Strauss falls as England denied by rain

ENGLAND only faced 12.3 overs on a rain-hit first day of the fourth Test, but that was still enough time for Pakistan to dismiss captain Andrew Strauss.

The skipper (right) has endured a modest series with the bat and that lacklustre sequence continued yesterday when he was bowled by Mohammad Asif for 13 at Lord’s.

England reached 39-1 before bad light and showers forced an early end to play, and it might have been worse for the home side had Alastair Cook not been dropped on one.
Pakistan captain Salman Butt, seeking a victory in this deciding Test to ensure the series ends 2-2, won the toss and it was no surprise when he put England in to bat.

Seam-friendly conditions kept the home side’s openers on their toes and they did well initially to fend off the threat of Pakistan’s attack.

Strauss could do little to combat Asif’s superb in-swinger, which flew between bat and pad, and left him cursing another meagre return.

Cook almost went in the third over when he edged Mohammad Amir only for Umar Gul to drop a straightforward catch, while a review spared the England man on nine when Amir thought he had him caught behind.

Jonathan Trott managed eight before the umpires deemed the light unplayable at around 5:45pm.

Batsman Kevin Pietersen, meanwhile, has admitted to concerns about his drop in form during an injury-hit past 18 months.

“I’ve got to look at the positives and drag my confidence up, which has been hammered,” said Pietersen.