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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 November 2005, 11:42 GMT
England hit by Pakistan run spree
Second Test, Faisalabad, day one (stumps): Pakistan 300-4 v England

Inzamam looked ready to play a long innings for Pakistan

A stirring run spree late on the first day of the second Test took Pakistan to a commanding position of 300-4 against England on a tough day for bowlers.

Shahid Afridi, dropped on 34, blasted a 46-ball half-century while captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was unbeaten on 80.

Neither of England's spinners claimed a dismissal on an unforgiving wicket.

Mohammad Yousuf's attractive 78 was another key factor as Pakistan recovered brilliantly from a worrying earlier position of 73-3.

Pakistan had got off to a fast start through openers Shoaib Malik and Salman Butt with some confident drives for four against new-ball bowlers Matthew Hoggard and Andrew Flintoff.

Ashley Giles was into the attack in the ninth over and the openers decided to try to hit the Warwickshire spinner out of the attack. Each batsman lofted him effortlessly over the man at mid-on for six early in his spell.

And by tea, Giles had been hit for four sixes in all as Yousuf took a liking to the left-armer.

There was a wonderful 45-minute period for England in the morning session, though, when the first three wickets all fell.

First, Steve Harmison persuaded Butt (26) to chase a wide one and Geraint Jones pouched the easy chance.

If that was a surprise, it was nothing compared to the wicket of Younis Khan.

Steve Harmison
Harmison removed Butt for England's first wicket on Sunday

Flintoff started his second spell with a gentle leg-stump loosener which Pakistan's number three tamely lobbed up to Kevin Pietersen at mid-wicket.

With Younis out for seven, another wicket was not long in coming.

Malik, again looking too loose to be a Test opener, went for one drive too many with his score on 27.

Hoggard invited the shot and Flintoff flung himself to his right to claim an outstanding catch.

Inzamam and Yousuf, Pakistan's best two batsmen, gingerly took the hosts to lunch.

But Yousuf, when on nine, was extremely fortunate to survive an lbw appeal by Giles.

Though the ball struck him on the front foot, TV replays suggested it was going on to hit middle stump.

Between lunch and tea, the more watchful Inzamam had his own stroke of fortune on 28 when Shaun Udal hit him on the thigh as he missed with an attempted pull.

Umpire Darrell Hair may have thought the ball would have cleared the bails, but it was a generous decision for the batsman.

The pressure was then lifted in the run-up to tea, as Yousuf struck three fours off consecutive Hoggard balls and Inzamam set his stall for a marathon innings.

There was some consolation for the tourists when Ian Bell claimed his first England Test wicket soon after the interval.

Yousuf drove back down the wicket and the bowler dived to his right to grasp the ball inches off the ground. Some replays suggested the ball may even have been grounded.

But the wicket heralded the arrival of Afridi, who slammed three straight fours off Bell before launching the first of four sixes with a stunning strike off Harmison.

He should have been caught before hitting top gear, however, the fit-again Michael Vaughan spilling a basic chance in the covers off Hoggard.

And by stumps Afridi was still making England pay as he reached 67 not out.

The partnership between Yousuf and Inzamam had been worth 128, while Afridi and the skipper put on 99 at nearly a run a ball.

For the record, England had opted to drop Paul Collingwood to make way for Vaughan.

Pakistan brought in Afridi and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, as Hasan Raza and Shabbir Ahmed missed out.

Interview: England coach Duncan Fletcher


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