England strike twice before lunch against Pakistan

England players celebrate the fall of Pakistan opener Taufiq Umar Getty Images

Abu Dhabi: Jan 25, 2012

England spinners dismissed both openers before Pakistan reached 73-2 at lunch on the opening day of the second Test at Abu Dhabi Stadium on Wednesday.

England, aiming to level the three-Test series after losing last week’s first match in Dubai by 10 wickets inside three days, claimed Taufiq Umar (16) and Mohammad Hafeez (31) on a pitch which offered notable spin.

At the break Azhar Ali was unbeaten on 13 and Younis Khan was on six.

The early wickets from Graeme Swann and recalled left-armer Monty Panesar justified England’s decision to play two slow bowlers, as they turned to spin on as early as the 10th over after Pakistan won the toss chose to bat.

Hafeez and Umar, who put on 114 for the opening wicket in the first Test, negotiated the first hour without any discomfort before Swann provided England the breakthrough.

Umar misjudged a delivery and lost his off stump after seemingly playing no stroke.

Panesar, brought in place of paceman Chris Tremlett – flying home after a recurrence of a back injury – dropped Hafeez off his own bowling but had the Pakistani opener bowled off the very next ball which came in with the arm.

The inclusion of Panesar, playing his first Test since July 2009 Ashes Test in Cardiff, is the first time England have played two spinners since the Dhaka Test against Bangladesh in early 2010.

Pakistan also made one change from their first Test line-up, bringing in left-arm paceman Junaid Khan for Aizaz Cheema. (AFP)

Brief Scores: Pakistan 73 for 2 (Mohammad Hafeez 31, Taufiq Umar 16, Azhar Ali 14*; Graeme Swan 1 for 16, Monty Panesar 1 for 26) vs England.

Full Scoredcard