skipper went on the charge, smashing Panesar down the ground for his third and fourth maximums to give his side some late impetus after a testing day.