England launch fightback with two late strikes

Swann and Anderson rein in Pakistan as Broad urges batsmen to learn from their mistakes and create the platform for a dramatic turnaround

ENGLAND fast bowler Stuart Broad insists his side can begin to target an unlikely victory in the first Test against Pakistan after a disciplined bowling performance culminated in two vital breakthroughs at the end of day two in Dubai.

Having surrendered tamely to the subtle variation in off-spinner Saeed Ajmal’s armoury on day one, England would have been delighted to restrict the home side to a lead of 96 with just three first-innings wickets intact by the close yesterday.

The balance of power remains with Pakistan, but the late dismissals of Abdur Rehman and captain Misbah-ul-Haq have offered England hope of salvaging at least a draw from a delicately poised series opener.

And Broad, who did the early damage by claiming the scalps of Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali, acknowledges England’s batsmen must learn from the mistakes they made in the first innings if his side are to drag themselves further back into contention.

“Pakistan are still in a strong position – we’re chasing the game a little bit – it’s going to be up to a couple of batsmen to score big hundreds,” said Broad. “I think the batsmen are excited at putting the wrongs right from the first innings. Someone has an opportunity to score big runs on that wicket.

“If we can score 350 to 400 then batting last on that wicket could be quite tricky. That’s how we’ll plan.

“We’re quite clear in what we have to do. Someone’s going to have to bat big, bat long – and we have players who can do that. That’s the way we’ll win this game.”

Having seen England’s batsmen gift their wickets in such carefree fashion 24 hours earlier, Pakistan seemed doubly determined to make stubborn occupation of the crease their goal.

Nobody typified that approach more than skipper Misbah, who made a typically patient 52 from 154 balls in a total of 288-7, before he was trapped lbw by Graeme Swann following a successful England review in the penultimate over.

And when James Anderson got one to nip back and clip Rehman’s off-stump four balls later, England could justifiably lay claim to holding the momentum heading into a pivotal third day.

“I think we deserved the wickets, because it was a really good bowling performance,” added Broad. “To go at 2.7 runs for the whole Test match day was pleasing – and with that pressure, you pick up wickets.”