|Event:||England in Pakistan 2005/06|
DateLine: 17th November 2005
The England cricket team, which as recently as September was dominating the headlines of Britain's newspapers after the team's Ashes series win against Australia, found itself relegated to the inside backpages following its 22-run first Test defeat against Pakistan.
"Multdown" was the headline in Tuesday's edition of the Sun, Britain's biggest-selling daily, a pun on Multan where the match was played.
"The champagne of the Ashes victory was replaced by nothing more intoxicating than a consoling pot of the local green tea," said the Sun.
It added: "Three weeks of batting failures finally came crashing down on England... a mixture of rash shots and lack of know-how about local conditions causing a procession back to the dressing room."
England, needing 198 to win, were well-placed at 64 for one on Monday's final day before leg-spinner Danish Kaneria took four for 62 as they slumped to 175 all out.
"Kicked in the Googlies" was the headline in the Daily Mirror, the Sun's main tabloid rival.
It noted how a batting collapse had been at the heart of the team's defeat, a regular problem during England's fallow years of the 1990s.
"England's batsmen repelled enough of Shane Warne's zooters and sliders to regain the Ashes, only for Danish Kaneria to gran then by the short and googlies here.
"In a depressing throwback to the bad old days of England's batsmen in a tizzy, Kaneria's master-class provided a telling reminder that Warne is not the only leg-spinner who can make you dizzy."
Meanwhile The Times emphasised the importance in Pakistan of winning the first Test of a three-game series.
"The first trick in Pakistan is the one that matters the most. England have never played more than three Tests in a series here and never has more than one of the three games been anything other than a draw. Pakistan won what may, therefore, be the decisive match."
Elsewhere the Daily Express praised the "electrifying passion" of Pakistan's bowling but criticised England, without captain Michael Vaughan because of a knee injury, for their batsmen's lack of application.
"Too many players got themselves out when smart-thinking caution was required... what happened suggests that Vaughan's return as a solid, steadying No 3 (batsman) is needed badly."
The second Test is due to start at Faisalabad on Sunday.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)
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