Sat, Oct 24, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Cook falls, Root in charge as England eye 378 in UAE

Reuters, DUBAI

Joe Root’s unbeaten half-century yesterday helped stuttering England reach 182-3 at the close on the second day of the second Test after Pakistan’s seam and spin attack dismissed the openers cheaply.

Pakistan, playing in their adopted United Arab Emirates home, were bowled out for 378 before lunch, some erratic slogging seeing the hosts’ final five wickets to fall for 44 runs.

Pakistan pacemen Wahab Riaz and Imran Khan were given the new ball, and captain Misbah-ul-Haq packed the slips cordon.

Wahab had Moeen Ali (1) caught brilliantly by Shan Masood at short-leg.

Skipper Alastair Cook was joined at the crease by Ian Bell (4) and the veteran No. 3 was again found wanting, feathering a full Khan delivery to the slips as England slumped to 14-2.

Root and Cook — Test cricket’s top two run scorers this year — repelled Pakistan’s ferocious onslaught to reach 105-2 at tea, although England’s skipper was fortunate on 27.

Attempting to sweep Zulfiqar Babar, the ball struck pad and skidded on to the stumps, but the bails somehow stayed on.

Misbah brought Yasir Shah to the fore as the light faded.

The leg-spinner, the fastest man to 50 Test wickets for Pakistan, missed the drawn first Test in Abu Dhabi with injury and initially did little, England’s batsmen scoring freely until Misbah positioned a leg-slip.

Cook tried to guide a Yasir (1-59) delivery around the corner, but found only the hands of the newly stationed fielder.

England’s skipper walked for 65, his partnership with Root worth 113 as the tourists stumbled to 130-3.

However, Root was unbowed, claiming a 15th Test half-century with a single through short-leg.

He is to resume on 76, with Jonny Bairstow on 27 not out.

Pakistan had begun the day on 282-4, Misbah and Asad Shafiq resuming their partnership of 104.

Mark Wood (3-39) partnered Stuart Broad, who trapping Misbah (102) LBW with the day’s fifth delivery.

Safraz Ahmed was caught at mid-on for 32 and Yasir (16) miscued another attempted big hit to slip.

Zulfiqar (3) did not move as Wood’s inswinging Yorker caught him LBW, the ousted batsmen holding his head in shame.

Shafiq (83), who required prolonged treatment after Wood’s full-toss thundered into his knee, was last out, caught at short midwicket.

NEW ZEALAND TOUR

New Zealand yesterday launched their tour of Australia with a thumping 102-run win over the Prime Minister’s XI in a one-day game in Canberra.

After setting a target of 307, aided by opener Tom Latham’s 131, the Black Caps — led by paceman Trent Boult — made light work of Test aspirants Usman Khawaja, Cameron Bancroft and Joe Burns with the pink ball at the Manuka Oval, dismissing the trio for a combined total of six runs.

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