Pakistan v England: Monty Panesar haul puts tourists on top

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport
Second Test, Abu Dhabi, day three:
Pakistan 257 & 125-4 v England 327
Match scorecard
Panesar celebrates after bowling Younus Khan
Panesar (leaping) has made a significant impact in his first Test since 2009

Monty Panesar claimed three wickets as England took a firm grip on the second Test against Pakistan on day three in Abu Dhabi.

The left-arm spinner removed Mohammad Hafeez, Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq to help reduce Pakistan to 54-4.

Azhar Ali (46 not out) and Asad Shafiq (35 not out) shared an unbroken stand of 71 to take Pakistan to 125-4 at the close, a lead of 55.

Earlier, Stuart Broad hit an unbeaten 58 as England were bowled out for 327.

Ian Bell (29) also contributed as the tourists were able to move 70 ahead, before Panesar took over.

The Sussex man, playing his first Test since 2009, bowled with great control in helpful conditions to rip through the Pakistan top order and put England in place to claim a victory that would level the three-Test series.

Introduced into the attack as early as the sixth over, Panesar looked unthreatening at first but, after finding some big turn to pass Mohammad Hafeez's outside edge, pinned the right-hander lbw two balls later with one that did not spin.

At the other end, Graeme Swann bowled left-hander Taufeeq Umar with a ball that slid between bat and pad before Panesar removed Younus and Misbah.

Panesar, bowling in tandem with his former Northants team-mate Swann, bamboozled Younus with a ball that pitched near middle stump, spun past the outside edge and took the off bail.

Then, in the first over after tea, he hit the lunging Misbah on the pads in front of the stumps and trapped the Pakistan skipper leg before.

Such was the control of the England attack that Pakistan scored at little more than two an over, playing out 25 maidens, but Azhar and Shafiq were able to survive until the close and give the hosts hope of setting a challenging fourth-innings target.

England did have one chance to break the partnership, but Kevin Pietersen missed with a shy at the stumps with Shafiq short of his ground after being sent back by Azhar.

The pressure exerted by the England attack came after Broad took the attack to the hosts in the morning session.

Resuming on 207-5, still 50 behind, the tourists lost Matt Prior, on the back foot to Saeed Ajmal, to bring Broad to the crease.

The Nottinghamshire all-rounder was immediately into his stride, often taking the aerial route to anything over-pitched.

Even after Bell fell lbw to the second new ball when Umar Gul found some exaggerated seam movement back into the right-hander, Broad was still able to share a stand of 23 with Swann and add 36 with James Anderson.

Swann fell lbw, playing back to Abdur Rehman, before lunch, but England had still managed to add 116 runs by the interval, the most of any session in the match.

They were, however, unable to add further runs after the break, with Anderson going back to a Hafeez skidder and losing his off stump and Panesar playing a similar delivery two balls later in the same way to be pinned leg before.

England had already used up their reviews and replays showed Panesar may have got an inside edge, but his best work was still to come.

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