Published On: Thu, Jul 14th, 2016

Misbah holds firm as Pakistan struggle

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Misbah holds firm as Pakistan struggle

LONDON: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq survived as top-order wickets fell around him on the first day of the first Test against England at Lord’s on Thursday.

At tea, Pakistan were 158 for four with number five Misbah, who won the toss, 48 not out after all the top four had returned to the Pavilion.

Asad Shafiq was unbeaten on 12 as Mohammad Amir, listed to come in at number eight, waited to make his return to Test cricket at Lord’s — the scene of his spot-fixing crime.

Misbah won the toss on a sunny day, with the pitch at Lord’s a notoriously good surface for batsmen.

Jake Ball, given a debut in place of James Anderson after the selectors decided against risking England’s all-time leading wicket-taker following a shoulder injury, appealed for leg before against Masood with his second delivery in Test cricket.

Umpire Kumar Dharmasena said not out and and an unsuccessful England review confirmed the ball had pitched outside leg stump.

Hafeez was lucky on 11 when an edge off Stuart Broad, forming an all-Nottinghamshire new-ball pairing with Ball, was dropped by third slip James Vince, who couldn’t hold a low chance to his left.

– Woakes double –

But first-change Chris Woakes removed both openers with a burst of two wickets for five runs in 16 balls.

A rising delivery had left-hander Masood, playing away from his body, caught behind by Jonny Bairstow for seven.

The same combination then dismissed Hafeez for 40.

Hafeez’s 59-ball innings, including eight fours, ended when he tried to work to leg a short ball from the Warwickshire all-rounder that swung away a touch only to get a top edge, with Bairstow holding the skyed chance.

Pakistan were now 51 for two.

They had moved on to 76 for two at lunch but Azhar Ali had failed to add to his interval score of seven not out when he was literally knocked off his feet by a Ball yorker and given out lbw by Dharmasena.

The batsman reviewed and Ball, presented with his England cap before play by his uncle Bruce French, the former England wicket-keeper, had a nervous wait for his first Test wicket.

But this time, thanks to a tight ‘umpire’s call’ verdict showing the ball clipping leg stump, technology worked in Ball’s favour.

Pakistan were now 77 for three but veterans Younis and Misbah, as they had done so often before, steadied the innings.

Their cause was helped when Misbah was dropped on 16 by Joe Root, who grassed a tough slip chance off fast bowler Steven Finn.

Younis struck several elegant drives in his innings but he gave his wicket away on 33 when he clipped Broad straight to Moeen Ali at square leg to end a stand of 57 with Misbah that had had taken Pakistan to 134 for four.

Misbah, playing in his first Test at Lord’s at the advanced age if 42, was not in control of a gloved hook off Broad but looked much better in forcing him through point for four.

Earlier, as expected, left-arm quick Amir was selected for his first Test appearance since the infamous ‘spot-fixing’ clash against England at Lord’s in 2010.

That match saw Amir and Pakistan new-ball partner Mohammad Asif deliberately bowl no-balls on the instructions of then captain Salman Butt as part of a newspaper ‘sting’ operation.

All three received five-year bans from cricket and jail terms. –AFP

News Source Super Sport

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology