England batsmen ruined the terrific job by seamers Stuart Broad and James Anderson to end up 104 for 6 against Pakistan on a bowler-dominated opening day of the third Test on Friday.
Broad bulldozed the Pakistan top order with 4/36 and Anderson captured 3/35 to shoot out Pakistan for 99 but left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman grabbed 3/23 before the top-ranked team overhauled Pakistans sixth lowest ever total against England. Captain Andrew Strauss scored a fighting unbeaten 41 on an eventful day when three rulings by umpire Simon Taufel,were overturned. Strauss was also lucky on 35 when he swept to Rehman and was hit on the back leg. However,Rehman did not go for the referral with TV replays showing Taufel could have been overruled a fourth time.
Kevin Pietersen (32) briefly shined in a 57-run stand with Strauss before Rehman had him lbw. It was the 34th lbw decision of the series,surpassing the previous high of 33 recorded between Pakistan and West Indies in 1993. Rehman went on to claim Eoin Morgan (10) and Matt Prior (6) as England just managed to get past Pakistans total.
Earlier,skipper Misbah-ul-Haqs decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired and Pakistan could never recover after Broad and Anderson reduced them to 21/5. Asad Shafiq fought a lone battle with 45 off 78 balls before he became one of Monty Panesars two scalps. Anderson,who had struck in his very first over in the morning,ensured Pakistan did not reach 100 when he closed the innings by clean-bowling Gul midway into the second session.
The 34-run eighth-wicket stand between Shafiq and Saeed Ajmal (12) ensured Pakistan passed its lowest ever score of 53 made against Australia in 2002 at Sharjah. Shafiq pulled Broad to the midwicket boundary to take Pakistan past its lowest score of 72 against England at Birmingham two years ago.
Anderson reduced Pakistan to 21/5 when he had Misbah trapped lbw for 1 as he missed while trying to play across the line. Strauss,who saw his batsmen fall well short of a modest victory chase of 145 runs in the second test at Abu Dhabi last week,kept the pressure on Pakistan and Broad took his fourth wicket by having Adnan Akmal lbw for 6.
Graeme Swann was also amongst the wickets in his only over bowled,with Pietersen at mid-off neatly holding onto a skier from Rehman. Top-ranked England needs to win the last Test to ensure it pockets the ICCs $175,000 prize money awarded to the No. 1 Test team every April 1.
Englands reply had an equally rocky start. Gul had England in early trouble when Alastair Cook,on 1,offered a thick outside edge in only the second over as England took tea at 19/2.
Brief scores: Pakistan 1st inns: 99 (A Shafiq 45; S Broad 4/36,J Anderson 3/35,M Panesar 2/25); England 1st inns: 104/6 (A Strauss batting 41,K Pietersen 32; A Rehman 3/23,U Gul 2/28)