The hosts soon found themselves in further trouble as Alastair Cook was dismissed for just one. The left-handed opener, making a record-equalling 153rd consecutive Test appearance, had top-scored with 70 in England's meagre first-innings 184. But Saturday saw England's all-time leading Test run-scorer lbw to Mohammad Abbas. Teenage leg-spinner Shadab Khan struck next when Mark Stoneman was bowled off stump by a ball that kept low.
The afternoon session saw Amir strike twice to initiate a collapse that saw England lose four wickets for 19 runs. It was the exit of Malan, who saw a piece of his helmet fly off after turning away from a Hasan Ali bouncer, that sparked the slump. Malan edged a good-length Amir delivery, with diving wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, holding an excellent low one-handed catch that would not have carried to first slip. Two balls later, Bairstow fell for a duck when left-arm quick Amir produced a superb delivery that cut back to clip the top of off stump. Amir, whose career almost came to a complete end at Lord's back in 2010 after he received a jail sentence and five-year ban from cricket for his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal during a corresponding Test against England, had taken two wickets for no runs in three balls.
England were now 91 for four and badly needed a batsman to support captain Joe Root, who had made a 93-ball fifty. But instead Stokes (nine) carelessly turned Shadab off his pads to substitute Fakhar Zaman at midwicket. A frustration of the talented Root's career has been an inability to turn Test fifties into hundreds and Saturday was a case in point. This was his 40th half-century at this level but there was no 14th Test hundred as Root fell lbw to Abbas for 68. Buttler and Bess, however, kept Pakistan at bay with Bess -- whose first-class debut, against Pakistan, was just two years ago -- driving Hasan Ali for four to give England the lead. A four by Buttler, selected on the basis of his form in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League, saw him to an 89-ball fifty, with the 20-year-old Bess -- in his first match at Lord's -- receiving huge cheers when he reached the landmark in 93 balls.
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First Published: May 27, 2018, 3:26 PM IST