This was the day of affront that this alternation so badly needed. Adjoin all expectations - not atomic those of England's bowlers who had envisaged two canicule of R & R - Pakistan amid the cornered-tiger spirit that has continued been their tactic of aftermost resort, and conjured up a batting affectation that started out with adherence and erupted into delight. Under the clearest skies of the contest, and with little abhorrence of crabbed movement, Pakistan overcame their suspicions about a two-paced apparent and were able to bethink the simple pleasures of putting bat to ball.
By the abutting Pakistan's advance was a attenuate 112, but alike that was 40 runs added than they themselves had mustered in their aboriginal innings - not to acknowledgment 24 runs more good than the absolute for which they had skittled Australia at Headingley. "Cricket is such a bold that you are never out of it until it ends," said Pakistan's captain, Salman Butt. "This is a absolute that teams can get out to, and with the affectionate of bowling we accept - and the wicket has taken circuit as able-bodied - we absolutely accept a chance."
Magic assurance are one thing, but a abridgement of abstruseness is addition - and there's article a blow cellophane about England's advance back the blast cabal adjoin them. Ajmal Shahzad, and his adeptness to reverse-swing the old brawl at pace, would accept been an asset in the circumstances, but in the absence of a five-man attack, his is a affluence that is absurd to be countenanced.
Right at this moment, bright skies adjure up images of aloof one challenge - the Ashes. And if England's architect are set on apple domination, as Andrew Strauss declared they were afore this Test, again it is no use for them to be big bodies at home, but pussycats away - which is the actual aforementioned allegation that was levelled at the accepted No.1 Test team, India, throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Up until now, the advance has been baby by swing-friendly conditions, and while the advantage they accept taken has been blood-tingling to behold, it's not absolutely able them for the challenges that lie ahead.
"It's not a bad affair that we've had to assignment to get ourselves into this position," accepted Swann. "After accepting three or four aboriginal wickets you do achievement you will be able to go through, but they activated themselves able-bodied and put on two big partnerships, dead-batting the brawl on a apathetic wicket."