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    An absorbing first day of cricket at Edgbaston - and I think this Test may be the highlight of this series.

    Plenty to think about for both sides. You'd probably give the edge to Pakistan, but the visitors must know it won't be easy. England all out for under 300 is an incredibly positive day for Pakistan, but then again, the pressure is now on their batsmen and you'd fancy England have enough to take ten wickets on any given day. There's plenty in the pitch for them, and the Test is delicately poised.

    I felt that if England got a score of 300/350, they'd be doing very well. And so it proved. No side has won after batting first at Edgbaston in over a decade, so it's no surprise to see what Misbah picked when winning the toss. In truth, I felt it was a slightly negative move from the Pakistan skipper. You felt he feared Broad, Anderson and even Waokes on his home ground - and rightly so.

    There's plenty of questions for England. Only Ballance really furthered and strengthened his case to remain in the side. He will be disappointed to get a start, but he hasn't kicked on and was dismissed for 70. You can analyse his dismissal all you want - and I personally think he went too far onto the off-side while playing Shah, and was duly punished.

    Vince showed glimpses, along with Hales, but both were out in similar ways and the way England kept being caught behind is worrying. Vince moved his feet well, left the ball outside off and played good low risk shots. Hales didn't really convince me personally, but I was pleased to see Moeen rack up a distinctive innings with some lovely shots. Root and Cook were ineffective - but regardless of Pakistan's riling comments pre-match - the loss of the two talismanic figures didn't derail England's innings too much.

    Congratulations to Sohail Khan, playing his first Test in years, taking figures of 5-90+ on a tough day for bowlers. He really impressed me, and bowled brilliantly. Isn't he the first right armer deployed by Pakistan for a few years? Remarkable statistic. It was good stuff from all the Pakistan bowlers, in truth, including Riaz and Amir.

    Misbah's two key calls - the decision to bowl first, and to field Sohail - were both proved correct. And now we can enjoy Sohail's clap push-ups, along with his skipper's normal ones. It was a great response from Pakistan after the pasting they received at Old Trafford. Would they have shown such character a few years ago? I doubt it. The way they bounced back today to impress just speaks volumes - and is a real indicator of the friendly, nonchalant and positive atmosphere the Misbah regime has introduced to Pakistani cricket.

    It's difficult to gauge who has the edge - but if Pakistan can make runs, they're clear favourites. I fancy England's bowlers to really impress, though. It's very even - and I can't wait for day two.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    An absorbing first day of cricket at Edgbaston - and I think this Test may be the highlight of this series.

    Plenty to think about for both sides. You'd probably give the edge to Pakistan, but the visitors must know it won't be easy. England all out for under 300 is an incredibly positive day for Pakistan, but then again, the pressure is now on their batsmen and you'd fancy England have enough to take ten wickets on any given day. There's plenty in the pitch for them, and the Test is delicately poised.

    I felt that if England got a score of 300/350, they'd be doing very well. And so it proved. No side has won after batting first at Edgbaston in over a decade, so it's no surprise to see what Misbah picked when winning the toss. In truth, I felt it was a slightly negative move from the Pakistan skipper. You felt he feared Broad, Anderson and even Waokes on his home ground - and rightly so.

    There's plenty of questions for England. Only Ballance really furthered and strengthened his case to remain in the side. He will be disappointed to get a start, but he hasn't kicked on and was dismissed for 70. You can analyse his dismissal all you want - and I personally think he went too far onto the off-side while playing Shah, and was duly punished.

    Vince showed glimpses, along with Hales, but both were out in similar ways and the way England kept being caught behind is worrying. Vince moved his feet well, left the ball outside off and played good low risk shots. Hales didn't really convince me personally, but I was pleased to see Moeen rack up a distinctive innings with some lovely shots. Root and Cook were ineffective - but regardless of Pakistan's riling comments pre-match - the loss of the two talismanic figures didn't derail England's innings too much.

    Congratulations to Sohail Khan, playing his first Test in years, taking figures of 5-90+ on a tough day for bowlers. He really impressed me, and bowled brilliantly. Isn't he the first right armer deployed by Pakistan for a few years? Remarkable statistic. It was good stuff from all the Pakistan bowlers, in truth, including Riaz and Amir.

    Misbah's two key calls - the decision to bowl first, and to field Sohail - were both proved correct. And now we can enjoy Sohail's clap push-ups, along with his skipper's normal ones. It was a great response from Pakistan after the pasting they received at Old Trafford. Would they have shown such character a few years ago? I doubt it. The way they bounced back today to impress just speaks volumes - and is a real indicator of the friendly, nonchalant and positive atmosphere the Misbah regime has introduced to Pakistani cricket.

    It's difficult to gauge who has the edge - but if Pakistan can make runs, they're clear favourites. I fancy England's bowlers to really impress, though. It's very even - and I can't wait for day two.
    Nice summary, although Riaz wasn't playing this game *
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    (Original post by usycool1)
    Nice summary, although Riaz wasn't playing this game *
    Damn it! I knew I'd make a mistake somewhere. I didn't mean Riaz, obviously. I knew he'd been replaced by Sohail, who definitely showed a propensity to find a knick from the right-armers. It'll be interesting to see how they deal with him in the second innings.
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    Just needed one person to take responsibility in that innings. One person scoring a century and it'd be 400+. Still in the game with 300 though, you'd think we'd have to bowl badly to let Pakistan bat us out of the test in their first innings.

    Meanwhile West Indies turn 48-4 into 388-6 to save the test.
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    Fantastic to see some fight in the West Indies team. Some of the youngsters stepping up, with Chase looking more than useful. Would love to see them back being competitive in Test cricket!
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    Exceptional from the Windies. So pleasing to see. In truth, the pitch was as dead as a dodo and offered so little. I thought Chase batted magnificently, though. He picked his runs well and it'll probably be overlooked, but India definitely bowled enough overs to dismiss the Windies in the second innings. 80+ overs were sent down the track, but if you don't take 20 wickets, you'll never win a five-day match.

    I feel for India, having seen the fourth day reduced to a mere 14 overs play, but Chase crafted solid partnerships with Blackwood, Dowrich and Holder. He really gave himself a reputation in the match, having just managed a top score of 23 in his previous three Test innings. Chase becomes the first West Indies player to score a century and take a five-wicket haul in the same Test since Sobers in 1966.

    The aforementioned quartet are all 24 - and they became only the fifth set of batsmen occupying numbers five, six, seven and eight to make 50-plus scores in the same Test innings. Each had a point to prove, but each excelled, even against the dangerous spin of Ashwin.
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    Enjoyed the football match from the England team today, with Bumble refereeing :lol:
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    (Original post by usycool1)
    Enjoyed the football match from the England team today, with Bumble refereeing :lol:
    That bicycle kick attempt from Moeen!
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    I was expecting a run out but it's still annoyed me.
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    (Original post by usycool1)
    I was expecting a run out but it's still annoyed me.
    Frustrating, Sami was 18 runs shy of becoming the youngest test opener in England to score a century.

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    Great hundred from Azhar. Finally he comes to the party.
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    Not looking good for England in this test match.
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    Well, I take back what I said about England having the ability to skittle Pakistan out on a pitch like this. It was always going to be a good toss to win - especially when Misbah opted to field first. Remember, no team has won batting first at Edgbaston in a Test match since the iconic 2005 Ashes match.

    The pitch at Edgbaston typically suits batting second, and so it proved again today. Full credit to Pakistan's batting line-up though. Their order clearly did their homework on the pitch, the conditions and they deserve every run they got today. They ground out the runs, and were still trailing by 40 at the close of play, despite enjoying facing a similar amount of overs as England did on the first day yesterday.

    They were patient and picked their runs correctly, offering decent strokes throughout and frustrating Jimmy Anderson. I felt really bad for the seamer, in truth, because England had a couple of chances to get rid of Pakistan's key stroke makers - and they didn't take them. Root shelled one in the slip cordon, though admittedly, it was a tough chance. His reaction time was something like 0.6 of a second, according to Sky. Likewise, Moeen had a half chance when he had the opportunity to claim a caught and bowled wicket, but it wasn't to be.

    Pakistan seem a long way away from the Old Trafford drubbing, don't they? They've bounced back magnificently, not least because of Azhar Ali's dream day. His tenth Test century, and a second-wicket stand of 181 with Sami Aslam, set Pakistan up beautifully. It was a shame the former had to fall to the final ball of the day, but Vince's run out direct hit to claim the second wicket was brilliant considering I've been critical of his fielding ability in previous posts on this thread. It was such a shame that Aslam failed in his bid to become the youngest ever Test centurion on English soil. It was a fantastic, composed knock from him.

    Anderson seemed to be really frustrated - and I don't blame him. I was chuffed for Woakes to claim a Test wicket on his home ground with the final delivery of the day, and perhaps more promisingly, I felt Finn had a decent day with the ball. The day started brilliantly for the seamers, and England, when Hafeez struck that fourth Anderson delivery straight to Root - but that was the zenith for the home side. There was little swing to exploit.

    Finn ran in hard and bowled well, generating good pace and utilising his height to full effect. But I'm worried about the pitch, because it is offering little to the pace men, and Broad especially offered next to nothing today.
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    Pleasantly surprised to hear Pakistan batting well yesterday, just disappointed can't watch it as it happens until the weekend.

    The difference between Pakistan and England's batting is probably signified by the last ball of the day whereas someone like Root would have made sure he didn't get out to the last ball of the day after batting for most of it, whilst Azhar lazily gave his wicket away and there's a chance England could take early wickets this morning IMO. Pakistan are just as susceptible to losing quick wickets as England can be. Sami Aslam's opening puts the experienced Hafeez to shame and it's gutting he didn't get the century he deserved.

    For England, Anderson should get a fine for his behaviour and it shows how badly frustrated England were by Sami/Azhar but Pakistan's bowlers, in the previous Tests, have had issues of running onto the wicket and bowling to a formidable opponent (Root) yet they didn't behave as England's number one bowler did. Yes, he had a dropped catch but should lead better. With Moeen's performance, maybe they could have thrown in Rashid but it doesn't suggest they are thinking to the winter tours which they should so they can bed Rashid in so he's not under pressure if he's drafted in for the first Test out there.
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    Well, well, well. Herath claims a hat-trick for Sri Lanka, becoming the 42nd hat-trick taker in Test cricket and just the second Sri Lankan after Nuwan Zoysa’s in 1999 against Zimbabwe.

    SL absolutely skittled Australia - dismissing them for just over 100. I actually thought Australia were set well after the first day, despite Warner chasing the runs and deciding to score quickly and giving his wicket away. Their performance on the second day with the bat was nothing short of woeful, though. An absolutely horrendous performance from them - and they completely fell apart once Herath had helped take them from four to seven down within the space of a few balls.

    The most worrying thing for Australia is that they're making the same mistakes - and the pitch didn't even turn too much. It wasn't as an absolute minefield, as you might expect when looking at the score. It's a decent Test wicket in Galle.

    The hosts boasted a 100+ run advantage after Australia claimed their lowest ever Test score against SL, and despite getting them six down by the close of play, Starc's three wickets couldn't stop Sri Lanka claiming a 318 run lead.

    In truth, you could probably say SL's second innings was poor and below par - but the story of the day comes from the session before lunch, where they thrived with the ball, rather than the afternoon where they failed with the bat. SL have probably taken the game away from Australia now - and with it, they should win the series. What a turn up!
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    Pakistan, as expected, lose wickets needlessly and England have got a good chance to get back in this game now.
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    Jimmy was very harshly treated, I must admit. I'm not a big champion of his aggression or his teenage-esque angst, but I felt for him towards the end of the Pakistan innings. You imagine England will find it tough regardless of dismissing Pakistan for 400, because a deficit of 100+ on a pitch which will undoubtedly deteriorate on days four and five will play into the visitors' hands.
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    (Original post by Aky786UK)
    Pakistan, as expected, lose wickets needlessly and England have got a good chance to get back in this game now.
    It wasn't exactly unexpected, Pakistan have a very weak tail and Sarfraz was trying his best to farm the strike.

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    Interestingly, the Ausatralia vs Sri Lanka match ended the exact way it started - with Steve Smith facing Perera. You'd imagine many would have expected Smith to have clocked up a double hundred in that period, but in reality, a whopping 21 wickets went down.

    Australia's previous lowest total in Tests against Sri Lanka came back in 2004, but they will at least take some joy in Starc's performance. His two five-fors are the first time an overseas seamer has managed that feat in Asia since the 1980s.

    Lehmann was absolutely right, though. His assessment after the day's play was damning, and he blasted his players as not performing at an "international standard".
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    This series is properly entertaining. Should just play Pakistan home and away every year.
 
 
 
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