Ruthless England turn the screw on Pakistan

Tuesday, 26 July 2016 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: England moved relentlessly towards a series-levelling victory over Pakistan on a rain-disrupted third day of the second test in Manchester on Sunday.

The hosts bowled out the Pakistanis for 198 before declining to enforce the follow-on, ending the day on 98 for one to lead by a commanding 489 runs with two days remaining at Old Trafford.

The touring side, replying to England’s 589 for eight declared, resumed on 57 for four and James Anderson soon had Shan Masood caught at second slip by Joe Root for 39.

Rain forced the players off the field for about an hour and when they returned Asad Shafiq, on four, drove loosely at a wide ball from Stuart Broad and Alex Hales took a simple catch at point.

Sarfraz Ahmed showed some attacking intent and hit five boundaries in his 26 before nicking Ben Stokes to Root at an overcast Old Trafford.

MF-05England’s Chris Woakes celebrates the wicket of Pakistan’s Yasir Shah – Reuters

Root, who scored a test-best 254 on Saturday, pouched his fourth slip catch just before the interval, Yasir Shah, on one, becoming Chris Woakes’s fourth victim of the innings.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Wahab Riaz defiantly added 60 for the ninth wicket before Misbah was caught by Alastair Cook at short fine leg off Moeen Ali for 52 and Riaz was last man out for 39.

England led by 391 runs but Cook surprisingly decided not to make Pakistan bat again, preferring to give his bowlers a rest.

Cook and Hales added 11 runs before rain halted play again and when the players returned Hales was caught by wicketkeeper Ahmed off Mohammad Amir for 24, another failure for the under-pressure opening batsman.

But Root returned to the middle to join his captain and the pair took England through to the close without further loss, Cook finishing on 49 not out with Root on 23.

Pakistan won the first match in the four-test series by 75 runs at Lord’s.