DateLine: 16th July 2016
By Andy Jalil at Lord's
England under pressure as Pakistan stretch the lead
London – With Chris Woakes’ marvellous bowling, which has brought him five wickets for 31, Pakistan’s second innings was restricted to 214 for eight. Woakes has eleven wickets in the match so far but Pakistan have an overall lead of 281 which is likely to be extended and that must put England under pressure batting fourth.
The confidence that Pakistan would have derived from their victories in the last two Test series against England, both played in the UAE, has been carried in this series or certainly in this first Test. While England inflicted overwhelming wins against Sri Lanka over the last two months they have not been able to make much of an impression on Pakistan who have had the better of the first Test by the end of the third day.
Pakistan’s second innings got off to a shaky start much as their first had done. Stuart Broad had Mohammad Hafeez held at second slip without scoring, with the batsman hanging out his bat for an outside edge. At lunch the tourists were 40 for one but in the first over into the second session, Shan Masood fell to a first slip catch off Woakes. Masood has not had a good Test with scores of 7 and 24 and may well lose his place in the next Test if Pakistan lose here.
Azhar Ali, who was the next to be dismissed has also not been among the runs with scores of 7 and 23, similar to Masood, but he is an experienced and well established batsman with 46 Tests against Masood’s eight. With Azhar lbw to Woakes, Pakistan were 59 for three and a run later the top order collapse was complete with Misbah-ul-Haq departing for naught. He slogged Moeen Ali high to deep mid-wicket where Alex Hales took a fine catch running along the boundary.
The innings was revived considerably by Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan. Shafiq had played a similar role in the first innings when he had put on 148 with Misbah after Pakistan had lost four for 134. This time the innings was in a worse position when he joined Younis on 60 for four. They applied themselves to the task with determination and played cautiously bringing up the 50 of their partnership from 88 balls. At that stage Shafiq had 29 in an hour at the crease and Younis was 19 in just under two very watchful hours.
Younis survived a close lbw appeal on 11, off Steve Finn, when the umpire, after long deliberation, gave him out but on review the ball appeared to be going down the leg side. His cautious innings came to an end on 25 after two-and-a-quarter hours when he attempted to cut a ball from Moeen Ali which was not short enough for the shot and he bottom-edged it on to his stumps. His stand with Shafiq brought 70 in twenty overs at a time when the Pakistan innings urgently needed recovery.
Shafiq was unlucky to miss a half century by just one run when he was beaten by a superb in-swinger from Woakes. The ball just skimmed the inside edge to hit the top of the stumps. His runs had come from 96 balls over two hours and Pakistan were 168 for six at his dismissal. Woakes went on to claim the next two wickets with Sarfraz Ahmed edging behind the stumps after a very valuable 45 and Wahab Riaz also caught behind off his gloves and helmet in the last over of the day.
Earlier, England had lost their last three wickets in a little over half-an-hour after resuming their first innings on 253 for seven on the third morning and trailing by 86 runs. Broad, 11 overnight played back to a ball of full length from Riaz and was bowled for 17. Seven runs later, Yasir Shah added another wicket to the five he had on the previous day, trapping Steve Finn lbw for 5 and taking his tally to six for 68 from 28.2 overs.
In doing so Yasir became the first leg spinner to take six wickets in an innings at Lord’s since 1933. It took his total of wickets to 82, the most by any leg spinner in the first 13 Tests. The England innings was wound up on 272 with the run out of Jake Ball as the striker Woakes attempted a second run to keep the last man away from the bowling. It gave Pakistan a first innings lead of 67. Woakes was unbeaten on 35 in addition to his excellent bowling figures of six for 70 in the Pakistan first innings.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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