Nottingham Test – Defeat Looms For Pakistan

The match against Nottingham test England is all but over for Pakistan who finished the third day at 15/3, chasing an improbable 435 for a win.

Chasing a target in the fourth innings was always going to be tough in conditions conducive to bowling.

But Pakistan did rally earlier in the day, first stretching  their first innings score to 182, and then snapping up six England second innings wickets for 98.

Umar Gul came to the party, for the tourists, following up on an unbeaten 65, with figures of 3/42 when England batted a second time.

But the Pakistan bowlers failed to deliver the knockout and the England innings wended its way to 262/9 before Strauss decided he had enough on the board, after keeper Prior got to a hundred.

On hindsight, the England skipper might wonder whether he could have wrapped up the match on the third day itself if he had declared earlier.

As things stand, the rain dancers in the Pakistan team should be on their feet all night, if Pakistan are to have any result other than a loss. At 15/3, they have lost skipper Butt, opener Farhat and newbie Amin. Broad has taken two of those wickets.

Was there a case for pushing Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik up the order? The best Pakistan can hope for from here on is batting practice on a bowler friendly wicket. But how long can that last?

What lessons can the two teams take away from this match. For Pakistan, their bowling is the silver lining in a cloud as thin as their batting.

For England, Morgan’s century in the first innings is great news, because they now have depth in their middle order; the bad news is Pieterson’s failure in both innings.

Earlier in the match, twenty-one year old Steven Finn from Watford, bowled a brilliant spell of swing bowling to bring about the collapse of the Pakistan batting, in the first innings.

Finn made his Test debut, in March 2010, playing against Bangladesh. In his 4 test matches, he has already taken 19 wickets with a career best of 5/42.

The three wickets came in alternate overs of Finn’s devastating spell, those of Umar Amin, Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal, a couple of them thanks to smart catches by Swann.

Earlier, Finn had impressed the selectors during the 2009 World Twenty20 cup but was not picked in the team. He eventually made his debut in the Test series against Bangladesh. He is yet to make an appearance in ODI matches.


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