Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Pakistan win softens damage from brutal low blow

Colin Graves ECB chairman Image Colin Graves said young people were 'just not attracted to cricket'
Betsy Taylor | 28 May, 2018, 15:01

Pakistan completed a convincing nine-wicket victory over England to win the first Test at Lord's with more than a day to spare on Sunday.

Set just 64 for victory on the fourth morning, Pakistan finished on 66 for one before lunch to go 1-0 up in this two-match series.

But, in truth the damage had always been done by a pair of top-order slumps that saw England, so often dominant in early-season home conditions, dismissed for 184 in their first innings before declining to 110 for six second time around.

The second and final test begins Friday at Leeds, with England potentially already needing to rejig its team after rolling over meekly at the home of cricket to extend its winless run in tests to eight matches.

Their efforts at Lord's followed seven winless Tests in Australia and New Zealand where England lost their first five wickets for fewer than 150 runs on six occasions, including an embarrassing 58 all out in Auckland.

In the end, a good night's sleep was all that Pakistan's rampant cricketers needed. "We were outperformed in all three disciplines".

"We chose to do a precautionary X-ray at the end of the day's play. when we got to the hospital the X-ray confirmed that there was a fracture of the forearm, just above the wrist".


Resuming on 50 for one, Azhar and Haris Sohail were untroubled by the England seam attack in the first hour and Azhar played one glorious cover drive for four off Mark Wood as the pair took the total to 87. "They did a great job for us", said the wicket-keeper.

"It was not good enough, if I'm being brutally honest", said Joe Root, England's captain.

Buttler, who closed on 66 not out, shared an unbroken partnership of 125 with debutant Dom Bess.

Stuart Broad made his Test-best 169 against Pakistan at Lord's in 2010 - a match that became known for a spot-fixing "sting" that saw three Pakistan players, including Amir, jailed by an English court and given five-year bans by the International Cricket Council.

But the work of team fielding coach Steve Rixon, the former Australia wicket-keeper, was rewarded when Asad Shafiq held a hard catch at second slip edge after Jos Buttler, recalled as a specialist number seven, edged a drive off Hasan and fell for 14.

A feature of Buttler's fine innings the previous evening was his positive footwork to the seamers, in particular, getting forward and moving across to off-stump to negate the Pakistan bowlers' probing line, but Abbas found some seam movement back into him with the wicket ball to beat his inside edge.

Anderson bowled Azhar in the third over but Sohail didn't hang around, hitting six fours and a six in a 32-ball knock.

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