England v Pakistan, 4th Test, Lord's, 1st day
Strauss falls on rain-hit opening day
Mohammad Asif made an important breakthrough for Pakistan when he removed Andrew Strauss, but bad light and rain meant just 12.3 overs were possible on the opening day of the final Test at Lord's. It was no surprise that Salman Butt put England into bat and conditions favoured the seamers, but England's openers had combated the early threat until Asif made his mark.
There wasn't much Strauss could have done about his dismissal as the ball pitched just outside off and swung back into the left hander and hit middle. It continued Strauss's relatively lean series but on this occasion it was bowling skill rather than a batting error that brought the wicket.
Alastair Cook should have gone in the third over of the day when he edged Mohammad Amir to third slip only for Umar Akmal to drop a regulation catch. Pakistan's fielding improved hugely at The Oval and was a key reason for their victory and this was a worrying return to previous form for the slips.
Amir, who began the Test with five wides down the leg side, wasn't quite at his best and was a touch too wide to make the most of conditions. However, he thought he'd removed Cook caught behind on 9 but the review system proved the ball missed the edge and bat had clipped pad.
Asif was metronomic from the start of his spell and beat Cook with a couple of beautiful deliveries which shaped away late before bringing one back into Strauss with perfect results.
By then the conditions were becoming an issue despite the floodlights coming on, although Jonathan Trott didn't have much trouble opening his account with a sweet clip through midwicket which he followed with a positive off drive. A few moments later the players were off and didn't return.
Both teams were unchanged from The Oval with England using the same XI throughout the series and Pakistan resisting the temptation to rush back Umar Gul following his hamstring injury. Gul's replacement, Wahab Riaz, was an able stand-in with a five-wicket haul on his debut at The Oval.