England 314-4 against Pakistan at 1st day close162 views
ALASTAIR COOK and Joe Root showed exactly how to score runs against the magical, mystery man from Pakistan.
After all the debate about how England might deal with wrist-spinner Yasir Shah, who better than their two best batsmen to provide a master class?
The captain and vice-captain each scored centuries as England piled up 314-4 on day one of the Investec Second Test at Old Trafford.
Just five days after finishing with ten wickets at Lord’s, Yasir returned the chastening figures of 0-111 from 31 overs.
Cook and Root batted immaculately, offering straight bats and plenty of patience. It will be a big surprise if England do not go on from here to level the series at 1-1.
Cook extended his England record to 29 Test centuries – equal with Aussie Don Bradman, the most feted of all batsmen – and Root passed three figures for the tenth time in Test matches.
Root will resume this morning with 141 not out and could go on to something massive. Cook was bowled for 105 to about the only delivery all day that misbehaved – a shooter from Mohammad Amir.
The downside for England was that Alex Hales was bowled by Amir for just ten and James Vince self-destructed yet again to what is rapidly becoming his normal dismissal – caught attempting a flashy drive.
Cook had not made a century in his previous 19 Test innings but rarely looked in difficulty. His favourite cut shot was in prime order and he frequently drove down the ground – a sure sign of Cook being in top form.
Not a bad way to celebrate his 50th Test as skipper.
In fact, as he galloped from 50 to 100 in just 67 balls, Cook comfortably outscored Root during the afternoon session before falling in the final over before tea.
Too many England batsmen succumbed at Lord’s by aiming across the line against Yasir but Cook and Root showed discipline and smart shot selection.
Amazingly, this was Root’s first century for England in any format this summer after a couple of near-misses and he already seems to be enjoying his new permanent home at No.3.
Cook won the toss and, naturally, chose to bat first because the dry pitch is likely to deteriorate. Despite the surface, Cook and head coach Trevor Bayliss followed the more cautious route and decided not to pick leg-spinner Adil Rashid for his home Test debut.
After his benign, almost respectful, reception at Lord’s, Amir was given a more hostile time by the Manchester folk. “No-ball,” they shouted as the one-time convicted corruptor released the ball. It continued for much of the day.
Amir swerved a beauty through Hales’ defences but Root then joined Cook and the second-wicket partnership put on 185 – their highest-ever liaison.
Cook was using an old faithful bat, which was wrapped in tape, but he could do no more than get a toe-end onto his stumps when confronted by a grubber from Amir.
The plan was to Vince was obvious – tempt him with drive balls and pack the offside field – and he fell gormlessly into the trap.
Vince was dropped at second slip by Younis Khan on six attempting one of his fancy cover drives. But still he didn’t learn his lesson and was caught behind for 18.
Vince will probably be given the entire summer to display his credentials but he needs to discover the mental toughness and run-scoring nous required in Test cricket pretty damn quick.
Gary Ballance helped Root in a half-century stand for the fourth wicket before chopping on to Rahat Ali.
Chris Woakes arrived as nightwatchman – possibly the best nightwatchman used by any team – and he helped Root to the close without further mishap.
News Source The Sun