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England’s struggles continue at Lord’s as Cook falls after half-century

The veteran opener made 70 but none of the other top-four England batsmen reached double figures.

Alastair Cook was bowled for 70 after leading England’s recovery on the opening day of the first NatWest Test against Pakistan.

The hosts were reduced to 43 for three after opener Mark Stoneman, skipper Joe Root and Dawid Malan all departed for single-figure scores inside the opening 70 minutes of play.

Cook combined for stands of 57 with Jonny Bairstow and 49 with Ben Stokes to help rebuild but the veteran opener’s dismissal in the afternoon session saw England on the back foot again and they went to tea on 165 for five.

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

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 before Bairstow was bowled by Faheem Ashraf.

Cook was then bowled by Mohammad Amir but Ben Stokes (36 not out) and the returning Jos Buttler (13no) steered England through the rest of the afternoon session.

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