England bounce back on opening day at Headingley

Pakistan bowled out for 174 as Root’s beleaguered side start second Test with a bang

Stuart Broad and James Anderson both took three wickets as Pakistan were bowled out for 174 at Headingley. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP

Stuart Broad and James Anderson both took three wickets as Pakistan were bowled out for 174 at Headingley. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP

 

Second Test day one: Pakistan 174ao, England 106-2

The International Cricket Council is contemplating the virtues of getting rid of the toss in Test cricket. Well, there are two captains, Joe Root and Sarfraz Ahmed, who might welcome being spared the agony of deciding what to do every time they win the toss. They are also becoming unwitting advocates of abandoning this idea.

At Lord’s last week Root, despite a surprisingly green tinge to the playing surface, batted and England subsided to 184 all out on the first day. Here Sarfraz did the obvious thing. The pitch was dry and brown; the sun was trying to creep through hazy cloud, a task it rarely fulfilled; Pakistan batted and were bowled out for 174 and that total was bolstered by a late rally led by the irrepressible Shadab Khan. By the close England sat contentedly at 106 for two. Once again losing the toss had proved to be a wonderful bonus.

This was not the Headingley of old when batsmen were constantly tormented by low movement off a treacherous track but the ball swung all day, often late in its flightpath and there was enough pace and bounce there for the majority of the nicks to carry. Batting was a trial whenever the bowlers’ radar was working.

The Pakistan wickets were shared by a quartet of seamers, which included Sam Curran, who was given his first Test cap by Graham Thorpe at 10.15am after it was established that Ben Stokes was not fit to play. Curran’s first Test wicket was donated to him five hours later when Shadab, stranded with the last man, swung vigorously only to be caught at deep midwicket by Keaton Jennings. When Curran relates this landmark to his grandchildren (a long time from now – he’s only 19) he might point out that Jennings was England’s regular forward short-leg in this match and that his victim succumbed in the old leg trap. That may be enough detail; in any case it does not matter how you get that first one.

The other pacemen took three wickets apiece, which constituted a satisfactory return for Chris Woakes, who was preferred to Mark Wood, partly because, in the absence of Stokes, England were required to rejig the batting line-up.

Stuart Broad, no doubt pricked by the observations of the odd former colleague in the media, was the first to get the ball swinging. In his first over Imam-ul-Haq was given lbw by Rod Tucker, only to review successfully with the ball shown to be going over the stumps. No matter; Imam swung wantonly at the last ball of Broad’s over and Root held a neat catch at third slip.

It was already apparent that the ball was swinging though in his first spell Jimmy Anderson was not able to exploit this as clinically as usual. Broad remained determined to bowl full while there was movement and he was rewarded with the wicket of Azhar Ali with an lbw that the batsman immediately recognised could not be reviewed.

Woakes had not bowled with a red ball since the Melbourne Test – he was using a pink one in Auckland, after which he was dropped – and he bowled a horrible first over; a wide long-hop was followed by a long half-volley and eight runs to the total.

But he settled well after that, comforted by the fact that the ball was moving more for England here than it did at Lord’s. Soon Woakes had the key wickets of Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq, both caught in a slip cordon that functioned better than in the first Test, though there was one inexpensive drop by Dawid Malan, the new second slip, who had been hampered by the sight of Root diving towards him.

Alastair Cook is caught behind during England’s first innings in Leeds. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty
Alastair Cook is caught behind during England’s first innings in Leeds. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty

At lunch Pakistan had sunk to 68 for four and within another half an hour they were 79 for seven as the old firm set to work. Anderson was now on target and he removed Ahmed and Faheem Ashraf, while Broad ensured that Usman Salahuddin’s first day as a Test cricketer would end in disappointment; he was lbw for four.

Mohammad Amir opted for valour rather than discretion and was caught behind off Anderson for 13 prompting the Yorkshire crowd to start chanting “Oh Jimmy, Jimmy …” as if he was one of their own.

Now Pakistan rallied through Shadab and a belligerent Hasan Ali, who added 43 together. Occasionally, Woakes’s rustiness was evident. As ever a bad ball at Headingley stood up and begged to be hit but a sharp caught and bowled brought the end of Hasan, not long before Curran celebrated his first wicket. By now the sun had obligingly resurfaced, which meant that batting was easier when Alastair Cook and Jennings began England’s reply.

Jennings was positive in attack and defence. His ploy of standing almost a foot out of his crease when facing Mohammad Abbas was well conceived and executed; there was even one disdainful cover drive hit with such certainty that he could stand and admire the ball speeding to the boundary. Cook also hinted at fluency with his feet moving nimbly and they posted an opening partnership of 53, which equalled the highest for England since the start of the Ashes tour.

Jennings looked to be relishing his return but his departure was limp. He prodded forward to Ashraf and in the last millisecond before playing the ball he may have decided to leave it. The ball feathered his outside edge and a golden opportunity had passed.

Joe Root was unbeaten at the close of play at Headingley. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty
Joe Root was unbeaten at the close of play at Headingley. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty

The same applied to his partner an hour later. After adding 51 with Root with few alarms Cook managed to glove an ugly bouncer from Hasan and was caught behind down the leg side, a disappointing end to a heartening day for England.

For the moment, at least, the ship has stopped listing.

Scorecard

England first innings

Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s
A N Cook c Ahmed b Ali 46 106 7 0
K K Jennings c Ahmed b Ashraf 29 57 5 0
J E Root 29 50 5 0
D M Bess 0 9 00
Extras 2lb 0 2
Total for 2 106 37.0 overs

Bowler O M R W
Mohammad Amir 10 1 37 0
Mohammad Abbas 9 4 22 0
Hasan Ali 8 2 24 1
Faheem Ashraf 7 2 16 1
Shadab Khan 3 0 5 0

Fall of wickets

Order Name Runs
1 K K Jennings 53
2 A N Cook 104

Pakistan first innings

Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s
Azhar Ali lbw b Broad 2 29 0 0
Imam-ul-Haq c Root b Broad 0 6 0 0
Haris Sohail c Malan b Woakes 28 57 4 0
Asad Shafiq c Cook b Woakes 27 48 5 0
Usman Salahuddin lbw b Broad 4 18 00
Sarfraz Ahmed b Anderson 14 13 2 0
Shadab Khan c Jennings b Curran 56 52 10 0
Faheem Ashraf lbw b Anderson 05 00
Mohammad Amir c Bairstow b Anderson 13 32 2 0
Hasan Ali c & b Woakes 24 16 5 0
Mohammad Abbas 1 13 00
Extras 5lb 0 5

Total for 10 174 48.1 overs

Bowler O M R W
J M Anderson 15 6 43 3
S C J Broad 15 6 38 3
C R Woakes 11 1 55 3
S M Curran 7 0 33 1

Fall of wickets
Order Name Runs
1 Imam-ul-Haq 0
2 Azhar Ali 17
3 Haris Sohail 49
4 Asad Shafiq 62
5 Sarfraz Ahmed 78
6 Usman Salahuddin 78
7 Faheem Ashraf 79
8 Mohammad Amir 113
9 Hasan Ali 156
10 Shadab Khan 174

(Guardian service)

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