Strauss out before weather halts Pakistan progress

Updated: 27 August 2010 16:09 IST

Pakistan dismissed Andrew Strauss for 13 in the fourth and final test at Lord's on Thursday in an opening day restricted by rain to just 12.3 overs.


Pakistan saw off Andrew Strauss but missed a glaring chance to dismiss the England captain's opening partner, Alastair Cook, on the first day of the fourth and final Test at Lord's here on Thursday.

England were 39 for one at stumps after rain and bad light meant only 12.3 overs were possible in the day's play.

Cook, dropped on one, was 10 not out and Jonathan Trott eight not out with England 2-1 up in this series after Pakistan's four-wicket win across London at The Oval last week.

It was no surprise when Pakistan captain Salman Butt opted to field after winning the toss in the kind of overcast conditions that have troubled batsmen on both sides all series.

Poor catching has hampered Pakistan in this campaign and their 18th dropped effort in four Tests - a remarkable and damning statistic by international standards - was one of their worst.

England were on seven in the third over when Cook was drawn into edging outside off-stump by Mohammad Aamer only for third slip Umar Akmal to drop the seemingly straightforward two-handed chance, much to the teenage left-arm quick's evident and understandable disgust.

Next ball Cook added to Aamer's frustrations by edging him unconvincingly through the slip cordon for four.

Pakistan thought they had Cook caught behind off Aamer for nine, with England on 25.

Billy Bowden eventually gave Cook only for the Essex batsman, fresh from a century at The Oval, to refer the decision.

Bowden, after replays indicated Cook had missed the ball, reversed his original verdict.

But Pakistan had the wicket their new-ball pair deserved when Mohammad Asif produced a superb full-length delivery that swung in a touch to bowl left-hander Strauss for 13 and leave England 31 for one in the 12th over.

"Both bowling sides have had good conditions to bowl in, but that doesn't mean you can't score runs," England batting coach Graham Gooch told reporters.

"On a flat wicket, invariably it's your bowlers who have to take 20 wickets and win you the game," the former England captain and opening batsman added.

"On wickets we've seen this summer, it's possibly a batsman who can win you the game - because 60 or 70 on this sort of wicket is worth maybe 120 or 130 on a flat one.

"It's been difficult for the batsmen on both sides. But you still should be able to score runs."

Strauss has now gone over a year without a Test century and he may only have one more chance to end that run, should the hosts bat again at Lord's, before England begin their defence of the Ashes in Australia in November.

But Gooch said: "I don't think we should be too concerned (about the Ashes) because someone is a little short of runs.

"This is the only match that counts -- not the next one, not the Ashes."

Although the Lord's floodlights were on, Bowden and fellow New Zealand umpire Tony Hill halted the match midway through the 13th over.

Any chance of a resumption Thursday was then ended by fresh rain.

Gooch implicitly criticised the decision to come off for bad light by saying: "I think, as a general rule, if the lights are there let's use them -- because we are an entertainment that has to compete with other sports.

"What's the point of having lights if you're not going to use them?"

Topics : Cricket England Australia West Indies
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