Pakistan established a strong position for themselves after the first Test at the Old Trafford on Thursday when England’s batting order saw an early collapse. Ben Stokes, lost his wicket going for a foolish duck after Shan Masood scored a brilliant century for the team. On the England vs Pakistan First Test, Pakistan had posted a 326 in their first innings, featuring opener Masood’s Test-best 156. England was 92/4 at stumps and still 234 runs behind with no high order batsmen left on the second day.
Shaheen Afridi, the Pakistan left-arm bowler had Rory Burns lbw in just four balls before Mohammad Abbas was struck twice back to back. Dom Sibley was lbw just before Abbas bowled out Stokes, clipping the top of the stumps.
Apart from Pakistan’s reserve players who cheered from the hotel balconies compensating for the absence of the spectators as the series was taking place behind the close doors.
Joe Root, Captain of the host team managed to keep Pakistan at a safe distance with a stand of 50 along with the partnership with Pope. however, Yasir Shah, the leg-spinner had Root while he was struggling 14 off 58 balls and was caught by Mohammad Rizwan, the wicketkeeper when he edged an intended cut.
Masood scores century
England started a new day when James Anderson had Babar Azam who slipped Root for 69 without Pakistan adding their overnight 139. However, Masood pressed on and joined the team of batsmen from Pakistan who scored consecutive centuries in three Test innings.
The 30-year-old batsman batted for eight hours in a pitch that is considered to be bowler-friendly and surpassed his previous Test-best record of 135 against Sri Lanka in Karachi, in December. The left-handed batsman received support from his partner Shadeb Khan (45) in the sixth-wicket stand of 105 as England was run ragged when Pakistan struggled at 176/5.
Pakistan posted 187/5 at lunch and added just 48 runs for the loss of three wickets, on Thursday’s first session, England vs Pakistan First Test. Five overs were left for the new ball when Root bowled his off-breaks in tandem with the spinner Dom Bess after the interval.
Masood and Shahdeb added 27 runs by the time England took the new ball. Previously Masood had been deprived twice on 45 by Buttler on Wednesday after the catch was dropped and a stump was missed off Bess.
After two late-cut boundaries, Masood completed a 251-ball century which included 13 fours. It was his fourth hundred in his 21st Test and was the first against England. The century took place third in a row after the one against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in February.
After Zaheer Abbas, Mudassar Nazar, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s current batting coach, Masood is the sixth Pakistan batsman to score a century in three consecutive matches.
Shadab, the Pakistan all-rounder holed out off Bess with the mistimed slog to mid-on after which the Barbados-born player Jofra Archer took two back to back wickets with successive deliveries before Afridi survived the shot.
Masood upped the tempo by driving Bess for two sixes and eventually fell lbw to Broad, after facing 319 balls, hitting 18 fours and 2 sixes. England’s attack was led by Broad from 22.3 overs with 54/3 while Jofra took three wickets.