Favourites England may pay for not using tail enders in second Test
England may have conceded a large chunk of their advantage in the final hour of day two of the second Test with Pakistan, but they have still been cut to 1/1 to level the series ahead of the final Test in Dubai.
The morning could not have started better for England as they took the final three wickets inside just 16 balls to skittle out Pakistan for 257 on a pitch where a score close to 400 was widely expected.
Led by Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott, England seemed well on track to opening up a hefty first innings advantage.
However, the dismissal of Cook for 94 left England 198/3 with just over 30 minutes to play in the day.
The decision was taken not to send in a night watchman and instead England persisted with sticking with their typical batting line up.
This decision backfired as Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan fell in the final overs to leave England closing the day 50 runs adrift and down to their final two recognised batsmen Ian Bell and Matt Prior to attempt to surpass 257 as their first target.
The decision to send in Morgan with under 15 minutes of the day left could prove a particularly poor decision at a time when Pakistan had their tails up and were fielding with a handful of players around the bat.
Losing James Anderson and Monty Panesar in this period would have made more sense than heaping more pressure on a slightly out-of-form Morgan, who may have found life easier on the morning of day three.
Pakistan will now hope to build on their momentum and may even harbour aspirations of securing an unlikely first innings lead.
It is 11/8 that Pakistan take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, with the draw available at 11/2 and this could occur given the slow run rates of both batting line-ups thus far.