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Joe Root, Alastair Cook Shine as England Hold Strong Spot in 2nd Test against Pakistan

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Joe Root, Alastair Cook Shine as England Hold Strong Spot in 2nd Test against Pakistan

July 25
17:45 2016

pakNew Delhi, Monday, July 25 – England and Pakistan are playing in a crucial match in Old Trafford in Manchester. England squad is led by Alastair Cook, while those in team are Joe Root, James Vince, Alex Hales, Gary Ballance, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Chris Woakes. Steven Finn, Jake Ball and Adil Rashid are the players to sit on bench and get hopeful for getting a spot in the team in the third Test.

Pakistan Playing XI includes Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali and Mohammad Hafeez. The players in extras are Sami Aslam,  Mohammad Rizwan, Zulfiqar Babar, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed. The 2nd Test began on Friday, July 22 and has entered into the fourth day. The chances during previous three days were well capitalized by the English team, who are behind in the series after facing defeat in the first Test by 75 runs.

They certainly did not like to get a back seat this time and that is why some incredible innings were put forward by a few England players after Cook won the toss and decided to bat first. When first wicket fell in the form of Alex Hales by Amir at a score of 10 (4 x 2), it seemed as if Pakistan will once again gain an early grip. But the thought was even no longer in picture when Alastair Cook and Joe Root stitched a 185-run partnership. Such a wonderful second-wicket stand helped the host put best foot forward. Amir dismissed England captain at a score of 105 runs, together with 15 boundaries.

James Vince was quick in hitting shots as 18 runs included four 4s. Rahat Ali did not let him settle. Gary Ballance succumbed to Rahat Ali when playing at an individual score of 23 (4 x 3). Chris Woakes played an attention- fetching knock of 58 runs in 104 balls, along with eight 4s and a six. However, a quick response by Yasir Shah to take a catch post bowling a delivery made him go back to the dressing room. Ben Stokes was dismissed by Riaz at 34 runs (4 x 5). Root’s blitz was brought to an end by Riaz post scoring humongous 254 runs in 406 deliveries. His knock was studded with 27 runs.

Jonny Bairstow hit seven shots to get 58 runs in 81 deliveries prior giving his wicket to Riaz. Moeen Ali was not out at 2 runs. Pakistan skipper tried six bowling options. Riaz got three wickets, Amir and Rahat Ali earned a couple of wickets, while Shah dismissed one batsman. Azhar Ali and Masood did not get any wicket. 589 runs for the loss of eight wickets were enough to declare the innings. England wanted an early wicket, which was given by Woakes, who dismissed Mohammad Hafeez at a score of 18 (4 x 3). Next three wickets fell in speed as Azhar Ali and Rahat Ali were out by Woakes at 1 run and 4 runs, respectively, and Younis Khan by Stokes at a single. The opener Shan Masood was next to depart after making a mistake to judge a delivery by Anderson. He scored 39 runs in 84 balls, comprising five 4s.

Expectations were now up again from Pak skipper Misbah-ul-Haq. He did well too but did not get ideal support on the crease by others. Broad dismissed Asad Shafiq at 4 runs. After a few overs, Sarfraz Ahmed was out by Stokes. Despite the stint was short as 26 runs were scored in 18 balls, five boundaries were struck by the wicket-keeper batsman. Woakes sent Yasir Shah to the pavilion, giving another jolt to England. Moeen Ali took wicket to Misbah-ul-Haq when he was playing at 52 runs. His innings included four 4s.  The grip was almost lost but Wahab Riaz added to some interest before being dismissed by Ali.

The tail-ender batsman scored 39 runs in 61 balls with the help of five boundaries and a six, aside from taking singles and twos. Mohammad Amir was not out at 9 runs (4 x 1). Cook went with a five-man attack that worked for England as Pakistan first innings ended at a score of 198. While batting for a second time, England scored 98 runs for the loss of one wicket.  Alex Hales has been dismissed by Amir post scoring 24 runs.  Cook is just away from pocketing a fifty. Joe Root will resume batting at 23 runs. Today’s play will take curtains off a lot of facts. If Pakistan eye a win, more than hundred percent efforts is to be poured.

Unquestionably, Pakistan cricket team has some talented players but England are certainly having a grip in this play. Cook-led side made the fans cheer by performing wonderfully. It will be interesting to notice whether Pakistan bounce back when the host makes sure not to leave any stone unturned to level series and mark a comeback post being defeated in the first Test match series. As a matter of fact, problem is for the visiting squad. England look forward to win as not get off track as they did earlier. Play on Monday is imperative in several senses and that will decide whether the match ends in a draw or have a clear winner in the last part.

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