Wednesday, 18 January 2012

England Stumbling

Saeed Ajmal took seven
against England - his best
bowling in Tests
It might have worked for Len Lovich but for England, their lucky number is definitely not 1. In the first of three Tests in the UAE against the rising stars of world cricket, Pakistan, seven of thecricketragics' World XI are on show. So far, its not Gillagns Island because the minnow certainly isn't lost.

Andrew Strauss won the toss and England fielded their "A" team and from there it was all down hill. Misbah-ul-Haq confirmed his status as the world's best skipper, removing opening bowler Aizaz Cheema after only two overs and swining off spinner Mohammad Hafeez into the attack to take advantage of the two English left handers. It had immediate effect, Alastair Cook cutting at the third ball and being caught behind. Hafeez only bowled six overs in a 72 over innings. Jonathan Trott went seven overs later, the only man to fall to pace, when he lazily got a wafer on a short ball from Cheema down the leg side and was caught behind.

From their, Saeed Ajmal - last year's top wicket taker - and the left Abdur Rehmann were simply too good for the Englishman, reducing them to 7-94 in 42 overs on what looked to be good batting track. There was turn but nothing insurmountable but the variation and the flight was. Ajmal's first ball deception of Ian Bell with a doosra was spell binding. Ajmal picked up five lbw's among his 7-55, some won through DRS, some confirmed. Had it not been for a typically belligerent half century from Matt Prior and some Swan drives, things for England would have been more desperate.

Hafeez and Taufeeq were dismissive of the much vaunted English attack in the fifteen overs until stumps.

Actually, things are still pretty desperate.