BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan’s both changes in the playing XI has been extremely beneficial. Sohail Khan took five wickets on the first day of the test match and today Sami Aslam played a brilliant innings of 82 runs before getting run out. Pakistan was in a strong position at 257/3 at the end of day 2, they are trailing by 40 runs.
Mohammad Hafeez yet again failed miserably on this tour as he cut one straight to the cover-point fielder on the fourth ball of the innings from James Anderson and Pakistan was 0/1 in no time.
But, it was rock solid Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali that put Pakistan in an extremely solid position with their nearly flawless partnership of 181 runs.
Sami Aslam, who must have been under enormous pressure replacing Shan Masood in challenging English conditions and losing his partner without scoring, held his head cool and negotiated James Anderson and Stuart Broad in an impressive manner.
On the other hand, Azhar Ali got back his lost form, supported youngster well to deny English bowling attack with immense concentration and inspiring running between the wickets.
The hightlight of their long partnership was the cheeky singles they were taking, which you often don’t see when Pakistan is batting.
Sami Aslam brought up his maiden test half-century and was going well towards a mighty ton, but a poor call for a single from Azhar Ali resulted in a run out. The 20-year old scored 82 run.
On the other hand, Azhar Ali brushed off the haunting memory of getting his partner run out and turned his focus back to batting. He raised up his first century of the tour and his tenth century of his test career.
The ODI captain of Pakistan celebrated his feat by doing press-ups. However, it was a disappointing end for him as he nicked the last delivery of the day to Alastair Cook in the slip cordon. Probably, he lacked concentration a bit at the end, he made well-fought 139 runs.
Younis Khan is still at the crease at a score of 21 and now looking much steadier after jumping around the crease earlier.