Vaughan blow mars England’s day

A knee injury to captain Michael Vaughan overshadowed an improved English batting performance on the second day of their tour match against Pakistan A at the Bagh-e-Jinnah stadium in Lahore.

The hosts resumed overnight with a one-run lead and two wickets in hand, but Steve Harmison collected his first wickets of the tour inside eleven morning deliveries, first enticing England’s first-innings nemesis Mohammad Asif to edge to Marcus Trescothick at slip, before trapping last man Mohammad Khalil leg-before.

Even so, England were unable to overturn this slim first-innings deficit without further travails – first Marcus Trescothick departed, another scalp for Asif, before Vaughan’s knee gave way, turning for a third run with Andrew Strauss only pull up with pain. Vaughan was able to walk from the field, but his chances of recovering from the injury – which at first sight seems to be a recurrence of the ligament damage that ruled him out of the First Test against New Zealand in 2004 – in time for the First Test at Multan on Saturday seem slim.

Dr Peter Gregory, the ECB’s Chief Medical Officer, said “Michael’s a bit fed up at the moment. He is still very sore and it’s going to be complicated because he’s had scans on that knee before, so we are going to have to make comparisons. We are going to need 24 to 48 hours to see how he pulls up clinically, and though I’m hopeful, whether that’s realistic or not we are going to have to wait and see.”

Meanwhile, on the field, England lurched from bad to worse as Kevin Pietersen fell first ball – another LBW – to Asif, before Strauss and Paul Collingwood – seemingly now inked in for the First Test – added England’s first significant stand of the match. Both men were dropped early, Strauss in the gully and Collingwood carried over the boundary as he mistimed a hook, but they continued in their positive vein to take England to 123-2… until the now-familiar jitters set in.

Strauss fell, caught behind off Shahid Nazir, before Collingwood attempted one maximum too many off 18-year-old legspinner Mansoor Amjad, falling to a smart catch from Nazir. Andrew Flintoff flourished and perished in the same manner, making a 28-ball 19, before Geraint Jones (30) and Ashley Giles guided the English tail onwards to near-respectability and a total of 256, before Asif completed his ten-wicket haul – claiming Giles one shy of a half-century and setting Pakistan A 245 to win.

The hosts cantered to 27 without loss midway through the third over of their truncated reply, but Matthew Hoggard struck – Geraint Jones holding onto Taufeeq Umar’s outside edge. England seem favourites, but the tourist’s major concern over the next week will their skipper’s knee.

England 126
Shaun Udal 23, Ashley Giles 21
Mohammad Asif 7-62, Shahid Nazir 2-18

Pakistan A 138
Hasan Raza 34, Amin-ur-Rehman 32
Matthew Hoggard 4-39, Ashley Giles 3-14

England 256
Paul Collingwood 61, Andrew Strauss 56
Mansoor Amjad 5-97, Mohammad Asif 3-44

Pakistan A 31-1
Taufeeq Umar 15, Imran Farhat 12*
Matthew Hoggard 1-22

Leave a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they have been approved

More articles by Neil Pickup