Monday, 15 October, 2018

1st Test: Pakistan crush sorry England by nine wickets at Lord's

Joe Root has denied the spot fixing allegations Joe Root has denied the spot fixing allegations
Eugene Bates | 28 May, 2018, 15:05

Controlling all six sessions of the Test, Pakistan are now the strong favourites to triumph and take a 1-0 lead in this two-match series.

It would be England's only wicket as Pakistan knocked off the required runs easily - Haris Sohail (39no) taking a particular liking to Bess' bowling, with the Somerset off-spinner plundered for 29 runs in 3.4 overs - to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.

Jos Buttler and Dom Bess shared a spirited century stand to save England from a humiliating innings defeat by Pakistan in the first Test at Lord's on Saturday.

England were bowled out for 184 on the first day after Root won the toss and never recovered as they suffered their first defeat in a May test at the home of cricket following series losses in Australia and New Zealand.

On the second day, Pakistan patiently advanced to 350 for eight against a toothless England attack to take control of the first Test.

Buttler, recalled to the side, and debutant Bess calmly added 125 in the evening sunshine to take England to 235 for six and a narrow lead of 56 runs.

Stoneman and Alastair Cook are, statistically, England's worst opening partnership, the duo averaging just 18.75 for the first wicket - the lowest average of any of the 16 England opening pairs that have batted together on at least 20 occasions.

Pakistani skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has been fined 60 per cent of his match fee, while the rest of the team have received 30 per cent fines.

"But ultimately we have just got to be better", he said after the match. In the post-match press conference, Root, while emphasising the "opportunity" the next Test offers his team, seemed as frustrated as anyone by England's shortcomings.

"Not good enough, if I'm being brutally honest", said England captain Root at the presentation ceremony. 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.

In a reversal of the expected order of things, England were disastrous in the field in this Test, chances missed and catches put down with the sort of tragicomic regularity usually so championed by Pakistan - as it was their opponents could scarcely have looked sharper.

Buttler, though, was out in the second over of the day, having added just one run to his overnight score.

Mark Wood hit one four before he nicked Mohammad Amir, bowling with the second new ball, to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

The innings ended when Amir knocked over Bess's off-stump.

Fortunately for Imam-ul-Haq, the pain was worth it as his side coasted to a comprehensive win against England, with the host's last four wickets tumbling in 27 minutes.

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