James Anderson fires England ahead against Pakistan
Birthday boy James Anderson took his ninth Test match five-wicket haul to put England well ahead of Pakistan on day two.
The Burnley express blew away the Pakistani top order as he and Steven Finn made the most of the helpful bowling conditions with devastating results.
Only Imran Farhat, Azhar Amin, Shoaib Malik and Umar Gul reached double figures. All but Farhat were caught behind the wicket as England’s seamers consistently hit the right areas.
Bad light brought the day to an abrupt end with Pakistan 11 short of the follow-on target with Asif and Gul at the crease.
The day did not start well for England after losing their final five wickets within just under an hour of the morning session’s start. Mohammad Asif moving the new ball off the seam to claim five wickets for the seventh time in Test cricket.
Eoin Morgan added five to his overnight score and Paul Collingwood just one. And it was not a great start for James Anderson on his birthday, lbw first ball to Asif.
Despite their perfect start, Pakistan failed to carry the spirit created from Asif’s performance into their first innings. Three straight maidens began their reply with Stuart Broad and Anderson asking constant questions.
After lunch England really began to stamp their authority following the introduction of Finn, who struck in his first over.
The slip cordon was kept busy as the pace men continued to find the edge. When both Akmal brothers suffered a similar fate to those around them the tail was exposed and the conundrum given to Andrew Strauss regarding the follow-on.
However Gul had other ideas, producing a resilient innings that saw the tourists creep ever closer to avoiding the follow-on before the umpires offered them the light which was quickly taken.