Pakistan opening salvo puts England in trouble
THE OVAL – Pakistan ripped through England’s top order to reduce the hosts to 92 for four at lunch on the first day of the final Test at The Oval on Thursday.
England captain Alastair Cook won the toss but the Pakistan fast bowlers made full use of overcast conditions to dismiss Alex Hales, Cook, Joe Root and James Vince in quick succession.
Hales, on six, was caught by Yasir Shah at mid-wicket off Mohammad Amir and Cook, on 35, dragged a short ball from Sohail Khan on to his stumps.
Root moved fluently on to 26 before he nicked Wahab Riaz to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed and Wahab produced a venomous delivery to account for Vince (one) in similar fashion.
Wahab, who also had Cook dropped at slip, bowled a rapid spell but Gary Ballance (three not out) and Jonny Bairstow (13 not out) took England to lunch without further loss.
England lead the four-match series 2-1.
England 1st innings A. Cook b So. Khan 35 A. Hales c Shah b Amir 6 J. Root c S. Ahmed b Riaz 26 J. Vince c S. Ahmed b Riaz 1 G. Ballance not out 3 J. Bairstow not out 13 Extras (b-4 lb-1 nb-3) 8 Total (for 4 wickets, 24 overs) 92 Fall of wickets: 1-23 A. Hales,2-69 A. Cook,3-73 J. Root,4-74 J. Vince To bat: C. Woakes, M. Ali, S. Broad, S. Finn, J. Anderson Bowling M. Amir 7 - 0 - 28 - 1 So. Khan 10 - 1 - 33 - 1 W. Riaz 7 - 0 - 26 - 2(nb-3) Referees Umpire: Marais Erasmus Umpire: Bruce Oxenford TV umpire: Joel Wilson Match referee: Richie Richardson. –Reuters