Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes took two wickets each in the first session of the second Test at Headingley to leave Pakistan reeling at 68/4 after skipper Sarfraz Ahmed chose to bat.
It appeared to be the right call on a sunny morning in Leeds but things changed dramatically with the ball doing the talking right from the first over. James Anderson bowled a peach first ball to beat Azhar Ali’s outside edge and in the second, Stuart Broad struck immediately.
Imam-ul-Haq, who used the DRS to overturn a leg-before-wicket decision against him, was dismissed after playing a loose shot outside off. Broad bowled one fairly full outside the off and instead of leaving it, the left-hander chose to drive and ended up nicking it to the slip cordon. The experienced duo bowled four maidens to start the Test, consistently asking questions. While Broad chose to bowl at a fuller length, Anderson continued to probe with a slightly shortish length.
Broad chose to trouble Haris Sohail by coming round the wicket and taking the ball away from the left-hander with the plan almost working on a couple of occasions. The seamer coming into this Test on the back of some criticism struck again in the tenth over when he brought one back into Azhar to rap him on the pads. Asad Shafiq started proceedings with a lovely cover drive off Anderson and that was easily the best shot of the morning.
Both Broad and Anderson bowled seven over spells as Joe Root finally changed bowlers at both ends. Chris Woakes and Sam Curran, who had come in for Ben Stokes and Mark Wood respectively, gave the batsmen no respite. With the ball continuing to swing, both batsmen found the going tough. Shafiq and Sohail saw off the initial six overs post the Anderson-Broad opening spell but Woakes finally struck bowling one just outside off at the ideal length to Sohail which was nicked behind.
Four overs later, the hosts grabbed the big fish Shafiq with Woakes bowling another beauty. The ball that came back in left the batsman after pitching to take the outside edge once again for Alastair Cook to complete the formalities. Usman Salahuddin, the debutant, found some luck with England failing to appeal when he gloved one behind at the start of his innings and now he will have to capitalise on the reprieve to rebuild Pakistan’s innings with support from his skipper, who might be pondering about his decision to bat first.
Brief scores: Pakistan 68/4 (Haris Sohail 28; Chris Woakes 2-17, Stuart Broad 2-23) vs England
Share if you enjoyed this post!