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Prior calls for England fightback

Matt Prior
Prior rescued England after the hosts had slumped to 94-7

By Ben Dirs
BBC Sport at The Oval

Matt Prior admitted England had given themselves an uphill task after a poor opening day against Pakistan in the third Test at The Oval.

England were all out for 233, with Prior making an invaluable 84 not out, after debutant Wahab Riaz took 5-63.

"We know Pakistan are a good outfit and on their day they can be a very good outfit," said wicketkeeper Prior.

"Maybe we didn't adapt as well as we could have. We're going to have to come back on Thursday and fight hard."

The Pakistan seam attack made the most of overcast conditions to reduce England to 94-7 before Prior and Stuart Broad combined to rebuild the innings with an eighth-wicket partnership of 119.

James Anderson struck in the final over of the day to remove Imran Farhat and leave the tourists on 48-1, 185 runs behind the hosts.

Prior was left hoping England's bowlers will have helpful conditions on the second day as they seek to win their seventh Test in a row and in the process clinch the series with one Test remaining.

"Hopefully there might be a few clouds about, we can get it swinging and get off to a good start and take a few early wickets," said Prior, who was confident Broad, who has not scored a Test fifty since last July's match against Australia at Edgbaston, would build on his most recent effort.

"He's really, really keen to do well and he wants to score runs," said the Sussex gloveman.

Ben Dirs' Blog

"He's in really good rhythm, hitting the ball nicely, playing some fantastic shots. We all know he's a class act and I'm sure there's plenty more runs to come from Broady."

Meanwhile, Riaz said he had designs on taking all 10 wickets on his Test debut but that his five-wicket haul had left him virtually speechless.

"I dreamed of getting all 10 wickets, but I have no words to explain myself," said the 25-year-old left-armer from Lahore.

"I wasn't that nervous beforehand - I had a conversation with the coaches and they told me to be aggressive and do whatever you want to do.

"So I went in with an aggressive approach. I wanted to get everyone but Eoin Morgan [who was caught behind having made 17] was the wicket I really wanted.

"We're in a good position, although Prior and Broad played well, but our batsman will have to work hard. We need a 100-150 lead to put the England batsmen under pressure."



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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
18 Aug 10 |  England
Pakistan take charge of Oval Test
18 Aug 10 |  England
England v Pakistan day one photos
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Strauss support for Cook & Swann
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Pakistan lose injured Zulqarnain
16 Aug 10 |  Pakistan
Unchanged England stick with Cook
15 Aug 10 |  England
Pakistan in England 2010
07 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket


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