Riding on Shan Masood ton, Babr Azam’s support in the middle order and fiery Pakistani bowling attack helped the visitors to end the Day II of the first Test match against the hosts England at Old Trafford, Manchester on a high note on Thursday.
After scoring 326 in their first innings, the bowlers did well to run through the English top order to leave them in a spot of bother at 92/4. England trail Pakistan by 234 runs at Stumps.
Resuming the day at 139/2, led by Shan Masood’s finely crafted 156, Pakistan posted a competitive total of 326 all out in their first innings. Masood’s career-best of 156 which also happens to be his third century in three consecutive innings, gave the Pakistan innings an extra boost to go past the 300 mark in the first innings.
At the end of Day 2, Pakistan will be the happier side going into the dressing room, as their bowlers were all over the English batting line up right from the moment the English innings started.
The Pakistani pace attack was on a full assault with the new ball, as Shaheen Afridi trapped one of the English openers Rory Burns (4) plum in front of the wicket in the very first over. One English opener followed another, as Dom Sibley (8) was also trapped right in front by Mohammad Abbas, before he bowled a magical delivery, that nipped away off the pitch, to clip the off-stump of the mighty Ben Stokes, dismissing him for a duck.
Although leg spinner Yasir Shah did show some loose effort occasionally, he bowled a brilliant delivery to dismiss the opposition skipper Joe Root. The ball turned away from him after pitching, taking an outside edge straight into the gloves of the wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, which gave Pakistan that extra edge in the contest.
With Pakistan getting the early breakthroughs, the English middle order has a big responsibility on their shoulder now. Ollie Pop (46) and Jos Buttler (15) has shown some promise with a gutsy display of Test Match batting as they steadied the English innings after the early damage.
They will be the key for England going into Day 3, and with both Stokes and Root back in the pavilion, these two will have to produce something special to get around the Pakistani total.
It will be a test of skills as well as temperament for both the English batsmen going into Day 3, as the Pakistani bowlers will be all pumped up, running in hard and fast looking for a few more early scalps.
SCORECARD : DAY 2
PAKISTAN 1ST INNINGS
Shan Masood lbw b Broad 156
Abid Ali b Archer 16
Azhar Ali lbw b Woakes 0
Babar Azam c Root b Anderson 69
Asad Shafiq c Stokes b Broad 7
Mohammad Rizwan c †Buttler b Woakes 9
Shadab Khan c Root b Bess 45
Yasir Shah lbw b Archer 5
Mohammad Abbas c Root b Archer 0
Shaheen Shah Afridi not out 9
Naseem Shah c †Buttler b Broad 0
Extras (b 1, lb 7, nb 2) 10
TOTAL (109.3 Ov, RR: 2.97) 326
Fall of wickets: 1-36 (Abid Ali, 15.1 ov), 2-43 (Azhar Ali, 18.1 ov), 3-139 (Babar Azam, 49.6 ov), 4-150 (Asad Shafiq, 56.5 ov), 5-176 (Mohammad Rizwan, 70.1 ov), 6-281 (Shadab Khan, 95.3 ov), 7-291 (Yasir Shah, 102.2 ov), 8-291 (Mohammad Abbas, 102.3 ov), 9-317 (Shan Masood, 107.1 ov), 10-326 (Naseem Shah, 109.3 ov)
BOWLING O M R W
JM Anderson 19 6 63 1
SCJ Broad 22.3 9 54 3
CR Woakes 20 6 43 2
JC Archer 22 4 59 3
DM Bess 20 4 74 1
JE Root 6 0 25 0
ENGLAND 1ST INNINGS
RJ Burns lbw b Shaheen Shah Afridi 4
DP Sibley lbw b Mohammad Abbas 8
JE Root c† Rizwan b Yasir Shah 14
BA Stokes b Mohammad Abbas 0
OJ Pope not out 46
JC Buttler not out 15
Extras (lb 2, nb 3) 5
TOTAL (28 Ov, RR: 3.28) 92/4
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Rory Burns, 0.4 ov), 2-12 (Dom Sibley, 3.2 ov), 3-12 (Ben Stokes, 5.3 ov), 4-62 (Joe Root, 19.5 ov)
BOWLING O M R W
Shaheen Shah Afridi 9 4 12 1
Mohammad Abbas 7 0 24 2
Naseem Shah 5 2 18 0
Yasir Shah 7 0 36 1