England v Pakistan – Shan Masood And Pacers Star
On day two of the first Test between England and Pakistan, it was Pakistani opener Shan Masood who took control of proceedings, on an uncharacteristically sunny in at Old Trafford.
Masood walked out to the middle with his not out overnight partner Babar Azam. However, James Anderson hit his straps in the first over of the day to dismiss the dangerous Azam without adding to his overnight score of 69.
Both Asad Shafiq and Mohammad Rizwan came and went to put Joe Root’s side in the driving seat with Pakistan struggling at 176-5. It took an enterprising 45 from Shadab Khan to steady to visitors ship. He and Shan Masood put on over 100 before Khan fell to Dom Bess.
As Masood passed his personal century he began to accelerate while batting with the tail. Hitting numerous sixes and fours as he switched gears from his previous watchful self. Dominic Bess, especially, wearing the brunt of the attack. Jofra Archer dismissed Yasir Shah and Mohammad Abbas in consecutive deliveries to leave 291-8, eventually bowled out for 326 after Masood fell LBW to Stuart Broad for a magnificent 156.
Pakistani Pacers Hit The Ground Running
Now with the ball in hand Pakistan were exceptional from the off. Shaheen Afridi saw the back of Rory Burns in England’s first over before Abbas had Dom Sibley plumb LBW shortly after. Abbas bowled superbly. He was accurate and moved the ball both ways off the seam.
When Joe Root and main man Ben Stokes came and went the hosts looked in deep trouble at 62-4. It took an impressive and considering the situation, free-flowing, knock from Ollie Pope to steer his side away from immediate danger.
Pope and Jos Buttler, who had a torrid day with the keeping gloves, will return in the morning on 46 and 15 respectively and with England teetering at 92-4. With the ball spinning and with some all-round impressive bowling on show, England’s batsmen have a big day in tricky conditions tomorrow.
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Still trailing by 234 and with only the all-rounders left to come of any note, Pope and Buttler will know it is up to them to get England close to Pakistan’s first innings total. Pakistan will be hoping for a sizeable lead. However, they know they will have to be patient. England’s lower-order have proved difficult to dislodge at times.
England vs Pakistan turned out to be a classic today and Shan Masood was the star of the show. Can Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler counter punch for England?
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