Normal service was resumed as England defeated Pakistan by an innings and 55 runs to share the series at 1-1. England’s opening bowlers were more skilful than Pakistan’s, as they should be in their home conditions, while England’s batting was decisively deeper.
Thus the main question arising from this too-brief series is why England’s service at Lord’s was so abnormal, and the primary answer must be that they were collectively short of red-ball match-practice, while Pakistan were far more adjusted to local conditions because of their Test in Ireland.
Hence it is clever copying by the ECB to arrange a four-day Test against Ireland next summer before the Ashes and straight after the World Cup, so England do not go into another home series so ring-rusty.
After this three-day victory, the allround feats of Dom Bess, the promising debut of Sam Curran, the batting of Jos Buttler that won him the man of the match award and the return of Keaton Jennings, England’s Test cupboard appears less bare than it did last winter.
Bess did his best work as a nightwatchman taking the shine off the ball, and not too much should be read into his three wickets as Pakistan threw the bat, but his natural sparkiness did much to revive England’s spirits after Lord’s. Bess’s predecessor as England’s offspinner, Moeen Ali, would have been quieter if more serene.
Immediately the heat comes off Trevor Bayliss because, apart from the absence of an individual century, England did all the basics right, instead of wrong, as at Lord’s. Moreover, before entering their next Test series against India, England have their one-day series against Australia and India, and the 50-over format is the one in which Bayliss’s team have excelled.
Working through Pakistan’s second innings was little more than a formality after Buttler had extended England’s overnight lead from 128 to 189 with not his highest but his most brilliant Test innings to date – the one that has come closest to his white-ball batting.
Buttler made the most of all the softening-up done by Alastair Cook, whose footwork has seldom looked in better order, and Bess, who went on to embellish his nightwatchmanship with a flying left-handed catch as well as his three wickets.
Buttler’s hour of swashbuckling batting, in which he added 46 to his overnight score, had more than faint echoes of Ted Dexter’s 70 against West Indies at Lord’s in 1963. Dexter’s status was that of an amateur, not professional, and Buttler is similar in that he is not playing Test cricket for the money: he has sufficient means, not inherited but earned in T20 franchises around the world, to bring a less inhibited approach to batting, like that of an amateur in times past or an allrounder now.
Trevor Bayliss was advocating Buttler’s selection as a specialist Test batsman two years ago, so it would be incorrect to say that his IPL form alone earned him a place, but whacking white balls out of Indian grounds must have helped Buttler to play such brilliant strokes as he ran out of partners.
Smiting the red ball over the sightscreen, and the gantry for tv cameras, and into the rugby ground is not what Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings, or Mark Stoneman, have been able to do in England in early season.
Buttler’s read the game clearly – not as a specialist batsman in his fifth Test so much as one who had experienced 15 Tests as a wicketkeeper – and divided his innings into three stages. Firstly he attacked the wristspinner Shadab Khan, hitting him for three fours in an over, although he was dropped in the process by Hasan Ali at midwicket when Buttler had scored only four and England’s lead was modest not match-winning.
Secondly Buttler reined himself in to bat through until stumps on the second evening, shepherding Chris Woakes and Sam Curran. Buttler’s defence was that of a Test batsman as he moved across the crease to get his pads outside the line of offstump and guard against the ball jagging back. No need for Buttler to be branded as a hitter at number seven when he has a batsman’s technique.
Thirdly, once Curran had gone, finishing with 20 garnished by several fine fours on his 20th birthday, Buttler unleashed. He top-edged a hook for six as well as his straight-driven one, and crunched cover-drives that provoked admiration from the crowd, though Buttler is a southerner playing for Lancashire.
Pakistan attempted more aggression in their second innings but did not have the right personnel to do it: the belligerent Fakhar Ahmed was in their squad but not their team.
The tourists had two batsmen who could have made a decisive score, but Azhar Ali tried an appalling shot for a former Test captain when trying to whip a straight half-volley through square-leg, while Asad Shafiq faintly gloved just about the most innocuous delivery bowled by England’s most threatening bowler in this match, Stuart Broad.
England were handicapped by Chris Woakes leaving the field with “tightness to his right quad” but assisted by the ever more slap-happy approach of Pakistan’s lower order. Bess was chief beneficiary when picking up Usman Salahuddin at mid-on and Faheem Ashraf, off no mean hoick, at point. Nevertheless, Pakistan came at Bess, as India will, and he held his nerve after three low full tosses in his first over from the pavilion end.
The overall result of the series, however, was more laudable for the visitors – given their inexperienced batting – than for the hosts. Pakistan played a perfect game at Lord’s while England disintegrated, whereas at Headingley England played a solid one – their slip-catching much improved – as Pakistan disintegrated. If the score was even, the honours were not.
WICKET! Abbas c Root b Broad 1 – PAKISTAN ALL OUT FOR 134, ENGLAND WIN BY AN INNINGS AND 55 RUNS
Abbas beats short leg for a single. One for Amir too. Broad smelling the end.
There it is! High one, squares up Abbas and Root takes it at third slip. England win convincingly, no doubt about that.
OVER 45: PAK 132/9 (Abbas 0* Amir 6*)
Very nice from Amir. Sits up for him and he crashes that past mid-on to the rope. Four byes follow, the ball lurching out of a foothole and beating everybody.
OVER 44: PAK 124/9 (Abbas 0* Amir 2*)
The word on Woakes by the way is that he has a tight right quad. So no more action for him today.
England’s lead, which I’ve barely mentioned given it’s not been very relevant, is still 65.
Wicket maiden for Broad.
WICKET! Hasan c Cook b Broad 9
Edged and gone! Hasan to first slip, Cook moving to his left. England one away. This has been a comprehensive job today. FOW 124/9
OVER 42: PAK 123/8 (Hasan 8* Amir 2*)
England lbw appeal, Bairstow adamant Hasan hasn’t hit a delivery from Broad… missing the wicket. One review left for England. Ali gets a single.
OVER 41: PAK 122/8 (Hasan 7* Amir 2*)
Hasan! Wonderful. First ball, a six into the crowd! No one at cow corner and he’s hit that delightfully well.
Jennings get absolutely cracked at short leg. Ouch. Helmet’s off, he looks a bit dazed. Getting a concussion test but he looks worried about his right hand. The grill has led to a bit of blood on his nose.
Not much he could have done, ducked right down. He’s coming off for some treatment. Good round of applause and Jonny Tattersall, the fourth man is on. Cook going to square leg.
WICKET! Salahuddin c Root b Bess 34
Bess back at the Football Stand End. He’s moved around a fair bit over the last hour. Fuller ball hit for a single by Amir.
Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Salahuddin, who’s been so patient, just loses concentration and clubs one down the throat of Root at mid-on. Tell the fat lady to warm up. FOW 115/8
OVER 40: PAK 114/7 (Salahuddin 33* Amir 1*)
Back comes Broad, and Amir gets off strike. Tea pushed back a bit (understandably). Buttler, playing catch with the crowd, gets moved by Root. Crowd not happy.
OVER 39: PAK 113/7 (Salahuddin 33* Amir 0*)
Straight from Curran and that’s well-timed by Salahuddin off his pads for two.
OVER 38: PAK 111/7 (Salahuddin 31* Amir 0*)
Cries of catch but it’s short of the man at extra cover. Amir not hanging around with the bat, probably wise. Wicket maiden for Besssssss.
WICKET! Faheem c Malan b Bess 3
Faheem skies it! Malan waits at backward point and gobbles that one up. Seven down. Perhaps the end is nigh. FOW 111/7
OVER 37: PAK 111/6 (Salahuddin 31* Faheem 3*)
Chance for Bairstow? Diving to his left, hard to tell if that was a catch but it’s gone to ground. Maiden for Curran.
OVER 36: PAK 111/6 (Salahuddin 31* Faheem 3*)
Close! Bess rips one in but it stays straight, fooling Salahuddin but too quick for Bairstow’s gloves. Lovely ball. Also a bye. Singles by Salahuddin to start and end the over.
OVER 35: PAK 108/6 (Salahuddin 29* Faheem 3*)
Curran eyeing a yorker. Salahuddin clips the first square but nothing more.
OVER 32: PAK 105/6 (Salahuddin 27* Faheem 2*)
Bess certainly improving, which is promising given he’s only 20. Faheem gets a single and then there’s a shout for a run out on Faheem… going upstairs. Nope, he’s well in.
OVER 31: PAK 103/6 (Salahuddin 26* Faheem 1*)
Faheem off the mark early with a single. Bit disappointed for Shahab but can hardly criticise him too much after his first innings effort.
Stokes update from the ECB
England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the ODI against Scotland in Edinburgh and will be unavailable for the first part of the five-match Royal London ODI series against Australia as he recovers from a left hamstring tear.
Stokes, who sustained the injury in the build-up to the NatWest Test match at Headingley against Pakistan, will be assessed later this week. He will continue his rehabilitation programme and will return to his county side Durham on Monday.
Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan has been added to the squad for the Scotland game on Sunday, June 10 and Kent batsman Sam Billings has been drafted into the squad for the Australia series, which gets underway at the Kia Oval on Wednesday, June 13.
OVER 30: PAK 102/5 (Salahuddin 26* Shadab 4*)
Pakistan get to 100 thanks to three from Shadab. He’s been in great form.
OVER 29: PAK 99/5 (Salahuddin 26* Shadab 1*)
Curran getting a go replacing Bess. Singles for both batsmen, Curran getting up to 82mph with one of those deliveries.
OVER 28: PAK 97/5 (Salahuddin 25* Shadab 0*)
Shadab Kahn into the action then, after impressing with that 56 in the first innings. Leaves the final ball of that over.
WICKET! Sarfraz lbw Woakes 8
Woakes into his sixth over and Salahuddin adds three towards backward point. Couple later, fuller ball, trapped and gone! No review (and you can see why). Woakes comes to the party. FOW 97/5
OVER 26: PAK 92/4 (Salahuddin 21* Sarfraz 7*)
Sarfraz thumps it back down the ground, right into Salahuddin’s stumps. No fear, he was back in his crease.
He gets one off the next delivery.
OVER 25: PAK 91/4 (Salahuddin 21* Sarfraz 6*)
Sarfraz goes after Bess, hit hard towards Broad at mid-off who can’t stop it going for four. Sarfraz then adds a single square.
That takes England’s lead to under 100.
OVER 24: PAK 86/4 (Salahuddin 21* Sarfraz 1*)
And that new ball is swinging. Couple from the over, Salahuddin meeting a full delivery and then Sarfraz getting off the mark.
New ball coming
Root will have enjoyed that, a breakthrough six balls after bringing the spinner on. We’re changing the ball here by the way.
WICKET! Imam lbw Bess 34
First ball from Bess and he’s punched back down the ground by Imam. Wasn’t a bad ball, just an aggressive shot.
The rest is better from Bess, Imam back in his crease. AND GONE! Superb ball traps Imam and that’s a first Test wicket for Bess… or is it? Review coming and it’s umpire’s call, so Imam walks. Got him around the knee. The amount of bounce a slight surprise. FOW 84/4
OVER 22: PAK 80/3 (Salahuddin 20* Imam 30*)
Anderson does well to save a boundary past mid-off, a diving chase taking out the rope but crucially stopping the ball. Spin is coming. Mr Bess, do you thing.
OVER 21: PAK 77/3 (Salahuddin 20* Imam 27*)
Punch from Imam, off the back foot, gets a good three. Salahuddin adds another two. Run rate picking up a touch, now 3.66.
OVER 20: PAK 72/3 (Salahuddin 18* Imam 24*)
That’s better. Single from Salahuddin and the Imam beats a diving Anderson at mid-off for four. One more single to round off through square leg. Reasons for Pakistan to be cheerful here.
OVER 19: PAK 66/3 (Salahuddin 17* Imam 19*)
Maiden. Not an exciting one. This needs livening up a bit.
OVER 18: PAK 66/3 (Salahuddin 17* Imam 19*)
Imam’s strike rate hovering around 40. Adds a single there. Salahuddin then pushes two through point. Flashy this is not. Composed? Yeah, I’d say that’s fair.
OVER 17: PAK 63/3 (Salahuddin 15* Imam 18*)
Maiden for Anderson. Woakes coming in for Broad next.
OVER 16: PAK 63/3 (Salahuddin 15* Imam 18*)
It’s a touch quiet. Salahuddin gets a couple in the gap at fine leg. In fact the pair run well for three.
OVER 15: PAK 60/3 (Salahuddin 12* Imam 18*)
Salahuddin taking advantage of the lack of third man. That’s four! Anderson takes a tumble after the next ball, steady to get up. Wonder how comfortable he is.
Another single for Salahuddin.
OVER 14: PAK 55/3 (Salahuddin 7* Imam 18*)
Just a single from the over for Salahuddin, played through the off side. A steady start after lunch. Crowd still settling back in.
OVER 13: PAK 54/3 (Salahuddin 6* Imam 18*)
Like that from Imam, tapped towards square and gets two. Still gloomy overhead.
All three of Pakistan’s wickets have had nothing to do with the overhead conditions etc, they’ve looked in one day mode so to speak, don’t understand the rush, so much time left, should be looking to frustrate the English bowlers by staying on the wicket. #EngvPak
— salaar latif (@salaar_latif) 3 June 2018
OVER 12: PAK 52/3 (Salahuddin 6* Imam 16*)
Broad back, beating Salahuddin a couple of times. Dig in young man. That’s better, getting forward with a block. Outside edge goes for four, not very convincing.
And we’re back
No disrespect to Pakistan, but this could be wrapped up today. Still 73 overs left in the day.
LUNCH – OVER 11: PAK 48/3 (Salahuddin 2* Imam 16*)
Imam still battling away, adds his third boundary to the gap where fine leg is missing.
That’s lunch! England’s session for sure, Buttler ending with a flourish and then three early wickets. Some properly dark clouds hovering above right now but no rain.
And now you can savour this Dom Bess catch over your own lunch. Back in a bit.
WICKET! Shafiq c Bairstow b Broad 5
Big shout (they’re always big with England aren’t they), definitely two noises. We’ll have a review. Looks like a feather of a glove on it, caught, out! Shafiq gone, very unlucky. Outstanding review to be fair from Root. FOW 42/3
OVER 9: PAK 42/2 (Shafiq 5* Imam 12*)
Runs for Shafiq, four with an edge past the cordon and then a square single. Still a lot to do but England’s lead is now under 150, on 147.
OVER 8: PAK 37/2 (Shafiq 0* Imam 12*)
Such a good catch from Bess. Will pop in the video when available. 20 and just taking one-handers like he’s in the park with his mates.
Imam adds two with a nice drive… big appeal! Pad? Nicked? Root not bothered by either. It we missing well to the left.
Imam then clips one for four down to fine leg and moves into double figures. Was a no ball too.
WICKET! Haris Sohail c Bess b Anderson 8
Jimmy around the wicket and tempting the shot. He’s poised. Next line is a bit off though and Haris controls that away to deep square leg for four, nicely played.
Bess with a stunner! What a catch son! Diving to his left at at mid-off and he’s clutched it one-handed superbly well! FOW 30/2
OVER 6: PAK 26/1 (Haris 4* Imam 6*)
Anderson works hard to keep a shot from Haris to just three runs. Still fit as a fiddle. That’s all from that over. England’s lead now 163 runs.
OVER 5: PAK 23/1 (Haris 1* Imam 6*)
Just the five men in the cordon waiting for Haris. Too far down the leg side though first up and he gets a single.
Thick inside edge from Imam, well run for two. Didn’t look that comfortable.
WICKET! Azhar Ali b Anderson 11
Big shout. Bairstow thinks there’s an inside edge onto the pads and England… ignore him. Two noises but looks pad then bat.
No doubt about the next one! Stumps clattered by Anderson as Azhar misses a straight one, total air shot. Anderson pumped. FOW 20/1
OVER 4: PAK 20/0 (Azhar 11* Imam 4*)
Imam meets a full ball with a good drive to long off. Well played. Trickler down the leg side but no bat. Good start this for the tourists.
OVER 3: PAK 16/0 (Azhar 11* Imam 0*)
Nice start from Azhar, a drive beating Broad to the rope. Two more and then a big appeal for lbw, but that’s too high.
OVER 2: PAK 10/0 (Azhar 5* Imam 0*)
Broad with an absolute pearler. Well avoided by Imam. And another! Bit fuller the second time. Excellent bowling and a maiden, Imam a little lucky towards the end after a poor shot attempt.
From the comments by Deryk King…
Unbelievably idiotic shot from Broad, not even watching the ball and no respect whatsoever for a team-mate or the audience. Followed by Anderson’s apparently deliberate feather to slip. If I were Buttler I’d be furious. Time to drop one of these prima donnas to make a point.
OVER 1: PAK 10/0 (Azhar 5* Imam 0*)
Perfect start! Four off the first ball all the way to deep cover. Very nice. Bit of a hurry on the single off the next one but Imam gets home.
Five leg byes follow, Anderson bowling full and getting his deliveries ushered along. Excellent first over for Pakistan, ten runs.
Here come Pakistan
Bit of a mountain ahead, if we’re honest. Anderson to begin from the Football Stand End to Azhar Ali.
WICKET! Anderson c Haris b Hasan 5 – ENGLAND ALL OUT FOR 363, LEAD OF 189
Jimmy comes to the party. A late open of the face of the bat and he gets four. Next ball he’s gone though, edged to first slip.
Still, a good flurry of runs this morning from England and that’s a nice lead. With the cloud cover, Anderson will be in a hurry to get back out there.
OVER 106: ENG 359/8 (Buttler 80* Anderson 1*)
Anderson (sensibly) puts Buttler back on strike with a single. Fielder out on the deep misses the next one and it goes for four!
Walloped. Buttler crashes a six over the long on. Faheem livid. Who knows there the ball is. Almost in the rugby ground. That’s the 350 for England.
That four to end is better though. Low cutter finds the gap at point for four. So well timed and placed.
WICKET! Broad c Abbas b Faheem 2
But he’ll need a new partner. Broad pulls one and that’s a sensational grab out in the deep from Abbas! What a catch. FOW 344/9
OVER 105: ENG 344/8 (Buttler 66* Broad 2*)
Buttler’s loose now. This could go two ways very quickly. Single for him, single for Broad, and now Buttler’s going for it. Back-to-back fours: one a swivelling pull shot square, and then another cover drive. Into the 60s.
OVER 104: ENG 334/8 (Buttler 57* Broad 1*)
Faheem into the attack, one single for Buttler off the first. Broad hangs on for the rest of the over.
Jos ‘Alfred’ Buttler.
OVER 103: ENG 333/8 (Buttler 56* Broad 1*)
Buttler’s in one-day mode now. A four through extra cover and then he ushers the next ball along over his head for a six! That takes him to 50, England’s first of the innings coming with that top edge.
Feel bad for Abbas. He’s now 2-78 but has actually bowled rather well.
OVER 102: ENG 322/8 (Buttler 45* Broad 1*)
Buttler with another single square. Creeping in on that 50. He’ll be asking Broad nicely (and possibly Anderson) to get him there.
If he falls short, then we’ll enter new territory in Test history.
OVER 101: ENG 321/8 (Buttler 44* Broad 1*)
Broad in and off the mark with a single to square. Buttler well-timed to midwicket for another single.
As for young Curran, bit of a shame to see him out on 20 but Michael Vaughan has high hopes.
WICKET! Curran c Asad b Abbas 20
Edge from Curran but has it carried to third slip? Third umpire coming in… initial signal is not out.
Looks as though the ball rolls up into the hands and Paul Reiffel overrules the on-field umpires. Very tight. Curran goes for 20. FOW 319/8
OVER 100: ENG 319/7 (Buttler 43* Curran 20*)
Amir continues and if he is in discomfort, he’s hiding it very well. Couple of slower, swinging gems sent Buttler’s way. Missing the edge though. Maiden. England’s lead at 145.
OVER 99: ENG 319/7 (Buttler 43* Curran 20*)
Nice drive from Curran through point and cover. Thumped into the ground and off it goes.
Abbas coming up with the odd beauty though, including one just there through the gap between bat and pad. Curran survives.
OVER 98: ENG 315/7 (Buttler 43* Curran 16*)
Amir comes in and after one ball he’s down on one knee clutching his shoulder. Hmm. Big grimace on his face.
Buttler nudges one along past his left shoulder for a boundary, and then adds another with a good drive the way of deep extra cover. Lovely.
Repeat ball almost to that early tickler, this time off the pads racing away to the rope. Bit of late movement in. Half a shout, ignored, and that’s now 12 off the over.
OVER 97: ENG 303/7 (Buttler 35* Curran 16*)
And we’re off. Straight one to start and Pakistan get excited, but not out and the technology shows it’s missing. Umpire Rod Tucker with an early win. Buttler quite far down the pitch.
Shorter ball, Buttler pulls that square for a single. Nice final ball from Abbas to Curran, well left.
Happy birthday Sam Curran!
20 today, and out in the middle playing for England. Could be worse.
Progress from Buttler
Jos Buttler came through a stern examination of his technique yesterdat. In his entire Test career, Buttler averages 24.60 against full-pitched deliveries from seamers. Yesterday, 41% of the balls he faced were in that zone – and he’s still out in the middle. #ENGvPAK pic.twitter.com/KM6NiO3nS9
— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) 3 June 2018
Mickey Arthur’s defence of Shadab Kahn
Brilliant with the bat on day one, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has defended the 19 year-old’s bowling figures. He’s currently on 1/50.
England to face Ireland?
Hello! England’s very much ahead in this Test match heading into Sunday’s action, with a lead of 128 overnight and three wickets remaining.
Jos Butter’s rather measured (by his standards) 34 from 67 could be added to in a hurry during this first session.
Here’s the day’s forecast via the Met Office. Basically, it’s better than yesterday. Fellow hayfever sufferers, I wish you godspeed.
Day two review
England clubbed together to stay in control of the second NatWest Test and give themselves an obvious opportunity to square the series against Pakistan.
Theirs was a curiously collective effort on a rain-shortened day two at Headingley – where after play did not get under way until mid-afternoon, no one could muster a half-century but all contributed with a degree of significance to a stumps total of 302 for seven.
The first-innings lead is therefore 128, and the salvation of a drawn series – rather than seventh defeat in nine Tests – beckons if Joe Root’s men can maintain their standards here.
Dom Bess, Root himself and Alastair Cook the previous evening all reached 40 but not 50 – the former stumbling just a single short of adding a half-century as nightwatchman to the one he made in defeat on debut at Lord’s last week.
Consolidation was all that was required from England after their dominance on day one.
In the afternoon session, they achieved exactly that despite losing their captain.
Root’s was the only wicket to fall, in aggravating circumstances as he pushed out for an attempted drive at a length ball from Mohammad Amir and edged behind.
It was an anti-climax for most of a full-house crowd, gathered in hope Root might choose his home ground to at last re-discover the knack of making hundreds. Instead, he went for 45 – and Bess was joined by Dawid Malan.
With the floodlights in use throughout under heavy cloud cover and the threat of rain never far away, the pair calmly went about their work.
Crucially, the ball did not swing as it had for much of Friday – and a fair pitch contained runs if patience was exercised.
It was, and Bess took his rewards with a series of flat-batted front-foot shots square on the off-side.
Malan drove with impressive timing, down the ground and through the off-side, but fell prey to surprise bounce from Amir with the left-armer’s first ball straight after tea – a nasty one which took the shoulder of the bat for an easy catch to slip.
Then Bess had to go too just a single short of a notable achievement, edging an attempted cut at Shadab Khan’s leg-spin to a diving Asad Shafiq at slip for 49 – and so missing out on a second half-century in successive innings at the start of his Test career.
England would have lost three wickets for 20 runs had Hasan Ali held a straightforward catch at midwicket when Jos Buttler, on just four, stabbed one there off a thick inside-edge off Shadab.
It was a poor shot, and a major let-off.
Jonny Bairstow helped Buttler add 48 until he became the sixth consecutive batsman to fall between 20 and 50, in his case at the lower end of the scale when he got a thin edge behind off Faheem Ashraf – to the final delivery before the second new ball was available.
Chris Woakes kept Buttler company next, before he too went caught-behind when Mohammad Abbas this time got that new ball to nip away just enough off the pitch.
Buttler held firm to finish unbeaten on 34, and debutant Sam Curran helped him close out the day – hitting two consecutive boundaries in the last over to post the 300 and ensure he too could go to bed happy after his last day as a teenager.
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