England A apply pressure

On the penultimate day of Pakistan’s warm up game against England A, the English racked up 65 more runs before declaring, then bowled the tourists out 353 runs short of their score.

Chris Read’s unbeaten 150 will serve to provide more ammunition to the “drop Geraint” brigade, seemingly proving the Read can score runs against international bowlers, whilst Jamie Dalrymple’s 4 wickets provided a claim for him to be a spin bowling alternative for the injured allrounder Andrew Flintoff.

However, all was not perfect for England, with England’s senior bowler Matthew Hoggard sent to hospital by Tim Bresnan, casting his place in England’s side for Thursday in doubt. Blundering Bresnan stood on Hoggard’s bowling hand in a warm-up game of rugby, causing Hoggard to need 6 stitches and ensuring he’ll play no further role in this game, and maybe the first Test.

Hoggard wasn’t the only victim. Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif injured an elbow which didn’t allow him to bat and further restricted a toothless Pakistan bowling attack as Read and Stuart Broad piled on more runs in the morning to take England A to 595/9 declared.

Read added 30 runs to his overnight score while Broad notched up his first First Class 50 in a tenth wicket partnership of 127. Read finished his innings in style, reaching his 150 by sweeping leg spinner Danish Kaneria for six before captain Rob Key called an end to the innings.

Pakistan’s innings started promisingly. Imran Farhat got a start before bring bowled by blundering Bresnan for 16, and Faisal Iqbal joined Farhat’s opening partner, Salman Butt, to put on 76 for the second wicket.

Salman’s innings of 63 was brought to an end by Jamie Dalrymple, who’s offspin brought on a middle order collapse. Senior batsmen Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-Ul-Haq both had to trudge back to the pavilion without scoring – Yousuf caught trying to hook Broad and Inzamam succumbing to Dalrymple’s off spin.

Faisal continued unabated, notching up a half century and finding an ally in allrounder Abdul Razzaq. The pair put on 70 before Dalrymple struck again, Razzaq caught behind having scored 37. The Pakistani lower order and tail then meekly gave way to another usually inconspicuous offspinning allrounder. Alex Loudon’s first wicket came soon after wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal replaced Razzaq at the crease. Akmal lasted 10 balls and hadscored one run when Loudon bowled him. Dalrymple then ended Faisal’s resistance to claim his fourth wicket and get into the tail.

Mohammad Sami fought for an unbeaten 28, but Loudon claimed Umar Gul and Kaneria as his second and third wickets, with neither of them scoring, to end the innings, as Asif was unable to bat. The spinners Loudon and Dalrymple claimed 7 Pakistani wickets between them in skittling the tourists way behind the score needed to avoid the follow on.

Key decided against forcing Pakistan to follow on, and England’s batsmen made it to 35/1 by stumps. Key himself being the only victim as Inzamam bowling Imran Farhat and his part time legbreaks for a short spell paid off. England A go into the fourth and final day dominant, though, leading by 388 runs with 9 second innings wickets remaining.

England A 595/9 dec.
Chris Read 150*, Rob Key 136
Danish Kaneria 4/158, Umar Gul 2/92

Pakistan 242 all out
Faisal Iqbal 82, Salman Butt 63
Jamie Dalrymple 4/61, Alex Loudon 3/28

England A 35/1
Rob Key 17, Alistair Cook 10*
Imran Farhat 1/9

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