Pakistan staring at innings defeat
England produced a vintage all-round bowling performance to reduce Pakistan to 41 for four following on in the fourth npower Test at Lord’s.
Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad’s record-breaking partnership moved England to 446 in the morning, before the hosts skittled Pakistan out for 74 in the first innings.
After Broad and James Anderson reduced the tourists to nine for three, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn bowled brilliantly after tea, claiming 4-12 and 3-38 as England forced the tourists, who were 372 in arrears, to follow on.
They did not fare any better in the second innings as the hosts' bowling quartet chipped in with a wicket apiece to leave Pakistan facing an innings defeat.
Earlier, Trott and Broad’s 387-minute stand, which will undoubtedly go down in cricket folklore, ended on 332 from 584 balls, the highest for the eighth wicket in Test history and England’s biggest for any wicket against Pakistan.
After Anderson was dismissed, Trott also departed for a brilliant 184 to a standing ovation after edging Wahab Riaz behind.
The Warwickshire man took just one delivery to bring up his 150, playing his trademark back-foot flick through midwicket off Mohammad Aamer.
Broad then added the day’s third run to set the new record for England. He then struck the first boundary of the day by cutting Aamer through backward point.
Both batsmen continued to get themselves in again, although Broad did signal a change of intent with a scorching boundary through mid-off.
He played an even better shot through cover off Mohammad Asif to bring up his 150, before repeating the dose two balls later to take England to 400 on the stroke of drinks.
Four leg byes were enough to take the partnership past 300, but the record on everybody’s mind was the biggest eighth-wicket stand in Tests, the 313 set by Wasim Akram and Saqlain Mushtaq against Zimbabwe in 1996.
And, after Broad and Trott both found the boundary, they got there when the right-hander drove Riaz between mid-off and cover for four more.
He continued his boundary hunt off the next delivery, bettering his father Chris’ highest Test score of 162 in the process.
However, with Ian Smith’s record for the highest score by a number nine in the game’s premier form, of 173, in sight, he was trapped lbw by Saeed Ajmal for 169 just before lunch.
Pakistan wrapped the innings up quickly after the interval, as Ajmal had Anderson caught at first slip and Riaz ended one of the great Test innings of recent years from Trott.
Going into their innings with some momentum, the tourists made an awful start as Broad bowled a lovely outswinger which Yasir Hameed fended to Swann, who took the catch at second slip.
Anderson looked equally menacing at the other end, beating Imran Farhat’s bat with three consecutive deliveries.
And the inevitable happened off the next ball as the left-hander played a loose drive and feathered one to Matt Prior to leave Pakistan nine for two.
That brought star man Mohammad Yousuf to the crease, but even he had no answer the brilliant Broad.
The seamer bowled a beautiful outswinger which beat Yousuf’s outside edge and just clipped off stump, securing the third consecutive wicket-maiden.
Azhar Ali, fresh off the back of his 92 at the Brit Insurance Oval last week, started positively by driving Broad on the up through cover.
Conditions began to ease thereafter with skipper Salman Butt attacking with aplomb.
With Pakistan looking increasingly comfortable, skipper Andrew Strauss turned to Swann. As is often the case with the off-spinner, it nearly paid instant dividends as he caused Butt all sorts of problems before tea.
Swann bowled Butt with a brilliant delivery that beat the edge and clipped off stump.
Umar Akmal clearly had no intention of hanging around, though, skipping down the pitch and hitting Swann over long-on for four.
But that did not stop Swann, who made it two wickets in eight balls when he found more sharp turn and Azhar could only inside edge to Alastair Cook at short-leg via the front pad.
Steven Finn continued England’s impressive day by twice beating Umar’s edge before bowling him with a brilliant yorker, before trapping Aamer in front with a full toss that the batsman did not seem to pick up.
Kamran Akmal broke the shackles slightly when, after surviving a close lbw appeal, he drove Finn a well-timed four to long-on.
But, after crunching another boundary through cover, he too fell to Finn as Prior took a simple catch off a nick.
Swann trapped Riaz lbw in the next over and then took a simple caught and bowled off Asif as Pakistan ended 372 runs adrift.
It was a case of from the poor to the ridiculous at the start of Pakistan’s second innings as Hameed ludicrously danced down the pitch and attempted to hit Broad over mid-off, the ball just beating the edge.
It was his opening partner, Farhat, who was first to go as his attempted pull gifted a simple catch to Cook.
Hameed was not far behind him, though, as Anderson trapped him plumb in front to reduce the tourists to nine for two.
Butt and Yousuf combined to halt England’s charge by mixing smart running with the odd boundary, before Swann accounted for the former by trapping him leg before for 22.
The theme of wickets falling in clusters continued as Yousuf, on 10, inexplicably helped Finn to deep square-leg, where Trott took a simple catch.
That proved the final act of the day as heavy rain came down, but England look well placed to wrap victory up early tomorrow.