England make Pakistanis toil

Chris Read, a man whom the English selectors seem to have forgotten about recently, crafted a high-class century on the second day’s play at Canterbury and, in the process, allowed England to reach 530 for 9 nine at stumps. Read’s century followed Robert Key’s ton yesterday and both batsmen put forward strong cases to be picked when England play Pakistan on Thursday.

In memory of the July 7th attacks which happened exactly a year ago in London, a national two-minute silence was observed at 12pm. Players from both teams assembled in a line on the outfield whilst the spectators stood during the silence.

England A began the second morning on top having scored 268 runs for the loss of three wickets at the close of play yesterday. By the end of play, the Pakistanis had used seven bowlers with only Danish Kaneria, who caused England trouble in last winter’s tour, making any major inroads.

Despite England A’s promising position, they managed to give the Pakistanis a lift by losing three wickets in the first hour, bringing Chris Read in with Alex Loudon, the Warwickshire all-rounder. The pair added 102 for the seventh wicket but, when Loudon fell to Kaneria for 51, Read did not halt his progress.

On 91 when England’s last man, Stuart Broad, came to the crease, a well-deserved century for Read looked unlikely, but his excellent farming of the tail paid off when he hit Imran Farhat through the covers for four and he brought up the milestone. The 19-year-old Broad grew in confidence throughout his innings and, when play ended due to bad light, he finished alongside Read on an unbeaten 29.

Injuries were an issue for the Pakistanis when Mohammad Asif, their leading strike bowler, completed just five overs before leaving the field of play with a damaged elbow. Asif’s injury joins him with Kamran Akmal, Pakistan’s primary wicketkeeper, on the sidelines. However, Pakistan’s team manager, Zaheer Abbas, stated that Asif will be eligible for selection when Pakistan play England at Lords.

England A 530/9
Rob Key 136, Chris Read 120*
Mohammad Sami 2/69, Danish Kaneria 4/148

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