Weblog of Nazly Ahmed
After the Ashes victory England had to face a tough battle against Pakistan in hot conditions. England started off the series with very poor batting performance during their practice matches though they won the first practice game. The poor batting continued in the second practice game but this time England lost. England were not too worried as they were confident that they can perform better when they get on to the center stage. England had to miss their successful captain Michael Vaughan as he injured his knee during the second warm up game. Trescothick was named the captain for the first Test.
As expected the first test played at Multan started off with Pakistan batting first. England bowlers were spot on and managed to restrict Pakistan for 274 with Salman Butt leading the way scoring 74. Trescothick lead the way for England scoring a magnificent 193 with Ian Bell offering great support with 71. England reached 418 in the first Innings. In the second innings Pakistan put on 341, again Salman Butt leading the way with a superb 122. The Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq scored valuable a 72. Pakistan were heading for a big score when this pair were batting but Hoggard and Flintoff made sure to apply brakes at the right time to make sure England had to chase 198 for victory. Trescothick fell early for 5 runs on the end of the fourth day. At 64 for 1 England were looking well settled for a victory with Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell cruising along. Danish Kaneria struck with the wicket of Ian Bell which started the batting collapse. 3 wickets fell within the span of 2 overs. Though Geraint Jones and Shaun Udal put up a valuable 49 run partnership the fearsome deliveries by Shoaib Akthar were too good for England as they were 22 runs short, giving a very much deserved victory for Pakistan.
England are missing their captain Michael Vaughan very much and has to strengthen their batting much more. They have to get their act right before the second Test which begins on the 20th at Faisalabad.
Shoaib castles Giles