Dubai – Day 2 (and a bit on today)

Dubai Millennium

With things looking to be in the visitor’s favour on the departure of Shan Masood, the experience of Younus Khan and Misbah, together with Asad Shafiq pulled the day back round to Pakistan’s favour. Misbah completing his ton in the final over was the icing on the cake.

England are not out of it but that does depend on ridding us of the turbulent 41 year old and seeing off his young tyros. That’s not easy but not impossible. Beware of the use of “two quick wickets” in the pre-game show.

Being at work today I didn’t get to see much of the action, trying to follow it on the Cricinfo site and Guardian OBO. It seemed, from the little bit I watched, that the wicket had a bit more carry and a bit more life, which, frankly, isn’t hard. But no-one is confusing this with Day 1 of the 3rd test in 2012.

Simon and others have made many really good comments on Misbah’s ton. The obsession on The Verdict over that last over is making me chuckle, because it really appears as though they have nothing else to talk about. I’m not sure it’s the world’s best debate, and as Dominic Cork is on it, the tariff of difficulty is much raised, to get up there.

282 for 4 is a good start, especially given the ground statistics I cited yesterday. England will be doing well to keep them under 400 and then the scoreboard pressure routine begins again.

In the other matches played today, Sri Lanka were skittled out for 200 at P Sara, with West Indies 17 for 1. Again, let’s see how both teams bat on this before we make a judgement but this is still a very decent rebound from the tourists. The main damage was done by debutant Jomel Warrican, described on cricinfo as a slow left arm bowler (again, not had a chance to see any of it) who took four wickets. Innocent Bystander on Twitter was saying that the spread odds on the number of wickets for Herath in this match would be 10.5/11.5 and so we’ll see how much assistance Warrican got from the wicket (anyone who might have caught it, could they comment?). Because if there is assistance, Herath is pretty damn good at getting the most out of it.

India won the ODI in Chennai, and still kept up there record of not making 300 there (just). Virat Kohli made his 23rd ODI century with a score of 138. Despite AB’s heroics in another audacious 112 (I’ve just watched some of the shots… wow) the series is now tied, ready for the decider in Mumbai.

Another series going to a decider is the Zimbabwe v Afghanistan contest. Afghanistan won today’s contest by three wickets with Mohammed Shahzad making an almost run-a-ball 80. Obviously there’s been no coverage I’ve seen, but this is promising for the associates and a little bit worrying for Zimbabwe. Tim Wigmore’s piece in the recent Cricketer magazine explains the new Zim admin’s philosophy, to play more frequently, and I’d recommend reading it (despite being surrounded by a lot of tut).

So two tests tomorrow to concentrate on. Comments welcome.

Anyone guess the horse?


43 thoughts on “Dubai – Day 2 (and a bit on today)

  1. Rohan Oct 22, 2015 / 9:39 pm

    When we do eventually bat, if Cook fails, do we struggle to avoid the follow on? I can’t see Cook making another 200 plus knock, which leaves Root as our other most consistent batter (based on recent form) and most likely to bail us out….

    I am not confident we can survive scoreboard pressure this time, but then I thought that last test and was proved wrong. Maybe it will be so again.

    Either way I am really enjoying this series and the tests going the distance are, for me, far more interesting than 2.5 day swingers/seamers…..

    I would like to suggest, although the players would never admit it, that winning away (in this series) against Pakistan would be far more of an achievement and far more gratifying than winning the ashes last summer. Conditions are tough, they are trying, they require skill, perserverence, stamina, heart and determination and a sharp mind; a proper ‘test’ not a 2.5 day jolly…….


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 22, 2015 / 9:50 pm

      I agree. If England had got the win in Abu Dhabi it would have been up there with one of their finest wins in the past five or so years. As it was, they came out with a lot of credit.

      It’s a tough place to go, and I have a lot of time for this sort of cricket. It’s different. I do hope we are not falling into an Aussie type approach where it is “our style is best, stuff the rest” because great teams play on all sorts of surfaces.


  2. d'Arthez Oct 23, 2015 / 5:51 am

    Prasad bowling a good spell first thing on Day 2. Taking care of Bishoo and now Darren Bravo. This after he took care of Hope yesterday. 37/3, and Sri Lanka fighting themselves back into the contest.

    BTW, due to the pathetic overrate yesterday we’re only into the 81st (83rd if you count the changeover) over of the match.


    • d'Arthez Oct 23, 2015 / 10:07 am

      Sri Lanka have bundled out West Indies for 163, so they take a first innings lead of 37. Prasad, doing most of the damage (4 wickets for 34). Prasad is averaging about 25 since the start of 2014. Vastly improved as a bowler, and hopefully he can continue to serve Sri Lankan cricket for another couple of years.

      Only Kraigg Brathwaite stood up for the visitors with 47.


  3. d'Arthez Oct 23, 2015 / 6:09 am

    Misbah gone in the first over of the day, without adding to his score. 282/5, and the game can go any direction now. Well bowled over by Broad.


  4. Rohan Oct 23, 2015 / 7:16 am

    Great counter attack from shafiq and ahmad (Ahmed?)! I like their wicketkeeper, playing in a style I guess we would like to see from Buttler.


    • d'Arthez Oct 23, 2015 / 7:29 am

      You just jynxed Sarfraz Ahmed. 334/6.

      He is probably the best wicket-keeper batsman around, in terms of batting. De Kock has a lot of potential, but has been dropped for his poor performances through the year (at least from the Test side). Buttler is not really living up to his billing, and whether it is simply a lean patch, or not being good enough is unknown. Haddin is gone, Dhoni has retired, so the only contenders could possibly be Ramdin and Mushifiqur Rahim. The former is certainly not as good, and the latter hardly gets any opportunity to play against teams with better bowlers than the West Indies.


      • SimonH Oct 23, 2015 / 8:41 am

        Er, BJ Watling can bat a bit! Test average of 40+, share in a world record partnership (beating the previous record also held by him) etc.

        Speaking of NZ, they are on course to win the first match of their Australia tour against a strong-looking PM’s XI. Guptill and Latham had a large opening partnership and now Boult and Southee have dismissed Bancroft, Khawaja and Burns (the cream of young Aussie batting!) for just six runs between them.

        The First Test starts on Nov 5th. I see CA have scheduled the first two Tests for the Gabba and Perth which suggests they’re a bit worried. Hope NZ stuff them!


      • Fred Oct 23, 2015 / 8:43 am

        Don’t forget Peter Nevill! Highest score of 59. (just ignore all the other stats:)).


      • d'Arthez Oct 23, 2015 / 8:56 am

        I knew I was forgetting someone SimonH. Watling is also a good shout. It was in the back of my mind, when I wrote the “probably” caveat, but somehow I overlooked New Zealand.

        Nevill of course is early in his career. And you can’t pronounce someone as the best in his role, purely on the basis of potential. We’ll see how things stand in a few years’ time – and Nevill, judging by his FC record is certainly one who promises a lot.


    • greyblazer Oct 23, 2015 / 9:18 am

      I’m not sure the schedule means Australia are worried.
      The 1st test is always at the Gabba, Boxing day likewise the MCG and the New year test the SCG.
      That doesn’t leave much scope.


      • SimonH Oct 23, 2015 / 9:46 am

        NZ should have the Boxing Day Test!

        CA have given it to the West Indies which makes me wonder if they’ve been awake for the past two decades.


      • Ian Oct 23, 2015 / 2:15 pm

        Seen the reason given that Cricket Australia want more cricket coverage in November so by having the better series then that will help audience figures. Around Xmas/New Year they have the Big Bash so don’t mind if the WI series isn’t as good.


  5. d'Arthez Oct 23, 2015 / 8:00 am

    Rashid finally strikes to take out Yasir Shah. That leaves Pakistan at 370/8; Moeen had taken care of Wahab and Sarfraz.

    The wickets are shared between the spinners (Rashid 1, Moeen 3), and one for each of the four quicks. However, the spinners’ combined economy is about 4.5, while for the quicks it is closer to 2.5.

    Both Wahab and Yasir were chancing their arm, so it seems that Pakistan were fairly pleased with the total they have on the board. Asad Shafiq is still there, on 78, so there is still a chance for a few annoying runscoring stands to develop.


    • SimonH Oct 23, 2015 / 8:31 am

      IK2 preserves his record of not scoring a Test run. I’m sure I read somewhere that in terms of Tests (he’s now in his 6th) nobody has waited so long for his first Test run. To be fair, he’s only had three innings.

      A table on cricinfo shows Pakistan have the worst tail (No.8-11) of any team (including Zimbabwe) since 2012. They average 10.87 while SA are the best with 21.45.


      • d'Arthez Oct 23, 2015 / 8:51 am

        Also note that England are not that far ahead of Pakistan.

        Sure 16.60 is a lot better, but for a batting tail (we have had Moeen there for a while (12 innings), Stokes (3 innings), Buttler (7 innings) too on a few occasions). So 22 out of 54 innings by #8 and #9 have been batted by England by these three batsmen, since the tour of Australia. And this is not due to nightwatchmen shuffling the order up for most part. For most part this has been intentional.


  6. thebogfather Oct 23, 2015 / 8:24 am

    377…good work by the bowlers this morning….now the match begins….do we have a batting line-up?


    • Mark Oct 23, 2015 / 8:57 am

      Yes Bogfather a great effort by the bowlers this morning. But as you say the match really starts now for England’s batsman. Can they make a matching score? This pitch is not as flat as the first test, and I think will do more later in the game.

      I hope they don’t get suckered into thinking that as they are facing less than 400 unlike last time their task will be easier. If they concede any sort of lead they could be in big trouble batting last. Time for the Rolls Royce middle order we hear so much about to deliver.


  7. Arron Wright Oct 23, 2015 / 8:25 am

    I see the toss has decided the match on day 1 again.


      • d'Arthez Oct 23, 2015 / 8:43 am

        Nah, merely the paragraphs shifted around, to make Selfey look less like a whinging grandpa, who of course declares solemnly that everything was better in his time.


      • Mark Oct 23, 2015 / 8:59 am

        Well certainly the standard of cricket journalism was better in his time. But that is probably not a comparison he wants to dwell on.


  8. greyblazer Oct 23, 2015 / 9:14 am

    “Innocent Bystander on Twitter was saying that the spread odds on the number of wickets for Herath in this match would be 10.5/11.5”

    What does this mean please?


    • thebogfather Oct 23, 2015 / 9:26 am

      I think, and I’m not a one for gambling, that you either buy that he’ll take 12 wickets in the match or 10 and below…. best ask Shane Warne/Salim Malik/various Indian bookmakers..and keep your cash in your wallet!


  9. thebogfather Oct 23, 2015 / 9:46 am

    Moeen, a graceful exit….now a Bell-end… this his end?


    • d'Arthez Oct 23, 2015 / 10:01 am

      I thought this was a road? A flat wicket? Did Moeen and Bell not get the memo from the never-proven-wrong Mike Selvey?


  10. d'Arthez Oct 23, 2015 / 10:07 am

    The umpiring with regards to no-balls has become a farce this series.


    • SteveT Oct 23, 2015 / 10:57 am

      Cook’s had a very lucky escape. missed sweep, ball hit pad and cannoned into stumps without removing a bail. Has Selfey sneaked out with the super-glue during the lunch-break?


      • LordCanisLupus Oct 23, 2015 / 10:59 am

        Inspector Gadget is on the case…


      • SteveT Oct 23, 2015 / 11:11 am

        Blimey, Cook almost hit a six! Just bounced short of the rope!


        • LordCanisLupus Oct 23, 2015 / 11:46 am

          LOL at the assembled “experts” commenting on Yasir Shah as if it is the first time they’ve ever seen him bowl.Be it on TV or in person.

          We can access things via youtube and TV, so why can’t they?

          It’s a pet peeve. Wrote this in 2010.

          “Now I will confess, I know little about the two teams playing this lunchtime. That’s OK. I am not being paid vast sums of money to explain either of the two team’s systems, their relative strengths and weaknesses and the prospects for this match. No-one pays me for Seven and Seven…. However Messrs Shearer, Seedorf, Hansen and Lineker are paid vast sums of money, and especially given they are both in England’s group, they should not be winging it about these teams, but giving some sort of background. However, all we got was cliche ridden nonsense about Slovenia conceding only four goals in qualifying so ergo they must be “well organised”. No such insight on Algeria despite BBC’s blanket coverage of the African Cup of Nations when Algeria went out in the mother of all huffs! I know I am babbling on about BBC’s no expense spared presentation of this competition, but if you are going to employ experts, can they earn their money, please?”

          Liked by 1 person

  11. greyblazer Oct 23, 2015 / 11:46 am

    Interesting morning. Good captaincy by Cook / Bowling by England. Followed by Cook glueing the innings together again.
    Shah probing away – could be a classic in store


    • BoerInAustria Oct 23, 2015 / 12:13 pm

      …surely you meant Cook glueing the bails together?

      Liked by 1 person

      • SteveT Oct 23, 2015 / 12:30 pm

        Well, the glue has gone. Bit soft, just steered straight to fielder short behind square. Will the innings now unravel? Time for someone else to step up. Over to you Jonny.


      • SteveT Oct 23, 2015 / 12:39 pm

        Another 50 for Root. Key man now. Be nice if he was still there at teatime tomorrow.


  12. LordCanisLupus Oct 23, 2015 / 1:12 pm

    I think AB deVilliers takes some beating across all formats.


  13. SimonH Oct 23, 2015 / 2:14 pm

    I was surprised Pakistan stood by Zulfiqar Babar for this Test and his bowling today hasn’t done anything to change that opinion.

    He took 33 wickets in his first six Tests but has only 12 since (including two in the Abu Dhabi run chase) at an average of very nearly 70. Teams seem to have rumbled that he gets very little turn and to play him almost like a slow-medium inswing bowler.


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