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England know they must start to show their clinical edge

By David Clough

Published 13/08/2016

Pakistan's Asad Shafiq salutes the crowd after being dismissed for 109 at the Oval
Pakistan's Asad Shafiq salutes the crowd after being dismissed for 109 at the Oval

England are under orders to cut out the lapses of concentration in the field which allowed Pakistan to nose in front in the fourth Investec Test at The Oval.

Asad Shafiq was one of three batsmen dropped before lunch on day two as his 109, and 101 not out from veteran Younus Khan, carried the tourists to 340 for six in reply to 328.

England's assistant coach Paul Farbrace acknowledged the damage done by missed catches, and the need to stop giving opposing batsmen extra chances.

Asked to pinpoint the root of the problem, Farbrace said: "It's the concentration element.

"We've worked very hard - we are honest, no excuses, (and have been) missing chances for quite some time."

Shafiq's reprieve on just seven was perhaps the toughest of the three catches - James Anderson the fielder at third slip.

The other two, not as costly, were more glaring opportunities - Alex Hales missing nightwatchman Yasir Shah at gully and then Steve Finn failing to hold a return chance from Azhar Ali.

Farbrace said: "Hales can't blame anything else... and you expect a caught and bowled chance to be caught.

"If we are serious about being No.1, you have to take chances and keep the opposition under pressure.

"We've let sessions slip this summer by not taking our chances."

Farbrace is an admirer of England's current opponents, who since a terrorist attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore in 2009 have played almost all their cricket outside their homeland.

"Pakistan are a fantastic side," he said. "They could still end up as No.1 (at the end of this match) - which is a fantastic achievement for a team that plays every game away."

Scores: England 328: Moeen 108, Bairstow 55; Sohail 5-68

Pakistan 340-6: Shafiq 109, Younus 101 not out

Pakistan lead by 12 runs

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