Debutant Wahab Riaz puts Pakistan on top
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 18th August 2010
It was a wonderful day's play of cricket which finished with Pakistan on top. Debutant Wahab Riaz bowled extremely well to collect his five wicket haul in his maiden Test match to put Pakistan on top after the close of first day's play.
Strauss won the toss and nobody needed to guess as the English skipper elected to bat first. The sun that was shining brightly in the morning soon hid behind the clouds thus arming the Pakistani bowlers with swing. The pitch was flat and so the Pakistani bowlers needed to move the ball in the air and that was just what happened. Aamer struggled to control the swing but Asif once again showed as to why he is considered the best in the world right now. Bowling at a medium pace between 120 and 130 ks the right-arm pacer moved the ball both ways to trouble the English openers before dismissing Cook with a beauty.
That set the stage for debutant the left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz who then ripped apart the English top-order with some excellent display of swing and pace bowling. Wickets fell in a heap and England soon found themselves at 94 for 7 with Wahab taking four of them. Prior found an able ally in Stuart Broad whose batting has fallen apart in the past one year or so. The pair survived a hostile spell from the Pakistani pacers before taking feast on a surprisingly innocuous Saeed Ajmal. That released the pressure and when the pacers came back the runs were scored with ease. When the sun came out there was zero swing for the bowlers and they struggled big time.
Just when Broad was heading towards a well deserved half-century a clever variation of pace from Riaz ended his stay. That wicket gave the debutant a five wicket haul something that he would cherish in the rest of his career. England finally were all-out for 233 with Prior top scoring with an unbeaten 84.
Pakistan in reply got off to a bright start as Hameed and Farhat repelled the English pace attack that failed to find the same assistance that their counterparts found. Hameed in particular attacked the English opening bowlers and barring Finn the others leaked runs. The runs came at a good pace and it seemed that Pakistan would see off the day without losing a wicket before on cleaned up a clearly nervous Farhat in the last over of the day. Nightwatchman Wahab Riaz survived three deliveries including a vociferous appeal in the last delivery of the day.