BIRMINGHAM: Sohail Khan had a dream comeback as he got the five-for against a solid English batting line. His five wickets included scalps of Alex Hales, Joe Root, James Vince, Jonny Bairstow and James Anderson. His bowling figures were 5 wickets for 96 runs in 23 overs. At the end of day 1, England were all out for 297 runs.
Misbah Ul Haq won the toss and elected to field first, which come as surprise to many. Mohammad Amir was once again well-tackled by English openers, however, Sohail Khan came as an unknown weapon that rattled England’s top order.
England lost their first wicket at a score of 36 when Alex Hales edged one to Sarfraz Ahmed off Sohail Khan after scoring 17 runs.
Khan didn’t take long to remove the invincible looking Joe Root, the double-centurion of the last game went cheaply on just 3 runs.
Alastair Cook looked extremely solid for his 45 runs off 52 deliveries before Rahat Ali trapped him in front of the wicket with an in-swinger.
England was struggling at a score of 75/3 when Gary Ballance and James Vince had a handy partnership of 69 runs that stabilized the sinking ship of England.
Sohail Khan once again came into the act after lunch and got two quick wickets of James Vince and Jonny Bairstow at scores of 39 and 12 runs respectively. Pakistan was once again in driving seat as England was 158/5.
The new batsman in the crease was Moeen Ali, who joined hands with the well-settled Gary Ballance and started rebuilding the innings. The two left-handers kept Pakistan at bay with a frustrating partnership of 66 runs.
Ballance played a courageous inning of 70 runs before edging an ordinary delivery of Yasir Shah to Sarfraz Ahmed, it was a big wicket for Pakistan as the duo was looking comfortable at the crease.
Despite of losing his partner, Moeen Ali stood strong at the crease. The departure of Chris Woakes also didn’t break his focus as he went on to score his sixth half-century of the career.
As Pakistan took the second new ball, Mohammad Amir immediately struck twice, he got Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali in two consecutive overs. Moeen scored 63 runs that can be crucial in the context of the game.
James Anderson and Steven Finn had a short 19-run partnership, they lived dangerously before Sohail Khan got his fifth wicket by getting Anderson LBW.
Gary Ballance and Moeen Ali remained the pick of the batsmen for England with scores of 70 and 63 respectively.
On the other hand, Pakistan had a team effort as all bowlers contributed with wickets. Amir and Rahat Ali got two wickets each, while, the leggie, Yasir Shah took just one wicket.
Pakistan will come out to bat tomorrow with the opening pair of Mohammad Hafeez and Sami Aslam. At the moment, it seems like the game is in balance.