Stokes strikes for England but Pakistan forge ahead
Tourists in the lead but all-rounder on song at Lord’s.
A hostile spell from Ben Stokes carried the strain for England as they battled to curtail Pakistan’s lead on day two at Lord’s.
Stokes removed Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed with short balls in the afternoon session of the first Test and then forced top-scorer Babar Azam to retire hurt after a nasty blow on the forearm.
The tourists were still in a strong position at 285 for five – a lead of 101 following England’s day one travails.
Stokes’ pace and aggression was the standout showing for England, while Pakistan saw Azhar Ali, Shafiq and Babar make half-centuries in an innings which put England’s judgement and diligence to shame.
Mark Wood made the initial inroads, following a wicketless first hour, finding Haris Sohail’s edge with a beauty from round the wicket.
James Anderson followed up by pinning Azhar lbw from the Nursery End ending a 136-ball stay for exactly 50.
Shafiq and Babar shared a stand of 84 before Stokes removed the former with a bouncer, one ball after Jos Buttler dropped a tough chance at gully.
Sarfraz then fell to an irresponsible hook from the final ball before tea and Babar departed in pain having compiled an impressive 68no.