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England shine but injury to Ben Stokes is blow

By David Clough

Published 02/11/2015

Medics walk with England's Ben Stokes after he injured his arm during the first day of the third test match between Pakistan and England in the Gulf Emirate of Sharjah on November 01, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARWAN NAAMANIMARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images
Medics walk with England's Ben Stokes after he injured his arm during the first day of the third test match between Pakistan and England in the Gulf Emirate of Sharjah on November 01, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARWAN NAAMANIMARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images

England's delight at an outstanding collective performance with the ball in Sharjah was tempered by their concern over Ben Stokes' shoulder injury.

Stokes was in obvious pain after falling awkwardly as he tried to pull off what would have been a brilliant catch and left the field on day one of the must-win third Test against Pakistan with his right arm in a make-shift sling.

Stuart Broad, who was wonderfully disciplined and economical as he and James Anderson took six for 30 between them to help bowl the hosts out for 234, is still hoping Stokes may be able to play some part in the remainder of the match.

Visual evidence suggests the all-rounder may well be out for a significant length of time but that depends on a full diagnosis which will be known only after scans at lunchtime today.

Stokes hurled himself to his left to try to catch Sarfraz Ahmed during an evening session in which the sixth-wicket stand of 80 with captain Misbah-ul-Haq (71) was soon broken anyway -Pakistan then lasted only another eight overs.

Anderson (four for 17) doubled his wicket tally with the second new ball, as he and Broad each conceded barely a run an over.

Stokes' condition was still on their minds, however, as they left the field after a job well done.

"We all walked in straight away to try to find him," said Broad. "He's a tough guy. So generally when he shows pain, he's going to be sore.

"It was an amazing effort to try to take the catch."

England's medics were unable to say for sure whether Stokes had dislocated his shoulder -an injury which can take three months or more for a full recovery and might, therefore, jeopardise his place on the next Test tour to South Africa.

"It's hard to speculate what it is. But he's obviously a bit down.We (still) hope he can play a bit more part in this Test match, because he's obviously a vital cog in our machine.

Stokes' injury apart, England had much to smile about as they try to level the series at 1-1.

"We're delighted," said Broad. "You are, any day of Test cricket when you get 10 wickets.

"No one knows if 230 is a good score - because it turned quite considerably today, and the outfield is amazingly slow.

"But if we have a good day with the bat tomorrow it makes today an excellent day."

Broad's figures were remarkable and even after conceding eight runs in his last over, they read 13-8-13-2.

He said: "It's a patience game.

England must bat well too, though, having reached stumps on four without loss from the two overs remaining.

Belfast Telegraph

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