Flashpoints: England v Pakistan, second Test – day 1
England’s battery of swing bowlers fired the hosts into a commanding position on day one of the second Test between Pakistan and England at Headingley on Friday June 1, 2018.
It was a day that belonged to England – and the hosts desperately needed things to go their way today. It didn’t start too well in losing the toss, but it proved a blessing in disguise, as James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes picked up three wickets apiece to bundle out Pakistan for 174 in 48.1 overs. It could have been much worse if not for a fighting 56 from 52 deliveries by Shadab Khan, who held fort after Pakistan found themselves at 79-6.
Alastair Cook, who was playing his 154th Test on the bounce, breaking Allan Border’s record for the most consecutive Tests (153), got England off to the perfect start to their innings, scoring 46 before being dismissed on the brink of stumps.
England ended the first day of the second Test on 106-2 from 37 overs, trailing Pakistan by 72 runs. Joe Root remains unbeaten on 29 and has Dominic Bess, the nightwatchman, for company.
Ebbs & Flows: How day 1 unfolded
- Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat. England made three changes to the side that lost the opening Test at Lord’s by nine wickets. Mark Wood made way for Woakes, while Sam Curran was handed a maiden Test cap coming in place of Ben Stokes, who has a tear in his left hamstring. Keaton Jennings was included in place of Mark Stoneman. For Pakistan, Usman Salahuddin got a debut in place of the injured Babar Azam.
- Broad struck early, removing both the Pakistan openers, Imam-ul-Haq (0) and Azhar Ali (2), to reduce the visitors to 17-2 inside ten overs, while Imam, going for an expansive drive outside off, was caught beautifully by Joe Root at third slip. Azhar, meanwhile, was trapped right in front of the stumps with an in-dipper.
- Haris Sohail (28) and Asad Shafiq (27) staged a comeback of sorts, carving a 32-run stand for the fourth wicket, before Woakes removed both in an excellent spell before lunch. Pakistan went into the break at 68-4.
- Anderson and Broad started the second session on a perfect note. Anderson struck first, dismissing Sarfraz Ahmed (14) with an excellent yorker, before Broad had Salahuddin (4) trapped in front with another in-swinger. Anderson then claimed his third scalp of the innings, catching Fahim Ashraf in the crease lbw for a blob as Pakistan slipped to 79/7.
England bowl out Pakistan for 174 and @CurranSM takes his first Test wicket!https://t.co/EqxIVkkUSl pic.twitter.com/8YurVVEbku
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) June 1, 2018
- Khan, like he had in the first Test, revived Pakistan with another half-century – his third in as many Tests. He forged a 34-run stand for the ninth wicket with Mohammad Amir (13), and then added another crucial 43 runs for the tenth wicket with Hassan Ali (24) in quick time. The 19-year old reached his half-century in 48 deliveries before falling to Curran for a 52-ball 56, with Pakistan bowled out for 174 in 48.1 overs.
- The last three wickets added 95 runs, giving Pakistan a ray of hope.
- Cook and Jennings added 53 runs for the opening wicket before the latter was caught behind for 29 off the bowling of Ashraf.
- Cook looked solid during his 46 but was dismissed minutes before the close of play by a Hassan Ali bouncer that he feathered to the wicketkeeper. He added 51 runs for the second wicket with Root.
Moment of the day
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan is quickly proving himself as a reliable all-rounder. Coming in with his side 75-5, which soon became 79-7, he mixed caution with aggression. He saw off the Broad-Anderson threat and then latched onto anything loose. Guiding the lower-order, Khan reached his third half-century in Test cricket in as many Tests, helping his side add a bit of respectability.
Man of the hour
The ball was doing all sorts early in the morning. Stuart Broad was on point all through the innings, making the batsmens’ lives miserable. He picked up three wickets for 38 runs from 15 overs, but on any other day the lanky paceman could have easily finished with seven or eight.
Day to forget – Imam-ul-Haq
Broad got his line spot-on right from the word go, rapping Imam on the pads with just his second ball of the innings. The umpire had no hesitation in raising his finger, but the batsman was saved on review with the ball-tracker suggesting otherwise, much to Imam’s delight. His joy, however, was short-lived, with Broad baiting him into an expansive drive off the last ball of the same over, which caught the outside edge before being neatly taken by Root at third slip.
Pakistan got the key wicket of Cook minutes before the close of play, which offered a glimmer of hope, as he had looked in full control out there. The surface has already shown signs of easing up, which can only mean batting getting easier as the game progresses.
For England, Root becomes the key component. The captain has certainly not been out of form, but the three-figure mark has eluded him for a while now. He has got a start again here, and will be keen to carry on for as long as possible tomorrow. With rain forecast for Sunday, the hosts will be hoping to bat once and bat big.