England vs Pakistan: Fourth Test, Day Two

We’ve been here before. So far this game is, if not quite a carbon copy, certainly reminiscent of the last match at Edgbaston. England struggled their way to a score that was more or less adequate but no more (again thanks to Bairstow and Moeen) and Pakistan went past it thanks to a century (well, two this time )and will hope to get a decent lead in the morning. 

Of course, all games are different and similarities are somewhat superficial. Moeen’s contribution in particular went beyond useful this time and into the exceptional, a glorious century that turned potential disaster into something half reasonable. This summer his batting has been excellent.  Today however, the weaker side of his game was exposed, as Pakistan attacked his bowling and milked him ruthlessly. This should never really be a surprise, for although he does a competent enough job, and no off spinners are demanding his place, he’s still a batsman who bowls. 

Equally he is hardly the first spinner to have had a tough time against Asian batsmen, especially on a flat surface with the now customary relative slowness. But it did mean that England struggled to maintain control.  

It was a welcome return to form for two of the tourist’s batsmen: Asad Shafiq had something of a nightmare last time out, while Younis Khan has looked downright clueless much of the time this series – an astonishing state of affairs for such a good player. 

Where Pakistan get to tomorrow very much depends on the two currently in. Sarfraz has shown repeatedly this tour that he can bat, while Younis may well extract revenge for being so out of nick, as such performers are wont to do. But there’s not a lot behind them and with a newish ball and one wicket to take before getting into the tail, England may well be batting with no more than a modest deficit.  Given how things have gone, it would therefore be typical of the perversity of it for Pakistan to instead pile on the runs. 

For England Finn showed the first signs in a while of getting his pace back up – it was touching 90mph at times, and Broad wasn’t far behind. But if the bowlers had their gander up, it didn’t transfer to the fielders, as catches went down at fairly regular intervals. Hales was the worst offender, dropping one as easy as they get at gully. It happens, but it didn’t make for a good day for him given his 15% of his match fee disappeared due to him entering the 3rd umpire’s room to argue over his dismissal yesterday. 

Quite what he hoped to achieve by doing that is hard to understand. Why England let him go is even harder to grasp. He’s lucky it was just that relative slap on the wrist based on what was reported. 

Of the four Tests this series, three have been decent. But given Pakistan were in the acendancy last time it’s hard not to expect England to come out on top this time too. These are two flawed sides, but the visitors look slightly the more brittle. We shall see. 

Day three comments below

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47 thoughts on “England vs Pakistan: Fourth Test, Day Two

  1. thebogfather August 12, 2016 / 8:28 pm

    This won’t last btl, so my Selfry eulogy is here for all to know 😉

    Hmm.. nicknames – Captain Flaccid? So placid and never will enthuse, as his bowlers are on their end of season cruise… a bit like our author, but with less bite to delight, unless Giles shakes his shabby suit, greased palmed delights…. sad to see you go Mike, such a shame that recent writings have made you the ECB bike, you were once, and still are, a quality scribe, but your daily dalliances as a lacky to Straussy and Sir Giles, leaves a bitter taste among us ‘outside cricket’ that you seem to revile… Best wishes for the future anyway

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  2. thebogfather August 12, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Oh, and a cracking game in progress, need it to finish in four days tho’ – I won’t be able to hear a thing if it goes to Monday! (long term TMS lover, even with Ed and Shiny…. better than Lady Huurgh Hurl who no doubt will duet with Daggers for the remaining ‘super series’ (copyright Andrew ‘C’ comma Srauss) and Aggers is playing with brazilian ponies, and Saggers still scream on Talksport (btw, their T20 blast commentaries match or exceed the Beeb head to head, even with Alex Tudor continually spouting some bloke called Dan ChristianSEN throughout the game the other night)

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  3. pktroll (@pktroll) August 12, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    Yes Ali was poor, but I was surprised that he was left on as long as he has given how little bowling Broad and Anderson had done in the afternoon, heck there was even a case for Root to be given a couple of overs a fair while before he was given one. Classic example of the game drifting. There is still time to haul it back, but part of me also wonders about whether or not we are yet to see something of Sarfraz.

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    • quebecer August 13, 2016 / 2:04 am

      As much as people say Cook is doing ok as a captain, today was not an example, and everything you say is quite right. And it’s on the captain.

      Cook’s captaincy is flattered by having two top test opening bowlers who will set their own fields and as often as not take care of business. There;s an able support cast around them too, but what happens when Jimmy and Stu don’t really fancy it? Not much happening, they’d rathe wait for the new ball… well, then it’s captaincy time. With the results being exactly as you described.

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      • pktroll (@pktroll) August 13, 2016 / 7:24 am

        My feeling has always been that Cook is unable to really stamp his authority over Anderson and perhaps. There are times when the deep point to allow an easy single against the lower order partnerships, the lack of an extra slip really do hark back to the very dark days of 2013/14. More than anything these are forgotten as many sides have continued to decline.

        Up to a point a classic example was Anderson in South Africa up until late in the 4th test. He had the new ball and would continually bowl his 6 and 7 over spells despite often being hugely disappointing with Finn and Stokes having been in prime form with the ball and there being a case to bring them on much earlier. He doesn’t get it and this far in to his captaincy I’m not sure he ever will. Anyway I will see what is in store later today in SE11 and will hopefully see a match shaping day.

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  4. quebecer August 13, 2016 / 2:00 am

    The only thing that I ever wasn’t are about regarding Younus was the spelling of him name. Of course, that’s not my fault, but even though I should probably blame him for it, I just can’t. He’s been my favourite batsman for a while, and it was breaking my heart watching him earlier in the series. Bouncing around like a cat on coals, timing seemed be one of those things that seemed simply impossible for him.

    But there was one shot in the last test… on his legs, effortless flick, head in a good position, and the ball at the ropes before the camera could find it, and I thought, hmmmmm…

    And here he is, gentleman player, wonderful batsman, possibly taking the game away from my team, yet I begrudge him nothing. However, my love won’t really extend beyond about 135, I think, and I need a Pakistani lower order collapse for my feelings towards him to be unblemished.

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    • fred August 13, 2016 / 3:01 pm

      Quebecer,
      I know you’re a bit of a coaching geek. In fact, I suspect you may even be a coach. Can you explain what happened to Younis this tour? How can a man of his composure and experience lose it so comprehensively? A bowler losing his rythm, or Cook with his occasional off stump uncertainty is easier to understand, but the change in Younis Khan is just bizarre.

      It’s probably cost them the series, if he was on song it’s unlikely they would be 1-2 down today.

      I share your appreciation, I don’t know him except through the screen, but he does seem to be both a genuine batsman and a gentleman.

      I remember him being interviewed in UAE after they beat Australia and he was interviewed by either Warne or Dean Jones, can’t remember which: “So BIG PARTY tonight? You guys are going to CELEBRATE!!!?”. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, you’re all going to get pissed?) Quiet reply: Yes but it’s not what you think, we will share a meal together, and talk.

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      • quebecer August 14, 2016 / 1:39 am

        plain? Not sure I can do that. Describe, perhaps, guess some, maybe. But if I could give the explanation I’d be coaching at the Olympics right now (and I’m not, btw).

        Anyhoo, a combination of things, resulting in the batting equivalent of the yips. A bit of bad luck to start it? Maybe success leading to a few technical errors creeping in, masked by that success? Then some exaggerations of pre-existing quirks (like Eoin Moran sunndinly starting to sit down at the crease as the bowler bowled), some other bad habits appearing, worse results, less timing, adjustments (bad ones), more exaggerated movements in an attempt to make things better, and all feeding on each other to create the resulting mess of runs being impossible, when they used to be so easy. Then consider how that feels. Nerves must arise. All that’s bad gets heightened.

        I don’t know where it starts, or what follows what, but I’m sure it’s the interaction effect of many factors that lead to what we see.

        The solution? Being a great batsman probably helps. Having an excellent attitude, too. And who knows? Someone saying “For goodness sake, stand still, old thing.” The simplest of correction most probably being the most effective, I’d have thought.

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      • fred August 14, 2016 / 2:26 pm

        Huh. Just life, then. Lots of little things combine. A spiraling vortex of negative feedback. I’ve seen it happen in life, I suppose it can happen in a microcosm to a batsman. Success feeds on success, and failure feeds on failure. Surprising to see it happen to YK, but I guess I forgot he was human.

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      • Zephirine August 14, 2016 / 4:05 pm

        Someone saying “For goodness sake, stand still, old thing.”
        …. was the right answer. Mohammad Azharuddin on the phone, who’d a thunk it?

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      • SimonH August 14, 2016 / 4:12 pm

        Nasser Hussain, on that Azha phone call, was asking in the post-match discussion how England coaches would have reacted to that if it had happened with an England player – and clearly he was implying they would have been furious.

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    • quebecer August 15, 2016 / 3:18 am

      Zeph: in the interests of full disclosure, it was me that put in the call to Azhar, so I had the inside track on that one.

      Like

  5. d'Arthez August 13, 2016 / 6:29 am

    Sri Lanka stumbled their way to 26/5, after having won the toss. Test cricket is in great shape

    Like

    • Alec August 13, 2016 / 9:59 am

      They are now 152 for 5 in fairness. This has been a series marked by who can recover best from a terrible start to the innings (hint: it’s not Australia)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Escort August 13, 2016 / 12:26 pm

      Close of play score 214/5. A good recovery don’t you think?

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  6. SimonH August 13, 2016 / 9:53 am

    Big day for No.1 in the rankings:

    1) India look like they’ll have about 70 overs to bowl WI out after the Day Three wash-out.
    2) SL have been recovering – Mitchell Starc must be wondering when any of his teammates are going to turn up and support him.
    3) England need a repeat of Edgbaston rather than the Oval last year.

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    • Mark August 13, 2016 / 10:11 am

      England big favourites I would say. 2 late wickets last night gave advantage to England. Pakistan have to bat last, and their batting looks very flakey under pressure. (As seen in last match.)

      England will have to have a major batting collapse in the second innings to give Pakistan any hope. It’s still only a third day pitch today.

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      • SimonH August 13, 2016 / 12:12 pm

        Yes, Pakistan need to get some of the runs in the first innings (although it’s worth pointing out that if they have to get a few in the 4th innings, Younis has the best 4th innings’ record of any player in Test history).

        One thing that hasn’t been noticed (a classic example of making minds up and then fitting facts into them) is that Pakistan’s tail has not been folding as was widely anticipated and has been improving as the series has progressed.

        Sohail averages 21, Shah 15, Riaz 14.7, Amir 13.6, even Rahat averaged over 10. On the other hand, unnoticed because of the runs at Nos. 6,7 and 8, Broad is averaging 7.7, Anderson 11 and Finn 16.

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  7. SimonH August 13, 2016 / 12:36 pm

    Younis doesn’t do the nervous nineties:

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    • LordCanisLupus August 13, 2016 / 1:26 pm

      Seem to recall he does the nervous 190s though?

      It’s OK they have both been against India. Including a 199.

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      • SimonH August 13, 2016 / 1:38 pm

        Not so much today!

        Bunted two to get to 195 then smashed Moeen Ali into the crowd.

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        • LordCanisLupus August 13, 2016 / 1:40 pm

          If he had got out he would have joined his former teammate, Mohammad Yousuf, as the only man to be out three times in the 190s. Sanga has three 190s, but was unbeaten in one of those….

          But, he went and spoiled it….

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  8. SimonH August 13, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    WI set 346 in 87 overs (I’d forgotten about the extra overs today because of the previous time lost).

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    • BoredInAustria August 13, 2016 / 2:59 pm

      5/2 after 6 overs

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      • SimonH August 13, 2016 / 3:55 pm

        Three down after fifteen.

        WI middle order batted about 80 overs to save the last Test. They’re going to have to do it again.

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  9. fred August 13, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    I can’t really credit that YK wicket to Anderson. He was tired, he missed a straight full toss. It wasn’t really LBW, it was T,MB (Tired, Missed Ball).

    Like

  10. Mark August 13, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    Off topic……

    If you have BT sport take a look at their new answer to Sky soccer Saturday. It’s comedy gold!

    A cross between a luxury departure lounge, and a channel 4 game show. They have obviously done their entire budget on the set. Mark Pugatch gets to play the Bruce Fortsyth role.

    Like

    • Mark August 13, 2016 / 3:26 pm

      Have you seen the suits they are wearing in the Sky commentary box? Nasser looks like an elevator boy in a 1920s New York bank. ………” good morning Mr Rockefeller! Floor 68?”

      Whoever chose these should be fired…….out of a cannon. No wonder we are paying such huge fees.

      Like

      • Mark August 13, 2016 / 3:46 pm

        So I’m told its a charity day thing. Fare enough, but can’t they all choose their own attire?

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  11. nonoxcol August 13, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    Web we want latest from Glendenning at the Games: mosquito moans followed by jokes about going to Mothercare to buy teeny tiny hats. Yes, he went there.

    #zicabantz

    Like

  12. SimonH August 13, 2016 / 4:34 pm

    “A bad shot, a bad review…. no need to go and see the third umpire this time”.

    Nice one from Atherton.

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  13. BoredInAustria August 13, 2016 / 4:35 pm

    Well Hales lost that battle

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  14. SimonH August 13, 2016 / 4:42 pm

    So, just the two new batsmen needed then.

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    • nonoxcol August 13, 2016 / 5:08 pm

      Best Test side since Lloyd’s West Indians?

      (PS At Grandad’s, so just seen an advert for Greene King IPA with Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes playing club cricket. How charming it was.)

      Like

      • oreston August 13, 2016 / 5:15 pm

        At least now I can drink Marstons without thinking about the ECB. I mean, when you have a drink you really want to FORGET about the state of English cricket…

        Like

    • BoredInAustria August 13, 2016 / 5:17 pm

      TMS – Michael Vaughan: Apart from Adam Lyth against New Zealand, no-one in the top five apart from Cook and Root has got a hundred for England in the last year.

      A matter of trust

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus August 13, 2016 / 5:45 pm

        I heard a brief snippet of Vaughan commentary when he gave huge praise to Vince’s fielding, saying he was in some credit with the bat due to it.

        And all you can think of…. “he’s your client”. It’s not the fact he is, it’s the perception that it’s influencing his statements.

        Liked by 2 people

      • BoredInAustria August 13, 2016 / 6:02 pm

        A classic “conflict of interest” that the likes of us mortals will need to declare….

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      • sidesplittin August 14, 2016 / 7:32 am

        LCL – I heard MPV come out with that line too; it was cringeworthy. Reminded me of Prior’s first year in test cricket when he couldn’t catch a cold and Stewart used to big him up constantly on TMS, when he too was his agent.

        It was a privilege to watch Younis y’day, when he dinked that two to keep the strike when he was on 193 it was brilliant. Gatt was in the Beehive post play, there was me thinking Henry VIII was long dead.

        Like

  15. General Zod August 13, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    Can someone from this blog let Pakistan and Sri Lanka know that test cricket is dead? They seem to be out of the loop.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. oreston August 13, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    Root’s gone. 74-4. I sense this may just possibly not go into a fifth day…

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  17. SimonH August 13, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    West Indies five-down with over fifty overs left.

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    • SimonH August 13, 2016 / 6:25 pm

      Dowrich and Holder gone as well (the latter to the dumbest of run outs). Darren Bravo has 50+ of 88/7.

      If Pakistan draw 2-2, India need to win the series 3-0 to top the rankings.

      Like

      • SimonH August 13, 2016 / 6:53 pm

        All over in under 50 overs. That was embarrassing.

        Like

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