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Misbah fights back as English bowlers dominate

Zia Rana January 26, 2012

Pakistan has scored 256 runs for the loss of seven wickets at stumps, Misbah Ul Haq was playing a brave innings of 83 runs and Saeed Ajmal has yet to open his account.

Misbah ul Haq

Misbah ul Haq

The match is being played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi from January 25, 2012.

Earlier, Pakistani Captain won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch which has assisted the batsmen in the previous encounters. Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar had a cautious start and managed just 24 runs in the first ten overs but most importantly secured both ends. Mohammad Hafeez was aggressive of the two and the first fifty of the innings was achieved in the 18th over.

The first wicket was lost when Taufeeq Umar was bowled by Graeme Swann on 16 runs as the batsman did not offer any shot and the ball dislodged the off stump. The openers provided a reasonable start of 51 runs and the top order was required to consolidate from thereon.

Young Azhar Ali was the new batsman who came to the crease a joined in with the well settled Hafeez. The opener got a life when he was dropped by Monty Panesar on the fourth ball of the 24th over. He was unable to utilise the chance and lost his wicket on the very next ball when he was clean bowled at 31 runs.

The most experienced batsman Younis Khan walked in and tried to stabilise the innings with Azhar. They remained observant initially but accelerated the run rate after lunch interval.

Stuart Broad brought the vital break through for England when Younis was bowled on the second ball of the 37th over once he had scored 24 runs. The third wicket was lost at 98 runs and it was the time for Misbah to show his brilliance on the field.

Azhar followed Younis after the addition of just five runs in the total when he was also bowled by Broad on 24 runs. It was for the first time in the history of Pakistan cricket when their four top order batsmen were clean bowled.

The emerging batsman Asad Shafiq joined together with Misbah and both put their heads down for bringing prosperity to the batting. Asad Shafiq was playing aggressive cricket of the two as Misbah got a chance on 30 runs when Panesar dropped him at his own bowling.

Asad completed his fifty in the 72nd over but he was unable to carry on and was declared leg before wicket off Swann on 58 runs not before he made a brilliant contribution of 100 runs for the fifth wicket.

Misbah took over the charge as the wickets kept on tumbling at the other end and support was not evident. He was unbeaten on 83 runs as Pakistan scored 256 runs after losing seven wickets at the end of the first day’s play.
Pakistan will anticipate quite a few runs from the blade of Misbah whereas England will try to fold the tail as early as possible.

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