Buttler extends England's lead beyond 100 as Pakistan fight back

By Harry West 3 June 2018 161
Buttler extends England's lead beyond 100 as Pakistan fight back

An engaging day's Test cricket at Headingley ended with England 128 runs ahead of Pakistan, who were left to rue an early drop of Jos Buttler on Saturday.

Persistent rain in Leeds meant play did not get under way until 14:45 local time and with the close extended until beyond 19:00, England reached stumps on day two 302-7 in reply to the tourists' 174 all out.

Buttler will resume Sunday's action on 34, having been put down on four by Hasan Ali, while debutant Sam Curran (16 not out) will join him in trying to extend the hosts' lead on day three of the second Test.

There were contributions from all of England's batsmen under clearing skies, captain Joe Root making 45 while nightwatchman Dom Bess fell just one shy of a half-century as Pakistan continued to chip out wickets to end promising partnerships.

Dawid Malan (28) and home favourite Jonny Bairstow (21) each got starts without going on, as England were kept in check by the likes of Mohammad Amir (2-64) and Faheem Ashraf (2-43).

It was Amir who struck first once play belatedly got started, inducing Root into edging behind, but Pakistan could make no further inroads before tea as Bess and Malan batted their side into the lead.

Malan fell in the second over of the final session, however, gloving Amir to slip, and there were groans around Headingley when Bess perished for 49, sharply taken by Asad Shafiq off the bowling of Shadab Khan (1-50).

Shadab and Pakistan's momentum was halted somewhat as Buttler was dropped at midwicket, while there was a further uncomfortable moment for the recent re-call, who took a blow to the helmet from a Hasan bouncer.

Bairstow successfully overturned an lbw decision after offering no shot, but he could have no arguments two overs later as he nicked Faheem to Sarfraz Ahmed from the last delivery before the new ball was due.

Chris Woakes (17) fell to a beauty from Mohammad Abbas (1-60), Sarfraz claiming his fifth victim of the innings, before Buttler and Curran negotiated the final overs and those with tickets for Sunday will hope to see fireworks from the former as England seek a 1-1 series draw.

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