England, England cricket, England vs Pakistan, Jonathan Trott, Sanya Michelangelo, Stuart Broad
Day 2 and Day 3
England tumbled to 47/5 and later 102/7 before Broad and Trott shared a historic partnership. Records were broken as Broad and Trott put 332 for the 8th wicket. Stuart Broad played the hero as he broke his previous highest Test score of 67* and went on to make 169. He fell 4 runs short of Ian Smith's 173, the highest by a No.9 batsman. Chris Broad and Stuart Broad are the first father and son pair to hit a century for England in Tests. Broad and Trott surpassed the world record of the highest partnership for the 8th wicket, earlier held by Saqlain Mushtaq and Wasim Akram (313). Broad and Trott now hold the record for the highest partnership for any wicket, for England vs Pakistan. If someone would have told me before the Test that Stuart Broad is going to hit a century, I would have laughed out loud. Words are not enough to describe how stunning both of them were. It didn't seem like they can ever get out. Yes, we have seen 300-621 runs partnerships but so many wickets don't fall before and after the partnership. From Pakistan's point of view, it was terrible to let the opposition score 446 after having the match in their hands with England struggling at 102/7. In my post, Cook shines at Oval but not enough for England, I had criticised Trott and I've criticised Broad many times, including my post England look to finish series on a high as Ashes word war starts. And I stand by my comments, I do not think I was wrong. In my last post, I had praised Trott for being positive at the start of this innings but he was the culprit at Oval.
England bowlers (except Finn) especially Broad, usually don't bowl enough at the stumps but on Day 3, they were superb. 5 of the 10 wickets in the 1st innings of Pakistan were taken as lbw or bowled. All of them were impressive. James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Graeme Swann fetched 1, 2, 3 and 4 wickets respectively. The controversies were endless. Salman Butt complained to the leg umpire about Finn (bowling at that time) and England's fielders chirping. But the umpire didn't intervene and the complaint didn't shut up England's fielders of Finn, who chirped on the very next ball. I think the aggression and chirping of a fast bowler are a part of the game and should not be discouraged. Umar Akmal complained about not being able to pick Finn as his hand went above the sidescreen. Later, Finn bowled Umar Akmal with a yorker. We have seen batsmen having a problem in picking Flintoff for the same reason. Notably, Kallis has been a victim of this, getting out lbw and bowled to Flintoff. Pakistan were very frustrated. England have unleashed the weakness of Mohd. Yousuf, who averages 52.95 in Tests. Yousuf got out in the same fashion in the 2nd innings at Oval, the 1st in this Test (bowled by Broad) and way back in the 2003 World Cup when Jimmy, then a youngster, just at the start of his career, bowled him with a full delivery. Jimmy did the same at Oval and bowled the same delivery to Yousuf when he first arrived at the crease in the 2nd innings in this Test. Yousuf survived it but did not last long.
In this Test, the review system actually helped to overturn the bad decisions of the on-field umpires. First, it saved Cook, which I mentioned in my last post. Then, Broad was out, lbw, way ahead but it struck him low, Pakistan reviewed and that's how the partnership was broken. Then, Amir was out off Finn in the 1st innings, on the second ball that Amir played, full toss, on his pads. England reviewed and it was given out, rightly so.
Pakistan finished Day 3 at 41/4 following on, after being all out for a modest 74. This is the third time in the series when they have been routed for less than a 100 runs. Pity. It may not make that much of a difference but Malik must replace Farhat. Even though rain almost washed Day 1, this Test will probably finish on Day 4.
Until next time, take care. Cheers!