Monty's back! England spin star takes three wickets to wobble Pakistan on day three
England are marginal favourites to level their three-match series against Pakistan thanks to Stuart Broad's runs and Monty Panesar's wickets by stumps on day three at the Zayed Stadium.
Broad's counter-attack brought him an unbeaten 58, and helped England to 327 all out and a precious lead of 70 in this second Test.
Then Panesar (three for 44) and Graeme Swann did the damage as Pakistan lost three wickets before they could reach parity, but recovered to 125 for four.
Jumping for joy: Monty Panesar celebrates the dismissal of Younis Khan
England v Pakistan scorecard
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Broad and James Anderson's new-ball
pace, as in the first innings, soon seemed unthreatening. But after
Panesar entered the attack for just the sixth over, he began a run of
three wickets for seven runs.
Mohammad Hafeez was lbw pushing
forward to an arm ball from the left-arm spinner – and Swann struck in
his first over with a straight-on delivery from round the wicket to
Pakistan's other opener, the left-handed Taufeeq Umar, bowled between
bat and pad.
A modicum of turn – not as much as
Pakistan's spinners have found here – then saw Panesar snake one past
Younus Khan's outside edge to hit the off-stump.
Pakistan lost their captain
Misbah-ul-Haq, and a review, via the 21st lbw decision of this series in
the first over of the last session.
Delight: Panesar enjoys the moment after dismissing Misbah-ul Haq
But Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali, billed
together as the future powerhouse of Pakistan's middle order,
demonstrated that potential in a determined stand of 71 which kept their
team in this match.
The nearest England came to another
breakthrough was Kevin Pietersen's rolled throw at the stumps which, if
accurate, would have run Shafiq out for 26 after he had been sent back
for an unlikely single to cover.
For his trouble, Pietersen appeared
to trip over the batsman as his momentum took him into the crease and
was soon off the field for medical attention. Broad and Ian Bell were
the most successful this morning with an evident brief to grab as many
runs as possible before Saeed Ajmal (four for 108) et al bowled them out
in conditions tailor-made for their skills.
Employing tactics near polar opposite
to Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott's admirable crease occupation
yesterday, Broad's invaluable ninth Test 50 contained six fours and a
six over long-on off Abdur Rehman from just 52 balls.
Interest: There were biggers crowds at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday
He was unable to add to his lunchtime
gains, though, because Hafeez (three for 54) hurried one through to
bowl Anderson and then had number 11 Panesar lbw by similar method to
leave Broad stranded. Ajmal managed to add only the dismissal of Matt
Prior to the three quick wickets he took on Thursday.
But if England's fightback was undermined then, Broad gave it new life in precarious circumstances.
Pakistan should have been into the
England tail almost immediately this morning, soon putting down two
clear-cut chances. Prior did not make them pay, but Bell did a little.
Junaid Khan allowed an aerial sweep
at Ajmal to slip through his fingers at deep backward-square, but Prior
added only that run before the same bowler had him lbw on the back foot –
even after a DRS review.
Bell would have gone for just nine
had Rehman clung on to a fiercely-struck return chance which instead
went for the first of two successive fours.
Off you go: Abdul Rehman (second right) took the wicket of Graeme Swann
England's last front-line batsman continued to look for scoring opportunities, but not so avidly as his new partner Broad.
The seventh-wicket pair scored a
psychological blow when Misbah-ul-Haq abandoned Plan A to bowl them out
with spin – calling for the second new ball after 98 overs.
Broad stayed on the attack, and the
second of two boundaries from Umar Gul's first over with the new ball – a
thick edge wide of the slips – took England in front.
Bell lasted little longer, lbw on the
back-foot defence to Gul and using up the final review for good measure
but to no effect. But Swann lent Broad a hand too until he also went
lbw, this time pushing forward to Rehman.
Anderson was another handy ally for
Broad up to lunch, to account for a mid-match runs advantage which left
the game in the balance, allowing for the likely difficulty of chasing a
target in the fourth innings on an already awkward surface.
The eventual outcome was no easier to call two sessions later.