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Riaz treble sparks England collapse

cricket Updated: Aug 18, 2010 21:32 IST
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Pakistan debutant Wahab Riaz took three wickets as England slumped to 70 for five at lunch on the first day of the third Test at The Oval London on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old left-arm quick already had two wickets when, shortly before lunch, he had Kevin Pietersen caught behind after the star batsman had made just six in more than an hour at the crease.

It was a fine delivery that nipped off the seam and induced an edge despite Pietersen shaping to leave the ball.

At lunch, Riaz had taken three wickets for 16 runs in seven overs.

Eoin Morgan was 17 not out and Matt Prior unbeaten on nought.

England, 2-0 up in the four-match series, saw captain Andrew Strauss win the toss but then lost several top-order batsmen on a placid pitch with overhead conditions offering some, but far from excessive, assistance for swing bowlers.

Mohammad Asif made the initial breakthrough.

Alastair Cook's run of low scores continued with the left-handed opener making just six, including an edged four down to third man.

Cook, off the last ball of the second over, nicked Asif through to recalled wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal as the ball held its line.

The Essex batsman, displaying minimal footwoork, had been retained in a show of faith by the selectors in an unchanged England side.

But this failure meant he'd scored just 41 runs in five innings this series at an average of 11.75.

Riaz, on as first change, saw his fourth ball driven straight down the ground for four by Strauss and his sixth clipped for a legside boundary by the England captain.

However, with his ninth delivery, he had Strauss (15) caught behind, although it needed a referral to confirm the dismissal after New Zealand umpire Tony Hill had ruled in the batsman's favour, despite replays showing Strauss had got a thick outside edge.

Nevertheless, Strauss's exit meant England were 35 for two.