Pakistan v England: Late wickets lift tourists in Dubai

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport
First Test, Dubai International Stadium, day two:
England 192 v Pakistan 288-7
Match scorecard
England celebrate the late wicket for Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann's late strike swung the momentum England's way

Late wickets for Graeme Swann and James Anderson rounded off a vastly improved England display against Pakistan on the second day of the first Test in Dubai.

Swann removed captain Misbah-ul-Haq in the penultimate over before James Anderson bowled Abdur Rehman to leave the hosts 288-7, leading by 96.

Stuart Broad set the ball rolling with two quick wickets and England worked their way through the middle order.

Misbah frustrated England with a battling 52 before Swann's late strike.

The Pakistan skipper has now gone past fifty 12 times in 13 Tests since taking over the captaincy in November 2010 and a typically controlled display looked certain to take the gloss off England's day as the hosts' lead neared 100.

But Swann managed to get a ball to turn sharply into the right-hander's pads, and although umpire Billy Bowden gave the decision the batsman's way, England got their man on review as replays showed the ball would have gone on to strike leg stump.

Four balls later, Anderson nipped a ball through Rehman's defences and England had ended the day on a high.

Only once in the past 20 years have England won a Test after making fewer than 200 in the first innings, but if they can finish off the Pakistan tail on the third morning, Andrew Strauss and his side will firmly believe they can turn this match on its head.

England's showing was all the more impressive given the manner in which Pakistan's opening pair had set about taking the attack to their opponents at the start of the day.

After resuming on 42-0, Mohammad Hafeez cracked the fifth ball for four to set the tone for a one-sided spell in which the Pakistan openers struck eight boundaries in 10 overs.

A missed run-out by Ian Bell when Hafeez had 44 was the only real scare as both batsmen brought up their half-centuries and became the first Pakistan opening pair to post five century partnerships in Tests.

Broad made the breakthrough in an eventful over as he reacted to the disappointment of seeing Chris Tremlett drop Hafeez at mid-on by clean bowling Taufeeq for 58 from the very next ball.

Azhar Ali did not trouble the scorers for long as he took a needless bite at a Broad delivery well outside off stump and nicked a catch through to Matt Prior.

After lunch, Pakistan laid into Swann's off-spin, with Younus Khan striking seven from three balls before Hafeez slog-swept him over the mid-wicket fence for six.

But Swann responded with a wicket in his next over, as an arm-ball skipped under Hafeez's sweeping bat and struck him low on the front pad in front of the stumps.

With his frontline seamers in need of respite, Strauss turned to part-time bowler Jonathan Trott and it proved an inspired move.

With the last delivery of his first over, Trott got a ball to cut back off the seam to trap Younus lbw.

The next wicket arrived in the first over with the new ball as Anderson finally got a ball to swing away from the right-handed Asad Shafiq, inducing an edge which Prior brilliantly pouched in front of first slip after diving low to his right.

Wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal almost followed his team-mate back to the pavilion, but an uppish prod just eluded the diving Pietersen in the covers.

Favouring caution over attack, Misbah and Akmal took the shine off the new ball and built Pakistan's advantage in the final hour, with the captain reaching his 15th Test half-century off 140 balls.

But the late interventions of Swann and Anderson ensured England will go into day three with their hopes very much alive.

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