Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Amir removes England cornerstone Cook in first Test

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has been fined 60 per cent of his match fee Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has been fined 60 per cent of his match fee
Jan Ortega | 27 May, 2018, 14:54

As England succumbed to yet another batting collapse, Root was quietly compiling an encouraging innings.

On the second day, Pakistan patiently advanced to 350 for eight against a toothless England attack to take control of the first Test.

Buttler and Bess, however, kept Pakistan at bay with Bess - whose first-class debut, against Pakistan, was just two years ago - driving Hasan Ali for four to give England the lead.

Buttler, playing his first Test match in 18 months, and Bess, playing his first Test match, came to the crease with their side still more than 50 runs adrift of Pakistan.

Pakistan were dismissed for 363 in reply to England's first innings 184, a lead of 179 runs, on the third day of the first Test at Lord's on Saturday.

Pakistan were soon in the wickets with Cook looking on as the other three members of England's top four all fell in single figures. It was Buttler's stunning form in the Indian Premier League which earned him a recall to the Test team; he scored five straight fifties for Rajasthan Royals at a strike-rate of over 150.

"With Dom Bess, it was like Joe Root walked back out, with his back foot punches and cover drives, " Buttler added.

Pakistan is still the big favourite to go 1-0 ahead in the two-test series, but the tourists at least will have to work for the victory. "He's got a great character and he really showed that".

After a miserable winter in Australia and New Zealand, England had a day to forget as they kicked off a new global season against Pakistan at Lord's.

Mohammad Amir was left stranded on 24 not out.

But he was forced to retire hurt before the close after being struck a painful blow by England pace bowling all-rounder Ben Stokes.

England's second innings started badly, with Alastair Cook, top-scorer in the first innings with 70, trapped lbw by seamer Mohammad Abbas for 1. Checks revealed a fracture and he was ruled out of the remainder of this test and for the second and final test in Leeds. Just before lunch, left-hander Mark Stoneman (9) rocked back to a delivery from legspinner Shadab Khan, only for the ball to keep low and spin into the stumps.

Two balls later, Bairstow fell for a duck when left-arm quick Amir produced a superb delivery that cut back to clip the top of off stump.

Azhar completed a patient 133-ball fifty but was still on 50 when lbw to James Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker. It was Ed Smith's first team as England's selector and he surely threw up a few surprises.

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