Pakistan grind down England to maintain control

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Pakistan made steady progress against a disciplined but uninspired England attack at Lord’s on day two of the first Test.

The tourists established a 166 run first innings lead ending the day on 350 for 8 on the back of some hard work put in by the middle order.

Pakistan’s innings showed all the application England lacked on day one though there seemed to be less on offer for the seamers.

England had to wait an hour for the first wicket of the day as Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail added 37 to the overnight total.

Mark Wood would provide the spark that England desperately needed when he got Sohail (39) to nick off to a full swinging delivery after working him over with short stuff.

Azhar (50) fell shortly after reaching his half century trapped lbw by Jimmy Anderson but England couldn’t find another before lunch as Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam settled in.

The pair would add 4 for the fourth wicket as the tourists began to move the game forward meaningfully but Ben Stokes removed Asad (59) and Sarfaraz (9) suffered a rush of blood to the head against the same bowler to leave Pakistan 227 for 5 at tea.

Though England would see the back of Babar (68) due to injury, he may yet bat again after being struck on the forearm by a Stokes (3/73) bouncer, Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf (37) renewed their budding partnership as the allrounders shared a 72 run stand to stretch Pakistan’s lead.

Anderson (3/82) bowled Faheem to expose the tail in the form of Mohammad Amir but the quick would still be there at stumps though Shadab (52) departed after yet another well played fifty in what is turning into a watershed tour for the young man.

Amir (19*) would have number 11 Mohammad Abbas (0*) for company at stumps with a decision to be made on Saturday regarding whether Babar will bat again.