Archive for May 27, 2018

The Lord’s Day

Posted in Cricket on May 27, 2018 by telescoper

Yesterday I travelled to London (on a very slow train, diverted because of engineering work) in order to watch the third day’s play of the First Test between England and Pakistan at Lord’s.

The above picture was taken from my seat on the top level of the recently refurbished Warner Stand, looking towards the Mound Stand.

Pakistan were well on top going into the third day, having dismissed England for just 184 in their first innings. They started Day 3 on 350 for 8 and added just 13 to their overnight score before Mohammad Abbas was out, at which point the innings closed; Babar Azam had retired hurt the previous day, struck on the arm, and was unable to resume.

England came out to vat, and their performance mirrored the first innings – wickets fell to a mixture of good deliveries and poor shots. Bairstow, for example, was bowled by a beautiful delivery from Amir that nipped back off the seam and Stoneman got one from the legspinner Shadab Khan that turned and kept low. Stokes on the other hand played a weak shot to a nothing ball and was caught at short midwicket.

When Root was out for 68, with the score on 110 for 6, an innings defeat looked inevitable but there then followed a fine century partnership between Jos Buttler and Debutant spinner Dom Bess. I don’t rate Buttler as a Test player and his selection (as a batsman to play at No. 7) was an admission that the higher order was likely to fail, which of course it did. However to give credit where it is due he and Bess played very well, taking England to 235 for 6, adding 125 between them, avoiding an innings defeat and giving England a lead of 56.

It was a good performance from the 7th wicket pair, but England would need at least another 100 runs to have any chance of winning.

England’s batting frailties and later recovery notwithstanding, it was a fine performance in the field from Pakistan who I thought were very impressive.

On Day 4 the England batting collapsed as it had in the first innings: the last four wickets fell for just 7 runs, leaving Pakistan a target 64 to win, which they duly rattled off on less than an hour for the loss of just one wicket.

Well played Pakistan, and congratulations on a thoroughly well deserved victory!

England’s poor performance against this Pakistan team certainly puts that of Ireland a couple of weeks ago into perspective!

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