Sunday, November 06, 2005

England in Pakistan 4

So England have decided to play their Test side in the final warm-up - Udal replacing Bell, with Pieterson and Collingwood moving up a place in the batting order.

If the conditions were expected to closely mirror those for the first Test, I'd understand this apporoach, but they weren't - and so it proved, with eighteen wickets falling on the first day. So while I think they've got the right team for the Test, I would have liked to have seen the 'possibles' get a last run, before their cricketing activities are curtailed by the Tests.

England batted first, and were reduced to 53-7, before Giles and Udal led the tail to a final total of 126. Hoggard ripped out the Pakistan top order, then there was a fifty plus partnership, before Giles nipped out three quick wickets at the end, leaving the hosts with a single run lead at stumps, with only two wickets remaining.

SO, yet another warm-up match with no bearing on the Test - seems some nations are determined to wring every last drop out of home advantage.

England meanwhile, have hopefully learned that the new ball is everything - the bowlers have to take wickets with it, and the batsmen have to be watchful in seeing it off.

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