England seamer James Anderson apologises for umpire outburst during frustrating day as Azhar Ali-inspired Pakistan turn the screw at Edgbaston

 
Ross McLean
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England v Pakistan: 3rd Investec Test - Day Two
Azhar Ali scored his first Test century outside of Asia (Source: Getty)

England seamer James Anderson was forced to apologise after his emotions boiled over during a frustrating second day of the third Investec Test which saw Pakistan turn the screw at Edgbaston.


Anderson clashed with umpire Bruce Oxenford after he was warned about running on the pitch post-delivery. England’s leading Test wicket-taker received two official warnings, while a further reprimand could see him removed from the attack for the remainder of the innings.

It was a disheartening day for Anderson, who claimed 1-32 on a sluggish surface but saw vice-captain Joe Root floor a catching opportunity when Azhar Ali was on 38. Pakistan’s No3 batsman produced to chalk up 139 – his first Test century outside of Asia.

Pakistan closed the day on 257-3 as recalled opener Sami Aslam, playing his third Test match, chipped in with a resolute 82. The tourists trail England by just 40 runs with seven first-innings wickets in hand.

“It had a bad half-hour where I let things get to me,” said Anderson. “I’ve apologised to both umpires as my behaviour wasn’t acceptable. It was a bit petulant.


“I wasn’t convinced that I had run on the pitch, but Bruce had the third or fourth umpire in his ear telling him I was.

“Having seen my reactions on television, it doesn’t look great when I’m pointing at the pitch. I don’t necessarily think it was what I said, it was just the way I behaved. I’ve had a bad half-hour, I’ve apologised and hopefully that will be the end of it.”

England and Anderson’s day had started in upbeat fashion as the Lancashire bowler dismissed Mohammad Hafeez with only his fourth delivery as the opener tamely holed out to Gary Ballance at point.

But Azhar, who was also dropped on 69 by Moeen Ali, then shared a second-wicket stand of 181 with Aslam and continued compiling the runs with Younis Khan until the day’s final delivery when he picked out Alastair Cook at first slip off the bowling of Chris Woakes.