Manchester, England: England set its sights on a series-leveling victory after dismissing Pakistan for 198 and taking a monumental 391-run first innings lead on a rain-interrupted third day of the second test on Sunday.
Captain Alastair Cook surprisingly didn't force the follow-on, with England reaching 98-1 at stumps for an overall lead of 489 runs on a day when rain disrupted play four times. No team has ever successfully chased down more than 418 runs to win in the history of test match cricket.
Chris Woakes, who took 11 wickets in England's first test defeat, grabbed 4-67 and led England's four-men seam attack. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq (52) scored a fighting half century, while Shan Masood and No. 10 Wahab Riaz both made 39 in an otherwise poor display by rest of the batsmen.
England bowlers exploited overcast conditions and Joe Root ended with four catches at second slip after Pakistan resumed on 57-4 overnight.
All four England seamers were among the wickets before lunch as Misbah watched his teammates' vulnerability when chasing balls outside the off stump, with their edges flying into the safe hands of Root.
Overnight batsman Masood added nine to his total before edging to Root in James Anderson's third over of the day. After an hour's rain stoppage, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (26) and Yasir Shah were all out to reduce Pakistan to 119-8 by lunch.
Misbah's resilience lifted the team's total with a 60-run ninth wicket stand with Riaz, who had to brave a nasty blow on the forearm from a short-pitched delivery from Woakes during his half century stand.
Off-spinner Moeen Ali wrapped up the innings when Misbah top-edged a sweep to Cook at fine leg and Riaz holed out at mid-wicket.
Rain kept interrupting England's second innings, but it didn't stop Cook from scoring freely. Pakistan was a bowler short after Riaz couldn't come onto the field after sustaining an injury while batting.
Alex Hales (24) added 68 runs with Cook before getting caught behind to Mohammad Amir, who found a thick inside edge. But Cook batted aggressively after his century in the first innings and was unbeaten on 49 off 53 balls with six boundaries.
Root (23 not out) also continued his sublime form after scoring a double century in England's first innings total of 589-8 declared and took England to a position of strength by stumps.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jul 25, 2016 22:15:30 IST