Spinners turn screw as Pakistan make 247 for 8

Leeds - From the giddy heights of England's world record at Trent Bridge, it was a more sedate affair at Headingley as Pakistan stumbled their way to 247 for 8. The innings was anchored by Azhar Ali's 80 off 104 balls, but he was one of three wickets for Adil Rashid as England rarely lost control, although Imad Wasim again impressed with an unbeaten 41-ball 57.

At 110 for 2 in the 23rd over Pakistan had a decent platform to at least try to challenge 300, but knowing they had to press the accelerator they stumbled against the spin of Rashid, whose second five-over spell brought 3 for 17, and Moeen Ali as the pair shared 5 for 86 from their 20 overs. England also caught superbly, barring one tough chance missed in the deep by Chris Jordan.

Imad, though, provided a much-needed late kick. He had missed the carnage at Trent Bridge with a sore knee but picked up where he had left off at Lord's. He reached his fifty from 32 balls during the 48th over, from David Willey, which cost 16 and included a mighty six over long-on. He added 56 in eight overs with Hasan Ali to at least bring respectability to the total.

After Azhar had won the toss and kept his bowlers out of the initial firing line, England's re-jigged new-ball pair of Willey and Jordan, who had replaced the rested Chris Woakes and Mark Wood, sent down three maidens in the first six overs.

Jordan, though, was a mixed bag in his first spell with 21 runs coming from his first two overs but he was the bowler to break the opening stand when Sharjeel Khan, who had again showed his penchant for the pull off the hip, skied into the off side when Ben Stokes took a well-judged catch over his shoulder.

After 10 overs, Pakistan were a modest 40 for 1 and, as would characterise the first 40 overs of the innings, they lost wickets each time they tried to up the tempo. Sami Aslam had laboured for 43 balls over his 26 when he sent a top edge into the stratosphere with Stokes, again, the man to hold his nerve.

Azhar and Babar Azam brought some life to the innings with a third-wicket stand of 49 in eight overs which included sixes in consecutive overs for the captain. They were halted when Moeen struck in his first over, although more by accident than design, when Babar cut a short ball to Liam Plunkett at backward point.

Plunkett's second catch was a stand-out, and removed the dangerous Sarfraz Ahmed who hadn't been able to break free, when he flung himself to his left at mid-on to intercept Sarfraz's attempt to send Rashid down the ground.

Rashid, who in his first spell had frequently dropped short, claimed his second when he made one straighten on Mohammad Rizwan to win an lbw appeal. He finished on a high when Azhar picked out long-off, missing the chance of a century for the second time in the series.

Pakistan's two left-arm spin-bowling allrounders, Imad and Mohammad Nawaz, on whom much hope is pinned for the future, were then paired together but only for three overs before Moeen beat Nawaz with a delivery that turned and bounced. Moeen did not concede a boundary in his 10 overs (despite his now-obligatory beamer which cleared Jonny Bairstow).

Imad enjoyed the return to pace as he took four boundaries off Plunkett over the space of two overs with as good a timing as any of the Pakistan batsmen had managed, before denting Willey's figures. Jordan was the pick of England's attack at the death, going for 14 in a four-over spell, and claimed his second when Hasan scythed a low full toss to backward point.

A late injury to Jos Buttler in the warm-ups, when he tweaked his hamstring, meant Bairstow made it five Yorkshireman in the line-up, but that was not such a rare occurrence: the same five played against Sri Lanka, at Cardiff, earlier this season. Pakistan made four changes but, despite Imad's sparkle, at the midway mark it didn't look like making much of a difference.


Sami Aslam c Stokes b Plunkett 24
Sharjeel Khan c Stokes b Jordan 16
Azhar Ali c Willey b Rashid 80
Babar Azam c Plunkett b Ali 12
Sarfraz Ahmed c Plunkett b Rashid 12
M Rizwan lbw b Rashid 6
M Nawaz st Bairstow b Ali 13
Imad Wasim not out 57
Hasan Ali c Root b Jordan 9
Umar Gul not out 6
EXTRAS: (lb3, w6, nb3) 12
TOTAL: (8 wkts, 50 overs) 247
FOW: 1-24, 2-61, 3-110, 4-136, 5-152, 6-169, 7-180, 8-236
BOWLING: Willey 8-2-40-0; Jordan 9-1-42-2 (1nb, 1w); Stokes 4-0-15-0 (2w); Plunkett 9-0-61-1 (2w); Rashid 10-0-47-3 (1w); Ali 10-0-39-2 (2nb)
TOSS: Pakistan
UMPIRES: Marais Erasmus (RSA), Tim Robinson (ENG)
TV UMPIRE: Simon Fry (AUS)

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