England vs Pakistan – Asif sparks England collapse
England’s hopes of building a big first innings total in the first Test against Pakistan were quashed on the second morning at Trent Bridge, after Mohammad Asif tore through the middle order to condemn England to 354 all out.
Andrew Strauss’s side had been 331 for four overnight, with Eoin Morgan and Paul Collingwood looking good on 125 and 81 respectively. But an inspired bit of bowling saw England lose six wickets for just 23 runs.
Such a sudden turnaround has seen England’s odds to win the match adjust only slightly, from 4/11 before play started, to 2/5, as Pakistan have already lost a wicket and are 16 for one at lunch.
With overcast conditions and an inexperienced Pakistani batting line-up, the tourists still aren’t an attractive bet to win the match, despite being 6/1 to complete the comeback.
Imran Farhat and Azhar Ali are the two men at the crease for Pakistan, on nine and six respectively. Farhat is 5/6 to get beyond 31.5, while Ali is 5/6 to score more than 28.5.
Seamer Asif dismissed Collingwood for 82 in just the fifth over of the day, sending down a ball that struck the Durham man’s pad in front of the stumps.
England reviewed the lbw decision but the replays showed he was plum in front and hadn’t hit the ball first.
Morgan was gone before the tenth over of the day, lbw to another devilish Asif delivery for 130. He walked off the field to much applause from a more sizeable crowd than yesterday.
Matt Prior then got himself comically run out for six, before his partner in that particular disaster Graeme Swann was out lbw, again to Asif.
The very next ball saw birthday boy James Anderson gone, offering no shot for another easy lbw decision, leaving Asif on a hat-trick that he narrowly missed out on – he found Steven Finn’s outside edge but the ball failed to carry to the slips.
Asif finished there, with figures of five for 77, as Umar Gul wrapped up the innings, bowling Stuart Broad for three.
The change-around was speedy, and on his 28th birthday, James Anderson took the wicket of Pakistan captain Salman Butt, getting him to nick a ball, which Prior gobbled up.
Pakistan made just 258 in their previous first innings – the Test against Australia at Headingley. They are 5/6 to get over 243.5 runs again here, and a similar score would give England a lead of around 100.