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Gary Ballance feeling confident after striking back to bolster England

By David Clough

Gary Ballance feels at home again in the England fold after his first Test half-century since his return this summer.

Ballance top-scored with 70 as he and Moeen Ali (63) underpinned England's 297 all out after they had been put in by Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq at Edgbaston.

The hosts therefore mustered what he hopes is a "par total" in the third Investec Test, despite a maiden five-wicket haul from Sohail Khan, at the start of a series which stands at 1-1 with two to play.

Ballance had hit an aggregate 72 runs in his three previous innings since his return following a year out of the team.

"It's just great to be back," he said.

"Obviously, it's good to get a decent score just to feel part of it again. You always want to do that when you come back into a side.

"Luckily that's happened, and I hope it can give me some confidence going into the rest of the series."

Ballance was dropped after last summer's Lord's defeat mid-Ashes - and admits he perhaps allowed himself to be weighed down at times during his first run in Test cricket.

"I'm enjoying it a bit more ... and I feel like I've fitted straight back in," he added.

"Last time, it felt like if I didn't have a good day it really got to me - whereas this time round, so be it.

"You have good days and bad days, especially in cricket," Balance said.

"I hope I can learn from good and bad experiences from the past."

Belfast Telegraph


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