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Cook, Root defiant after Pakistan strike early in 2nd Test

Cook, Root defiant after Pakistan strike early in 2nd Test
October 23, 2015
DUBAI – A defiant Alastair Cook and Joe Root shared an unbeaten 90 partnership to help England to 105 for two at tea on the second day of the second Test on Friday after Pakistan’s seamers had struck two early blows. The hosts had been bowled out for 378 before lunch, some erratic slogging causing their last five wickets to fall for 44 runs. Pakistan pacemen Wahab Riaz and Imran Khan were given the new ball and captain Misbah-ul-Haq packed the slip cordon. Wahab had Moeen Ali (1) caught brilliantly by Shan Masood at short-leg. Skipper Cook was joined at the crease by Ian Bell (4) and the veteran No. 3 was again found wanting, feathering a full Khan delivery to the slips as England slumped to 14 for two. Root was Cook’s next partner and the pair -- Test cricket’s top two run scorers in 2015 -- repelled Pakistan’s ferocious onslaught. Misbah introduced spin duo Yasir Shah -- the fastest man to 50 Test wickets for Pakistan -- and late bloomer Zulfiqar Babar. Cook was fortunate on 27. Attempting to sweep Zulfiqar, the ball struck the left-hander’s pad and skidded on to the stumps but miraculously the bails stayed on. At tea, Cook was unbeaten on 46 with Root on 45 not out. MISBAH DISMISSED Pakistan had begun the day on 282 for four, Misbah and Asad Shafiq resuming their partnership of 104. Mark Wood (3-39) partnered Stuart Broad as captain Cook opted for an all-seam attack, the quicks better able to sustain hostility in the relative cool of the morning. Broad’s impact was immediate, trapping Misbah (102) lbw with the day’s fifth ball. The skipper had anticipated a bouncer after a barrage of short deliveries and was deceived by Broad’s fuller ball which thumped into the 41-year-old’s front pad. Misbah appealed but to no avail, replays indicating the ball would have struck his leg stump. Shafiq brought up his 12th Test half-century with a four through the slips as he and Safraz Ahmed put on 52. Safraz (32) was caught at mid-on and Wahab, on six, skied a catch to mid-on. Yasir Shah, who made 16 runs from 17 balls, was tempted into another big hit by fellow leg-spinner Adil Rashid, but he edged the ball to slip. Zulfiqar (3) did not move as Wood’s inswinging Yorker caught him lbw, the ousted batsmen holding his head in shame. Shafiq (83), who required prolonged treatment after Wood’s full toss thundered into his knee, was last out, caught at short midwicket. The series is level after a draw in the first Test in Abu Dhabi. Sharjah will stage the concluding test from Nov. 1. –Reuters
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