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Cook fights lone battle in new-look England top order

Cook reached 50 but Bairstow was the only other top-five batsman to reach double figures.

Alastair Cook recorded a half-century but he did not get much help from the rest of England’s top order on the opening day of the first NatWest Test against Pakistan.

Cook, who survived a review for lbw on umpire’s call when England were 35 for two, reached his 56th Test half-century shortly after lunch at Lord’s.

But opener Mark Stoneman, skipper Joe Root and Dawid Malan all departed for single-figure scores inside the opening 70 minutes of the morning, while Jonny Bairstow went for 27 to leave England 100 for four.

Skipper Root had won the toss and elected to bat first in the opening clash of the two-Test series.

But Stoneman was bowled by Mohammad Abbas in the fourth over, Root – having survived a run-out attempt before he had faced a ball – made the same score before nicking behind when chasing a wide delivery from Hasan Ali in the 14th, and Malan soon edged Hasan behind for six.

Bairstow was then bowled by Faheem Ashraf after a 57-run stand with Cook for the fourth wicket, which brought Ben Stokes to the crease.

Press Association


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