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England's Andrew Strauss fails at rain-hit Lord's Test

Fourth Test, Lord's (day one, close): England 39-1 v Pakistan
Coverage: Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and BBC Sport website; live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles; Also live on Sky Sports, with daily highlights on Channel 5
Match scorecard

England captain Andrew Strauss is dismissed
Strauss was beaten by a ball that nipped back in between bat and pad

By Oliver Brett
BBC Sport at Lord's

England's batsmen faced only 12.3 overs on the opening day of the final Test against Pakistan, reaching 39-1 before bad light and rain returned to Lord's.

It could have been worse for the home side, who were put in on a damp wicket that had spent most of the previous 24 hours sweating under covers.

Alastair Cook was dropped on one, and in the ninth over successfully reviewed a decision after on-field umpire Billy Bowden had given him out caught behind off Mohammad Amir.

He lived to fight another day, but opening partner Andrew Strauss was less fortunate.

The England captain was bowled by Mohammad Asif for 13, defeated by an inswinger that ripped between bat and pad, leaving Cook (10) and Jonathan Trott (8) the undefeated batsmen heading into Friday.

Strauss has had a modest series by his own high standards and, aside from an unbeaten 53 to guide his team to victory in the second Test at Edgbaston, has made only 102 runs in six innings.

606: DEBATE
Choppingwood

Although the skipper made two half centuries in three innings against Bangladesh in May, his last Test century was in the Ashes Test at Lord's in July 2009.

With dry weather forecast from around noon on day two, and late finishes possible on all four remaining days, a result is still on the cards.

England, who lead the series 2-1, will hope for easier conditions on Friday, after Strauss and Cook had to cope with some searching late movement from Amir and Asif.

By the time Strauss was castled, the artificial light provided by the floodlights - still a relatively new feature at Lord's - had taken full effect, casting distinct shadows.

Trott appeared to have little difficulty seeing the ball in circumstances that are unusual for Test batsmen. He drove his first delivery confidently, and wide of mid-on, for an all-run four, but eight balls on from the demise of Strauss the umpires called off play for the day as they felt the light had become unplayable.

Umpires Billy Bowden (left) and Tony Hill assess the murky conditions
It was a difficult day for umpires Billy Bowden (left) and Tony Hill

Spectators who had had to wait until 1340 BST to see the first ball bowled stayed for a while, but when the rain intensified two hours later most took that as their signal to head to the exits.

They get back 50% of the value of their tickets, but given that some of those cost £100 each that might prove little consolation.

Cook might have been replaced for this Test match but for his second innings century in the defeat in the last match at The Oval, but he should have been despatched early in his innings on Thursday.

The prodigiously talented Amir, who posed more problems than Asif, had him poking tentatively outside off stump, and the chance that was edged to Umar Akmal looped invitingly at a very catchable height only to be spilt by the youngster.

Pakistan's catching - so fallible in the first two Tests but so improved at The Oval - could be exposed again at a ground where sighting the ball is often an issue.

Cook edged his next ball for four, though this time along the ground, and he went for a big cover-drive in the same over to a ball he should have left well alone only to waft at fresh air.

Strauss played and missed more often than Cook, though it was the latter who Pakistan felt they had snared when umpire Bowden, after a delay, rewarded an appeal for a catch behind.

Cook shook his head though, and after a quick conference with his skipper played his get-out-of-jail card. Sure enough, replays showed no evidence of any contact between ball and bat, and the left-hander was reprieved.

He will not have Strauss for company on Friday morning, however. Asif's delivery both swung and seamed to defeat his forward prod and though you could argue that bat and pad should have been locked together it was excellent bowling from the 27-year-old.



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see also
Pietersen 'needs county practice'
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England v Pakistan day one photos
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England are vulnerable - Ponting
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Jonathan Agnew column
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Butt sounds England Ashes warning
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Bresnan included in England squad
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Strauss wants batting improvement
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Pakistan edge to win over England
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Pakistan in England 2010
07 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
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