Lord's Test: Buttler, Bess thwart Pakistan's victory bid over England

27 May, 2018, 14:55 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • BETTER AND BETTER Mohammad Abbas believes he can raise his wicket-taking potential by working harder and is aiming to outdo his performance at Lord’s by guiding team to victory at Headingley as well

But at least Buttler, who finished on 66 not out, and Bess (55 not out) justified their selections and gave their team a bit of confidence ahead of a potentially even more hard five-Test series against top-ranked India.

Pakistan remain firmly in the driving seat going into Day 4 however, as England still only lead by 56 runs.

The hosts' hopes of launching a valiant comeback were dented as Cook and Stoneman fell cheaply before lunch - Stoneman yet to pass 30 in nine innings for club or country this summer - and then seemingly all-but eradicated after the break as they shipped four wickets for 19 runs.

Cook, in his 153rd consecutive Test, which equalled Australia great Allan Border's all-time record for successive appearances at this level, revived England with a fine 70.

Mohammad Amir was left stranded on 24 not out.

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Pakistan resumed on Friday with Azhar 18 not out and Haris Sohail 21 not out.

Root, promoted up the order to number three, also fell for four when he drove at a wide ball from Hasan and edged behind to opposing captain Sarfraz Ahmed.

Cook and Jonny Bairstow dug in with a partnership of 57 before Bairstow was bowled for 27 by Faheem Ashraf.

As England succumbed to yet another batting collapse, Root was quietly compiling an encouraging innings.

After a winter when they surrendered the Ashes and lost in New Zealand, England would have expected to feel more comfortable on home soil, where they have lost only one series in the previous five years.

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Stokes, playing his first match in England since the incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September, looked to have no trouble adjusting after a stint in the Indian Premier League but, like Bairstow, was dismissed out of the blue when Abbas pinned him leg before for 38.

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.

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.

The pair had put on 125 by the close of play and realistically need to bat for at least another full session to concern the tourists, who will still expect to win the match and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

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