Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Pakistan's Babar Azam ruled out of England series with fractured wrist

Pakistan's Babar Azam ruled out of England series with fractured wrist

Ben Stokes unfurled a few trademark attacking strokes in his 38 but he was trapped lbw by Abbas following a review and England's last five wickets crumbled for the addition of 16 runs straight after tea.

Opener Alastair Cook was the only batsman to stand out, making 70 in his record-leveling 153rd consecutive test.

England have won 19 home Tests in May since they started playing them in 2000, and lost only two.

Mohammad Abbas and Hasan Ali shared eight wickets for the tourists and Pakistan ended the day in a commanding position on 50-1.

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England is now placed in the fifth position on the ICC Test Championship rankings, while Pakistan is placed at the seventh position. From therein the tourists slowly cut into England's lead, Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail showing the patience and skill required to score runs in hard conditions.

Overcast skies allied to a green-tinged pitch promised to assist Pakistan's pacemen but Cook defended the decision of his successor as England captain by saying: "It was a really tricky one".

Abbas made the breakthrough when he bowled Mark Stoneman (four) with a late swinging delivery.

Root, promoted up the order to number three, also fell for four when he drove at a wide ball from Hasan and edged behind to opposing captain Sarfraz Ahmed.

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Azhar Ali (18 not out) and Haris Sohail (21 not out) were largely untroubled by the England fast bowlers, although Azhar was dropped in the slips on 16 by Stokes off Wood to complete a poor day for Root's side at the start of the two-match series.

At that stage, England were 43 for three.

Cook and Jonny Bairstow dug in with a partnership of 57 before Bairstow was bowled for 27 by Faheem Ashraf.

But he was forced to retire hurt before the close after being struck a painful blow by England pace bowling all-rounder Ben Stokes. "The Ashes (a 2019 series in England) are only just over a year away, so he'll be 34 and could have a great series, and then he might even fancy coming back to Australia again". On Thursday morning when the English cricket team took to field at the home of cricket against Pakistan, Cook added another golden feather of similarity to his illustrious hat.

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It was the latest memorable Lord's incident for Amir, who took six wickets in a Test innings at MCC's headquarters in 2010 - the same match where his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal led to a jail sentence and a five-year ban from cricket.

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