Pakistan
Pakistan [Photo-Twitter]

Pakistan has asserted himself into a real position of strength against England at stumps on the second day of the first Test at Old Trafford in Manchester.

After having posted 326, the Pakistan seam-bowling duo of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Abbas breathed fire to remove both the England openers and Ben Stokes within the first six overs.

Rory Burns was dismissed in the very first over when Shaheen Afridi trapped the southpaw right in front of the wickets with a perfectly pitched delivery, one that jagged back in before straightening, leaving Burns stranded on the crease.

Joe Root survived a close LBW call off Afridi when he successfully reviewed the on-field call but Dom Sibley wasn’t as lucky as he was trapped LBW courtesy a nip-backer from Mohammad Abbas.

England, Pakistan
Mohammad Abbas [Photo-Twitter]

Ben Stokes tried to negate the movement by batting a few yards ahead of the crease but Abbas’s late movement was just too good for the Durham all-rounder as he saw his off-stump get knocked over. It was yet another day where England conceded all the ground that they have covered in the first session by being reckless and pretty flat in the afternoon.

Joe Root and Ollie Pope then proceeded to stitch a 50-run-stand but just as it looked like they were in for a long haul, Joe Root fell against the run-of-play, edging the ball straight to Rizwan, one that wasn’t particularly short to go for the cut.

After a lackluster first day, England bowlers were right on the money on the second morning. Jimmy Anderson lulled Babar Azam into a sucker ball, inducing an outside edge from the precociously talented batsman on his overnight score of 69. Pakistan lost three wickets within a space of 37 runs with Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes knocking over Asad Shafiq [7] and Mohammad Rizwan [9] and all of a sudden it looked like England were right back into the thick of things.

Ollie Pope’s sumptuous strokeplay [46 off 67 balls with six fours] ensured that England did not lose any more wicket annd went into stumps at 4-92.

Also Read- Shan Masood Joins Elite Club; Becomes The Sixth Pakistan Batsman To Score Three Consecutive Test Centuries

Gritty Shan Masood shatters record books to help Pakistan post 326 against England

England vs Pakistan 2020, 1st Test, Day 2 – Twitter Reactions
Shan Masood [Photo-Twitter]
But, just as the first day, Shan Masood, this time with Shadab Khan [45 off 76 balls], scripted Pakistan’s comeback. The gritty Pakistani opener displayed great character, mental fortitude, and doggedness to become only the 5th Pakistani opener and the first since Saeed Anwar [in 1996] to score a Test hundred in England.

This was also Shan Masood’s third consecutive hundred, making him the sixth Pakistani after Zaheer Abbas, Mudassar Nazar, Younis Khan, Misbah Ul Haq and Mohammad Yousuf to achieve the feat. One of the highlights of the 105-run partnership between Masood and Shadab Khan was the number of singles that they took. The duo constantly rotated the strike, not allowing England’s bowlers to settle into a rhythm.

Khan played some brilliant strokes during his knock but a rush of blood against Dom Bess, paved him for him to hole out at deep mid-wicket. Jofra Archer went bang bang after Shadab’s wicket, dismissing Yasir Shah and Mohammad Abbas on back-to-back deliveries. With not much support at the other end, Shan Masood finally decided to flex his muscles against Dom Bess, smoking the off-spinner for two sixes and a boundary.

Masood soon completed his maiden 150 in Test cricket before he was eventually dismissed for 156 post the Tea break. Shaheen Afridi stroked two boundaries to take the total to 326 before the innings finally came to an end with Naseem Shah nicking off to Stuart Broad.

 

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the 2nd day’s play between England and Pakistan-

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.