It's going to be a tight second Test: Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad also praised Monty Panesar, who is playing his first match since the Cardiff Test in the 2009 Ashes Getty Images

Abu Dhabi: Jan 27, 2012

England paceman Stuart Broad and Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali Friday expect a tight finish to the second Test between their teams, saying even a 150-run target will be tricky to chase.

Pakistan, stuttering at 54 for 4 in their second innings after conceding a 70-run lead, finished the third day at 125-4. They lead by 55 runs with six wickets intact, setting the scene for an intriguing fourth day’s play.

Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar took 3-44 to spark a top order collapse before Ali (46) and Asad Shafiq (35) shared an unbroken 71-run stand for the fifth wicket to lead Pakistan’s fight back.

Broad, who earlier in the day hit an aggressive unbeaten 58 to help England to 327 in their first knock, said Saturday’s first hour will be crucial.

“In Test cricket you expect partnerships,” said Broad.

“We just stayed patient and with 19 overs to the new ball, with only a lead of 50, we’re delighted with our position.”

Pakistan lead the three-Test series on account of their ten wicket win in last week’s Dubai Test, and will hope to thwart England who are aiming for a series-levelling win.

“I think it s going to be a tight Test either way. You’ve always got the scoreboard pressure. We don’t want to be chasing much more than 250, I would have thought, even 150-200 is going to be a bit tricky,” said Broad.

Broad revealed that a Pakistani taxi driver sledged that his team will be thrashed.

“He (taxi driver) was pretty confident that they were going to destroy us but I had different views. I keep thinking when I leave the ground at the end of the day that tomorrow (Saturday) is a huge day.

“Tomorrow evening I will know what the result will be. Whereas I keep getting to the end of the day and I’m no clearer. It really can go either way again going into the fourth day.”

Broad also had praise for Panesar, who is playing his first match since the Cardiff Test in the 2009 Ashes.

“I think Monty bowled really well. He’s going to be important in holding them tomorrow and then attacking them. One thing we have to keep in mind is that we’re two from that tail and we know with that new ball we can mop them up if we need to.”

Ali showed confidence his team can defend a 150-target.

“It was a good partnership but we have to go a long way and if we carry on with that we can stage a comeback in the match and put pressure on them. I think if we give them a 150-160 target we have a hope that we can fight and win,” said Ali.

Ali praised England spinners Panesar and Swann.

“I think they are really good bowlers, no one threw his wickets and there were some good balls and sometimes we need to just bat and bat and it becomes easier,” said Ali.(AFP)