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Abbas and Hasan torment sorry England

24 May 2018 20:20

England's batting woes were once again ruthlessly exposed as Pakistan took charge on day one of the first Test at Lord's.

Joe Root's men were hoping for a fresh start on home soil having been routed 4-0 in the Ashes against Australia and lost 1-0 in the subsequent two-match series versus New Zealand.

But some all-too familiar frailties were laid bare as England were all out for 184, their lowest first-innings tally at Lord's since 2005, with Mohammad Abbas (4-23) and Hasan Ali (4-51) proving their chief tormenters.

Had it not been for Alastair Cook's gritty 70, coming on his record-equalling 153rd consecutive Test, the situation would have been much worse.

Only three other players managed double figures, with Ben Stokes – playing a home international match for the first time since September after his arrest in Bristol, for which he is to stand trial after pleading not guilty to a charge of affray – the next highest scorer on 38.

In truth, though, Pakistan were rewarded for a fine bowling display and some excellent catches in the field and will resume day two on 50-1.

Abbas set the standard early doors and was rewarded for a fine spell of swing bowling when he got one to nip between Mark Stoneman's (4) bat and pad and take up off stump.

Root (4) was guilty of an ugly swipe against a wide delivery from Hasan that nicked behind, before Dawid Malan (6) fell cheaply to the same man.

Cook, who had shown a nice early touch with a cover drive off Mohammad Amir, steadied the ship and scored some much-needed runs amid a patchy spell of form with crisp strokes around the ground.

But, after Jonny Bairstow's (27) early promise ended when he was bowled by Faheem Ashraf, Cook was beaten by a beauty from Amir that hit the top of off stump.

That was the start of the loss of six wickets for just 35 runs as Pakistan dominated after tea, Abbas having Stokes trapped lbw before Jos Buttler's (14) return to the middle in Test cricket was halted when a drive off Hasan was plucked brilliantly by Asad Shafiq in the slips.

Abbas quickly accounted for debutant Dom Bess (5) and Stuart Broad (0), before Hasan also finished with a four-for by picking up Mark Wood's (7) wicket.

Broad struck early to have Imam-ul-Haq (4) trapped lbw on review and had a few more sighters, but Azhar Ali (18 not out) and Haris Sohail (21no) negotiated the final hour.

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