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Inspired Pakistan on top in opening Test

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6th August, 2020
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Pakistan are well on top in the second day of the first Test at Old Trafford, reducing England to 4-92 in response to their first innings score of 326.

Pakistan have dominated an absorbing second day of the opening Test against England – securing a lead of 234 at Old Trafford.

After Shan Masood’s superb 156 in his side’s total of 326, the Pakistan bowlers blitzed England’s top order to have the hosts reeling at 3-12 before Ollie Pope (46 not out) helped steady his side.

Much will likely depend on the current partnership of Pope and Jos Buttler (15 not out) who must engineer a rebuilding job as the last recognised batsmen.

With Chris Woakes set to come in at number seven, it is a long tail for the hosts and early Pakistan wickets on the third morning could see them finish well behind the tourists’ first-innings total.

Pakistan’s seam attack was highlighted as a danger prior to the series and their first skirmish with the England batsmen ended in their favour.

Shaheen Afridi trapped Rory Burns (4) lbw, before Mohammed Abbas (2-24) did likewise to Dom Sibley (8), and then claimed the prize wicket of Ben Stokes for a duck, with a beautiful delivery that clipped the top of his off-stump.

Captain Joe Root (14) was subdued and then out, edging leg-spinner Yasir Shah to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

Pakistan resumed the second day on 2-139, but added only 48 runs in the morning session at a paltry rate of 1.85 per over, also losing key batsman Babar Azam (69), Asad Shafiq (7) and Rizwan (9).

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But for the first hour after lunch, they upped the tempo considerably as Shan and Shadab Khan (45) punished England’s limp attack, adding 105 runs in little more than 25 overs for the sixth wicket.

Shan batted for 319 deliveries to anchor the innings before he was trapped in front of the stumps by Stuart Broad (3-54).

Pakistan’s long tail was wrapped up with Jofra Archer (3-59) contributing to their demise.