x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Broad happy to lose the toss

The bowler admits the England attack were grateful for losing the toss after skittling Pakistan out for 72 on day one of the second Test at Edgbaston.

Stuart Broad admitted the England attack were grateful for losing the toss after skittling Pakistan out for 72 on day one of the second Test at Edgbaston. After their 80 all out at Trent Bridge six days ago, Pakistan were again in grave danger of collapsing to their lowest ever total when they lurched to 37 for six at lunch. In the end, they instead merely registered a new worst against England for the second time in under a week. James Anderson (four for 20) and Broad (four for 38) did the most damage as all Pakistan's batsmen found scoring opportunities very hard to come by.

Broad told Sky Sports 1: "I think we were going to bat but as a bowling unit, with the conditions around, we certainly weren't disappointed when the toss was lost. "After the way we performed at Trent Bridge when wickets came quite quickly for us, we were very conscious that we just wanted to build pressure and bowl maidens here and we were fortunate that we were able to do that and the wickets came our way. Credit to the bowling unit, we knew we had to build pressure."

England made the most of heavy cloud cover at Edgbaston to bowl Pakistan out for 72 - and then move into a 40-run lead - on day one. Batting was easy for no-one, though, on a slow pitch with occasional variable bounce already and sideways movement through the air and off the seam. Had Pakistan held their catches, in fact, they might even have regained a foothold in a match which was going so obviously England's way after an unbroken third-wicket stand of 68 between Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen.

Five Pakistan batsmen were out for ducks, including Imran Farhat and Azhar Ali, who lasted 24 and 32 balls respectively. Pakistan, who did not select Mohammad Yousuf, the returning batsman following his last-minute arrival from Lahore yesterday, went 49 balls without a run off the bat at one stage until Salman Butt, the captain, leg-glanced a single off Anderson. They needed a determined performance here to battle back in the four-match series, and there was perhaps some bravado in Butt's decision to bat first in such awkward conditions.

There was an obvious signal of intent too as Butt and Farhat ran to the crease ahead of England's fielders and the umpires. Once in occupation, though, the two left-handers were largely strokeless against the moving ball. Farhat's struggle finally ended when Broad angled one across him and had him edging behind off the back foot. Butt stayed put until he ventured a push in Steven Finn's second over from the City End and edged to second slip.

Shoaib Malik was soon gone too, well caught by Matt Prior, the wicket keeper, diving in front of first slip off an Anderson outswinger. Umar Akmal tried to begin a recovery from 12 for three but Broad, at a ground where he took a career-best eight for 52 on his last visit for Nottinghamshire two weeks ago, was in the wickets column again with one that jagged back alarmingly off the pitch to hit Azhar just in line with off-stump. Akmal also went lbw and Zulqarnain Haider edged Broad behind for a first-ball duck on his Test debut.

Mohammad Aamer and Umar Amin hinted at a little better after lunch until Broad kickstarted another rush of four wickets for nine runs. He had Amin well caught at third slip by Paul Collingwood and Umar Gul steered Anderson into the hands of gully. Then, after Alastair Cook took a fine catch running back and diving to collect Aamer at mid-off, Anderson doubled up to have Mohammad Asif looping one off the shoulder to gully.

England appeared in a hurry to wipe out the arrears, Strauss pushing Aamer's first ball of their reply for four off his legs and Cook doing likewise in the same over. Cook was out for 17 the first over after tea when he somehow gloved an attempted hook at Asif to second slip. Strauss followed on the same score an over later after a successful Pakistan review proved the England captain had got an inside edge behind off Aamer.

Pakistan had given themselves a chance for a significant fightback, but simply could not take it. Trott (25) and Pietersen (27) resume today with England on 112 for two. * PA