Ruthless England turn the screw on Pakistan

(Reuters) – England moved relentlessly towards a series-levelling victory over Pakistan on a rain-disrupted third day of the second test in Manchester yesterday.

The hosts bowled out the Pakistanis for 198 before declining to enforce the follow-on, ending the day on 98 for one to lead by a commanding 489 runs with two days remaining at Old Trafford.

The touring side, replying to England’s 589 for eight declared, resumed on 57 for four and James Anderson soon had Shan Masood caught at second slip by Joe Root for 39.

Misbah-ul-Haq
Misbah-ul-Haq

Rain forced the players off the field for about an hour and when they returned Asad Shafiq, on four, drove loosely at a wide ball from Stuart Broad and Alex Hales took a simple catch at point.

Sarfraz Ahmed showed some attacking intent and hit five boundaries in his 26 before nicking Ben Stokes to Root at an overcast Old Trafford.

Root, who scored a test-best 254 on Saturday, pouched his fourth slip catch just before the interval, Yasir Shah, on one, becoming Chris Woakes’s fourth victim of the innings.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Wahab Riaz defiantly added 60 for the ninth wicket before Misbah was caught by Alastair Cook at short fine leg off Moeen Ali for 52 and Riaz was last man out for 39.

England led by 391 runs but Cook surprisingly decided not to make Pakistan bat again, preferring to give his bowlers a rest.

Cook and Hales added 11 runs before rain halted play again and when the players returned Hales was caught by wicketkeeper Ahmed off Mohammad Amir for 24, another failure for the under-pressure opening batsman.

But Root returned to the middle to join his captain and the pair took England through to the close without further loss, Cook finishing on 49 not out with Root on 23.

Pakistan won the first match in the four-test series by 75 runs at Lord’s.

Scoreboard

England 1st innings 589 for 8 decl (J. Root 254, A. Cook 105, C. Woakes 58, J. Bairstow 58)
Pakistan 1st innings (Overnight: 57-4)
M. Hafeez c Root b Woakes                  18
S. Masood c Root b Anderson              39
Az. Ali c&b Woakes                        1
Y. Khan c Bairstow b Stokes                  1
R. Ali c Ballance b Woakes                     4
Misbah-ul-Haq c Cook b Ali                  52
A. Shafiq c Hales b Broad                        4
S. Ahmed c Root b Stokes                     26
Y. Shah c Root b Woakes                         1
W. Riaz c Hales b Ali                              39
M. Amir not out                                       9
Extras (lb-2 nb-2)                                   4
Total (all out, 63.4 overs)                  198
Fall of wickets: 1-27 M. Hafeez,2-43 Az. Ali,3-48 Y. Khan,4-53 R. Ali,5-71 S. Masood,6-76 A. Shafiq,7-112 S. Ahmed,8-119 Y. Shah,9-179 Misbah-ul-Haq,10-198 W. Riaz
Bowling J. Anderson 13 – 5 – 27 – 1 S. Broad 12 – 5 – 20 – 1(nb-1) M. Ali 7.4 – 0 – 43 – 2(nb-1) C. Woakes 16 – 1 – 67 – 4 B. Stokes 15 – 1 – 39 – 2

England 2nd innings
A. Cook not out                                         49
A. Hales c S. Ahmed b Amir                   24
J. Root not out                                         23
Extras (lb-2)                                              2
Total (for 1 wickets, 21 overs)              98
Fall of wickets: 1-68 A. Hales To bat: J. Vince, G. Ballance, B. Stokes, J. Bairstow, M. Ali, C. Woakes, S. Broad, J. Anderson Bowling M. Amir 10 – 2 – 36 – 1 R. Ali 5 – 0 – 26 – 0 Y. Shah 6 – 0 – 34 – 0 Referees Umpire: Kumar Dharmasena Umpire: Rod Tucker TV umpire: Joel Wilson Match referee: Richie Richardson

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