England paid a heavy price for their own faulty batting as Pakistan demonstrated how it should be done on day two of the first NatWest Test at Lord’s.
Babar Azam top-scored with 68 before having to retire hurt, and the tourists duly put themselves in a position surely beyond even their own best hopes back when Joe Root had chosen to bat first the previous morning.
After Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Shadab Khan also reached 50, Pakistan closed 166 in front on 350 for eight and apparently on course to inflict England’s sixth defeat in their last eight Tests.
Kane Williamson spent a couple of days in Auckland showing the tourists how they ought to have batted there, after their 58 all out two months ago. Here, Pakistan have been doing likewise at Lord’s. The hope must be that at some point the long-game know-how rubs off on England’s strokemakers.
166 – Pakistan’s lead leaves England with a yawning mid-match disadvantage.
Estimates of England’s dropped catches ranged between six, from the harshest judges, to a mere four with those more generous. Either way, it was fair to say that they had added to their own problems with a below-average display in the field.
Missed chances are England's downfall on day two at Lord's, Pakistan building a lead of 166 runs by reaching 350/8 at stumps.#ENGvPAK scorecard â¡ï¸ https://t.co/5OEmW3pCzn pic.twitter.com/E1coG0Fi7a— ICC (@ICC) May 25, 2018
An uphill battle for England to avoid another defeat.