Wednesday 18 January 2012

Mini-session analysis for 1st Test Pak Eng 11/12

Here is the mini-session analysis for the 1st test between Pakistan and England in Dubai. I will be updating this from time to time throughout the match. (It is not in a good timezone for me to do it regularly)

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aEngland 31/2 off 12.3Pakistan
1-1bEngland 21/3 off 15.3Pakistan
1-2aEngland 41/1 off 14England
1-2bEngland 45/1 off 13England
1-3aEngland 53/3 off 17.3Pakistan
1-3bPakistan 42/0 off 15Pakistan
2-1aPakistan 48/0 off 15Pakistan
2-1bPakistan 48/2 off 13England
2-2aPakistan 38/1 off 13.4England
2-2bPakistan 37/1 off 15.2England
2-3aPakistan 47/1 off 19Pakistan
2-3bPakistan 38/2 off 13.3England
3-1aPakistan 46/2 off 14.3England
3-1bPakistan 4/1 off 0.5Pakistan
England 16/1 off 8
3-2aEngland 19/3 off 12.1Pakistan
3-2bEngland 40/1 off 15England
3-3aEngland 51/2 off 15Pakistan
3-3bEngland 34/3 off 7.5Pakistan
Pakistan 15/0 off 3.4

Pakistan win the mini-session count 10-8. Surprisingly close for such a one-sided match. The bowling side won 12 of the 18 mini-sessions, which probably explains in part how the game was over inside 3 days. Pakistan's first innings was the only first innings total in the last 5 years under 350 to set up a 10 wicket victory.

There is probably much wringing of hands going on in England at the moment, but I still feel that these are two freak results. Here are how the first 5 wickets happened in each England innings:
Cook edged a short ball from Hafeez (bad delivery - unlucky wicket)
Trott got strangled down the leg-side off Aizaz Cheema (bad delivery - unlucky wicket)
Strauss was beaten in flight, tried to pull a full straight one (good delivery - bad shot)
Bell doesn't pick a doosra and gets an edge behind (good delivery - credit to bowler)
Pietersen played down the wrong line to a straight one (reasonable delivery - bad shot)
Strauss strangled down the leg side. Quite possibly didn't hit it (bad ball - unlucky dismissal)
Cook strangled down the leg side (bad ball - unlucky dismissal)
Pietersen top edged a pull shot to a good short ball (good delivery - bad shot)
Bell completely misread a good delivery (good delivery - credit to the bowler)
Morgan gets beaten by a good ball and edges behind (good delivery - credit to the bowler)
I will be surprised if there are so many unlucky dismissals in such a short space of time in the 2nd match. It is always possible, that is part of what makes cricket interesting. A wide half volley sometimes results in a wicket when a searing inswinging yorker on middle stump is sometimes defended (and occasionally gets hit to the fence for 4 - as Lara did to Danny Morrison first ball of a marvelous hundred).

The England will need to work on getting their feet moving more effectively to the spinners, and perhaps waiting until they have their eyes in before playing across the line; but they are seriously good players, and I expect them to come back from this. This match has a similar feel to the 2nd test between South Africa and Sri Lanka. The third test in that series should give England some hope.

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