England go clear after Pakistan collapse again

BIRMINGHAM: England took control of the second test at Edgbaston on Friday reaching 112 for two when bad light ended play on day one after Pakistan earlierslumped to 72 all out and their lowest-ever test total against England.

Jonathan Trott was 31 not out and Kevin Pietersen, without a Test century in 22 innings, had 36 to give England a lead of 40.

Pakistan may rue a day in which they won the toss and batted in tough, overcast conditions and then later dropped chances to hit back at England.

Pakistan, who were all out for 80 on Sunday when losing the first test by 354 runs, again suffered through their batsmen's inadequacies to deal with the swinging ball.

Stuart Broad claimed four for 38 and James Anderson four for 20, including the last three.

Pakistan's bowlers struck twice immediately after tea when England slipped from 44 without loss to 44 for two. If chances offered by Trott and Pietersen had then been taken, the match may have taken a different path.

England lost left-hander Alastair Cook (17) first, after completing a hook shot too early only to see the ball balloon off his glove to second slip from the bowling of Mohammad Asif.

Captain Andrew Strauss departed after Pakistan activated one of their two allocated reviews. Replays showed Strauss deflected an inside edge off Mohammad Amir on to his thigh pad and through to debutant wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider.

Trott was dropped on eight by Imran Farhat at first slip to a straightforward chance at waist height. Bowler Asif was visibly frustrated and did well to keep his feelings in check.

Pietersen (on nine) looked to assert his authority on recalled off-spinner Saeed Ajmal only to drive in the air to Umar Gul at mid-on, but he reacted late and could only parry the chance to the boundary.

Pietersen also remained after an inside edge to Haider off Gul when on 20.

The Pakistan innings lasted just 39.3 overs and spanned four minutes short of three hours. Pakistan chose to bat despite agreeing in a team meeting the previous evening that they would bowl given such conditions, according to team sources.

Umar Amin top-scored with just 23, while their highest partnership was 27 between Amir and Amin, before they lost their last four wickets for nine runs.

Imran Farhat's arduous 31-minute struggle for no runs from 24 balls ended when his ultra-defensive approach was undone by a short ball which the opener edged to wicketkeeper Matt Prior off Broad.