Pakistan dominate Day One

Virginia Santiago
May 27, 2018

Jos Buttler and Dom Bess shared a spirited century stand to save England from a humiliating innings defeat by Pakistan in the first Test at Lord's on Saturday.

England's new summer began with old failings as they were bowled out for 184 by Pakistan on day one of the first Test at Lord's.

Buttler (66 not out), a limited-overs specialist, and Bess (55 not out), a 20-year-old spinner, displayed the kind of diligence and discipline that the top order lacked to earn England a 56-run lead by the close of play on a lovely day in northwest London.

England, resuming on an overnight 235 for six, lost their last four second-innings wickets for a mere seven runs in 18 balls on the fourth morning to be bowled out for 242.

As England began their quest to get back into this Test match at the halfway stage, the spotlight was firmly on England's struggling opener Mark Stoneman.

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Alastair Cook, who top-scored with 70 in the first innings, was trapped lbw by Mohammad Abbas for one and Mark Stoneman, under severe pressure for his place in the team, made a scratchy nine before he was bowled by leg-spinner Shadab Khan before England limped to lunch at 37 for two. He will be offered another - and perhaps a final - chance to cement his place in the side in the second Test at Headingley.

Captain Joe Root batted patiently, content to defend and take advantage of the rare loose balls served up by a disciplined Pakistan attack.

Pakistan's tour began in April and has already included three matches against counties and a Test victory in Ireland.

England has been prone to batting implosions in recent years and another arrived in the middle session, when four wickets fell in 38 balls.

Pakistan were soon in the wickets with Cook looking on as the other three members of England's top four all fell in single figures.

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But both batted superbly and have given England a glimmer of hope going into day four.

"We wanted to scrap hard, and try and get ourselves back in the game, " said Buttler, whose 130-ball innings has been unusually measured and mostly risk-free for a player who arrived straight from the Indian Premier League.

While those fireworks were not on show today, Buttler justified his inclusion in the team with a fifty that was just his second in first-class cricket in three years.

But this was a moment of unalloyed joy to set alongside Amir's role in Pakistan's Test win over England at Lord's two years ago - a victory that helped them to a 2-2 draw in a four-match series.

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