England slip up on second day

Faisalabad, November 21:

A powerful blast during play and Pakistan’s sharp pace attack combined to make on Monday a scary day for England in the second cricket Test. The tourists — one down in the three-Test series — were 113-3 when bad light stopped play for the day, still 349 behind Pakistan’s challenging first-innings total of 462. Ian Bell (36) and Kevin Pietersen (four) were the not-out batsmen. England were on 92-2 when the game was held up for nine minutes following an explosion in one of the stands. A local official later said the explosion was caused by a gas cylinder. When play resumed, Marcus Trescothick fell soon afterwards. The left-handed opener, who was on 41 when the blast stopped play, added seven more runs before falling to a low catch by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal off Sami.

England’s early problems came from little-known seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who dismissed Andrew Strauss and skipper Michael Vaughan in successive overs to reduce the visitors to 39-2 before Trescothick and Bell added 68 for the third wicket. Pakistan were indebted to Inzamam-ul-Haq for posting a big total. He scored an elegant 109 to equal Javed Miandad’s Pakistani record of 23 Test centuries in 20 fewer Tests (124). Afridi, 67 overnight in Pakistan’s total of 300-4, continued to demoralise England’s bowlers with his hard and clean hitting. He set the tone in the day’s first over with a firm drive for four past Matthew Hoggard before falling to the same bowler. He swung Hoggard for two successive sixes over wide long-on and steered the next ball past second slip for four before Trescothick held a low catch in the slips.