Riaz treble sparks Eng collapse

2010-08-18 14:31

London - Pakistan debutant Wahab Riaz took three wickets as England slumped to 70 for five at lunch on the first day of the third Test at The Oval on Wednesday.

The 25 left-arm quick already had two wickets when, shortly before lunch, he had Kevin Pietersen caught behind after the star batsman had made just six in more than an hour at the crease.

It was a fine delivery that nipped off the seam and induced an edge despite Pietersen shaping to leave the ball.

At lunch, Riaz had taken three wickets for 16 runs in seven overs.

Eoin Morgan was 17 not out and Matt Prior unbeaten on nought.

England, 2-0 up in the four-match series, saw captain Andrew Strauss win the toss but then lost several top-order batsmen on a placid pitch with overhead conditions offering some, but far from excessive, assistance for swing bowlers.

Mohammad Asif made the initial breakthrough.

Alastair Cook's run of low scores continued with the left-handed opener making just six, including an edged four down to third man.

Cook, off the last ball of the second over, nicked Asif through to recalled wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal as the ball held its line.

The Essex batsman, displaying minimal footwoork, had been retained in a show of faith by the selectors in an unchanged England side.

But this failure meant he'd scored just 41 runs in five innings this series at an average of 11.75.

Riaz, on as first change, saw his fourth ball driven straight down the ground for four by Strauss and his sixth clipped for a legside boundary by the England captain.

However, with his ninth delivery, he had Strauss (15) caught behind, although it needed a referral to confirm the dismissal after New Zealand umpire Tony Hill had ruled in the batsman's favour, despite replays showing Strauss had got a thick outside edge.

Nevertheless, Strauss's exit meant England were 35 for two.

Riaz, then had Jonathan Trott, fresh from a pair of fifties in England's nine-wicket second Test win at Edgbaston, well caught by a diving Yasir Hameed at second slip after the batsman had tried to drive a ball angled across him.

Poor fielding had seen Pakistan drop several catches this series, but Hameed -- one of four changes to the side -- made no mistake with the difficult chance.

Trott, on the ground where a year ago he made a century on his Test debut against Australia, was out for 12 and England were 40 for three.

Riaz was picked for this match instead of Tanveer Ahmed, who took 85 wickets in Pakistan's domestic Quaid-e-Azam Trophy last season -- compared to the debutant's 14 -- and had now captured two Test wickets for no runs in 11 balls.

England then declined further, to 47 for four, when Paul Collingwood, half leaving the ball, played on to left-arm quick Mohammad Aamer.

Riaz was chosen after fellow seamer Umar Gul was ruled out with a hamstring injury sustained at Edgbaston.

Kamran Akmal returned in place of injured wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, who made 80 on his debut at Edgbaston but suffered a fractured finger in that match.

Pakistan, bowled out for record low scores against England of 80 and 72 at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston respectively, tried to bolster their batting by recalling former captain Mohammad Yousuf and Hameed in place of the struggling Umar Amin and Shoaib Malik.


  • cover drive - 2010-08-18 23:40

    Asif is an outstanding seamer for Pakistan. In the UK cloudy, seam friendly conditions, he always gets wickets. Alistair Cook is definitely his bunny.

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