Harmison's six appeal overpowers Pakistan
by AFP

Ground:Old Trafford, Manchester
Scorecard:England v Pakistan
Player:SJ Harmison, MS Panesar, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Inzamam-ul-Haq, AN Cook
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 27th July 2006


Stephen Harmison's pace proved too much for Pakistan as England gained a first innings lead following a dramatic collapse by the tourists on the opening day of the second Test at Old Trafford here Thursday.


Harmison took six for 19 in just 13 overs as Pakistan were bundled out for 119, only three batsmen making double figures.


At stumps, England were 168 for two, a lead of 49, with Alastair Cook 65 not out and Kevin Pietersen 38 not out, their unbroken stand currently worth 73.


Durham quick Harmison made the most of a hard pitch ideally suited for a bowler of his height and bounce.


His figures were his best in Test cricket since his seven for 12 against West Indies in Jamaica two years ago, Harmison giving England's attack the lead it required in the ongoing absence of injured paceman Andrew Flintoff who also missed the drawn first Test at Lord's.


And left-arm spinner Monty Panesar (three for 21 in 7.4 overs), who bowled with control and turn, ensured there was pressure from both ends after Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat in the second match of this four-Test series.


Pakistan, who were without their three leading fast bowlers (Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Naved-ul-Hasan) through injury, had no-one to match the pace of the 27-year-old Harmison, who routinely topped 85mph.


Their seamers had far less margin for error and when they did stray off line Cook made them pay on his way to a 93-ball fifty with seven fours.


Earlier Pakistan, who had been 90 for two, lost their last eight wickets for just 29 runs in 85 balls.


But Harmison was helped by a series of loose shots.


Pakistan, 93 for four at lunch, lost their fifth wicket five balls after the resumption.


Faisal Iqbal fell for three when he was caught behind by wicket-keeper Geraint Jones off Panesar.


England then captured the prize wicket of Inzamam, who had made nine successive Test fifties against them, for nought, when he could only steer a rising Harmison delivery to Kevin Pietersen in the gully.


Shahid Afridi briefly threatened, lofting Panesar for six. But two balls later, trying to repeat the shot, he wastefully skied a simple catch to Pietersen in the covers.


Harmison then had Sami caught by Strauss in the slips before clean bowling Abdul Razzaq middle-and-leg stump.


Pakistan's demise was completed with the run-out of Danish Kaneria for the third nought of the innings, the tourists dismissed in under 39 overs.


In reply England saw Marcus Trescothick (five) caught behind after limply hanging his bat out against Mohammad Sami before captain Andrew Strauss, dropped in the slips by Imran Farhat on five, fell in similar fashion to Razzaq for 42.


Harmison had earlier taken two wickets for no runs in eight balls as Pakistan, with wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal promoted to open in place of the dropped Salman Butt, again failed to fire at the top of their order and collapsed to nine for two.


Only Mohammad Yousuf (38), who made a double century at Lord's, and vice-captain Younis Khan (44), fit again after a knee injury, checked England's progress with a third-wicket stand of 81 after the hosts' back-up seamers were unable to build on the start provided by Harmison and Matthew Hoggard.


But shortly before lunch Yousuf was caught behind off the accurate Panesar's fourth ball and, three balls later, Younis was taken by Paul Collingwood in the gully off a steepling Harmison delivery.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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