The 2nd test is throwing elements of drama and surprise and there is hope lying for both England and Pakistan. One thing is that this match will yield a result. England, being in a commanding position at 192 for 2, lost a flurry of batsmen including Cook for 94. They were reduced to 227 for 6, when Broad came and restored sanity.
He stayed there seeing his team getting bundled, but not before adding another 100 to the score. His own contribution was a 62-ball 58, and he countered Hafeez and Ajmal brilliantly. Ajmal incidentally dismissed his supporter Cook and three others and Hafeez accounted for 3. In the end, England finished 70 ahead of Pakistan in 1st innings comparison.
Throughout the series, there has not been any rush of blood or a player on rampage, if you discount Misbah’s late acceleration in the 1st innings here. Thus, Broad’s innings was quite a refresher and along with his 4 wickets, will raise a solid claim for him as an apt all-rounder.
Then England had them on the mat taking 4 wickets even before the lead was erased. However, the unbeaten 71 run partnership between Azhar and Shafiq has lent some solidarity to Pakistan. They are 125 for 4 overs at stumps on the third day.
This time, Panesar took the baton from Swann and bowled impressively to take 3 wickets while Swann castled Taufeeq. Meanwhile, Azhar and Shafiq poured cold water on England’s rising hopes with a patient and unbroken stint at the pitch. Azhar is 4 short of a well-deserved 50 while Shafiq is 35. Both of them have played in excess of 100 deliveries and are in no hurry.
Pakistan’s lead currently is 55 and England knows it will be onerous to get better if the lead substantiates into 180 or 200. Thus, tomorrow’s fare is quite enticing at the outset.