Third Man Cricket » On Slow Wickets, It Pays To Be Accurate: Day 2 Review : An Expat Cricket Website
On Slow Wickets, It Pays To Be Accurate: Day 2 Review

Day 3 Review (England are 253/7, in reply to Pakistan’s 339)

Well we find ourselves in the thick of a test match now, a proper test match. For so long have the cricketing authorities bored us with crap T20 without any context whatsoever, that I couldn’t wait for this test match.

Test match cricket with a plot is cricket, or sport, at its best. Five days are akin to a five act Shakespearean play, each with three different scenes set across different times of the day, with the pitch, at its core, providing a twist to the outcome of the game, that is out of the hands of the players.

Mohammad Amir’s return was less than breathtaking, although there were glimpses of his best when he had Cook nicking off twice behind, only to be dropped by his countrymen.

Captain Cook took advantage of that, and with some support from Bairstow and Root, pushed England to a competitive position, only to eventually play on to an innocuous delivery from Amir outside the off stump.

This test match is still fairly poised, with England 86 runs behind with 3 wickets in hand. My money is on England getting very close to Pakistan, perhaps within 30 or 40 runs, and then it will be up to Misbah, Azhar and Younis to give Yasir Shah enough to bowl at on a fourth and fifth day wicket that is looking ever so favourable to spin.

Which brings me to the main point of my summary today. It pays to be accurate. Yasir Shah had Ballance (what is he doing in the test side anyway?), Root, Ali, Bairstow and Vince all out with extremely accurate deliveries, three of them lbw playing poor shots.

On this wicket, it is a war of attrition. Those who flinch first, will be the losers. As of now, it looks like Misbah’s innings would have made a significant difference had his fielders caught on to their catches. A potential 30-40 run lead could well have been one hundred precious runs, which may mean the difference between victory and defeat in what will be a close test match.

For England, Woakes will have to sum up all his smarts to guide the tail to 300, and then along with Broad, Ball and Finn, hope for some overhead assistance tomorrow morning and bowl Pakistan out cheaply for 230 or less. I don’t think 270 or more will be chaseable on this wicket, not with Yasir Shah bowling like the way he is, and not with impatient batting from England’s middle order.

On to Day 3 then…

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