Lacklustre Hasan Ali and Mohammad Abbas hurt Pakistan as England gain upper hand in Headingley Test

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Pakistan seemed to have everything going for them at the start of the second Test against England in Headingley.

Sarfraz Ahmed’s boys won the first Test at Lord’s convincingly by nine wickets, raising hopes of a stunning series win after struggling for large parts of the one-off Test against Ireland which they eventually won by five wickets.

Pakistan caught everything that came their way at Lord’s while their entire top-order chipped in with useful runs to outplay the hosts in every department.

In Headingley, Pakistan batted first in what looked like ideal scoring conditions but England finally found their rhythm to peg the visitors back and gain the upper hand by the end of Day Two, stretching their lead to 128 having scored 302 for seven.

Here are three reasons why Pakistan have fallen behind in the second Test after looking like dominating England.

VARYING FIRST INNINGS CONDITIONS

CRICKET-ENG-PAK-TEST

When Pakistan batted first, conditions looked perfect for batting as the wicket was devoid of any grass. But as Stuart Broad and James Anderson charged in for their opening spells, the ball not only pinged off the surface but also moved in the air and after pitching. In such conditions, it was only a matter of time before edges were found and Pakistan’s inexperienced batting got exposed.

However, when it was their turn to bowl, Pakistan’s seamers did not get anywhere near as much movement. The wicket still had life in it but apart from Mohammad Amir, who bowled snorters every spell, most Pakistan pacers got much less movement from the pitch compared to their English counterparts.

LACK OF SWING SUPPORT

Seam bowler Mohammad Abbas (1-60) was a revelation in the first Test as he picked up four wickets in each innings to script a famous win. His seam bowling partner Hasan Ali (1-68) was supposed to play the role of the aggressor. But both looked below par in conditions which offered help to quick bowlers.

In fact, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf (2-43) looked the best of the lot, apart from Amir, as he not only pegged away at a line outside off stump but also kept the runs down while picking up two crucial wickets. Hasan did not get as much movement from the pitch as expected and was also not economical enough to keep Pakistan in the game.

With the second new ball, Abbas bowled within himself and even his edges barely carried to slip. Not the effort you need when the team is gunning for a series win.

Not only that, Hasan dropped the dangerous Jos Buttler at mid wicket when the batsman was on four. A horror day in the field.

LACKLUSTRE SHADAB

Leg-spinner Shadab Khan has been a great find for Pakistan cricket. Not only has his bowling given Pakistan an edge in limited overs cricket, his batting at the Test level has surprised one and all.  It was his 56 in the first innings that helped Pakistan score 174, which should have given him confidence with the ball.

However, Shadab was handled competently by the English batsmen. In fact, England were comfortable playing Shadab of the back foot, which meant they had enough time to read him from the hand the off the pitch.

The young leggie has the talent and will soon learn the art of tying the batsmen down when the conditions are not ideal for spin. At Headingley, sadly, that was not the case.

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From ticket collector MS Dhoni to policeman Shane Bond - jobs cricketers had before stardom

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Not all cricketers get into the game the traditional way. For many, cricket is a passion they pursue while sustaining their life through other means.

Pakistan seamer Mohammad Abbas used to work as a welder and in a leather factory before he got a spot in the district Under-19 team. Those days are well and truly behind Abbas after his match-winning eight-wicket haul at the Lord’s Test against England.

Here we take a look at players who had other jobs before they became renowned cricketers.

Ticket collector (MS Dhoni)

Indian wicketkeeper Mahender Dhoni, who

The legendary India wicketkeeper batsman and former captain was a ticket collector with the Indian Railways in Kharagpur, eastern India. According to the Telegraph India, Dhoni’s job included “going from one platform to another to hand over “quota charts” to ticket examiners of long-distance trains that stopped at the main railway junction of Kharagpur”.

Pipe factory worker (Mohammad Irfan)

The Pakistan left-arm fast bowler initially had to give up cricket to work in a plastic pipe factory and support his family. However, help from Pakistan cricket supporters helped him resume his career. Thereafter, a recommendation from Wasim Akram saw Irfan fast-tracked into the national team.

Policeman (Shane Bond)

New Zealand’s former fast bowler Shane Bond revealed how the unforgiving job of a traffic cop helped improve his mental strength and ability to cope with stressful situations. “That job took me out of my comfort zone, placed me in stressful situations, helped my self-confidence and prepared me pretty well for international cricket,” Bond had said.

Army man (Sheldon Cottrell)

West Indies left-arm fast bowler Cottrell served as a private in the Jamaica Defence Force. Has incorporated that part of his life into his cricket as he celebrates his wickets by marching past the batsman and giving an army man’s salute.

Sailor (Fakhar Zaman)

Fakhar Zaman

Pakistan batsman Zaman joined the Pakistan Navy as a sailor in 2007 after receiving his schooling and training at Pakistan Navy School. During his time as a sailor, Zaman played inter-departmental cricket matches.

Zaman left the Navy in 2013 and was guided by star batsman Younis Khan in his cricketing journey which culminated in his match-winning century against India in the Champions Trophy final.

Undertaker (Hanson Carter)

Australian wicketkeeper Hanson Carter had one of the toughest jobs on the planet – that of an undertaker. According to ESPNCricinfo, The Sydney man was once tasked with organising the funeral of his team-mate Victor Trumper who died aged 37 in 1915.

Chicken farmer (Eddo Brandes)

One of the most famous chicken farmers in the world. The Zimbabwe fast bowler said since players during his time were amateurs, he needed a steady source of income and therefore got into the chicken business as his family was already into farming. Moved on to tomato farming. Famously took 4-21 to beat England in the 1992 World Cup.

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Emotional end to Pakistan star Shahid Afridi's international career at Lord's

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Afridi bid farewell to international cricket at Lord's.

Pakistan star all-rounder Shahid Afridi received an emotional send-off in his final international assignment as the West Indies registered a 72-run win over the World XI at Lord’s in the Hurricane Relief Twenty20 Challenge.

Afridi was named captain of the World XI after Eoin Morgan pulled out due to a finger injury. The match was held to raise funds to help rebuild venues in the Caribbean damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.

Afridi, who retired from international cricket two years ago, was given a guard of honour at Lord’s.

“That’s something I’ll never forget,” said the all-rounder called ‘Boom Boom’ by his fans.

“For that to happen at the home of cricket, it’s massive. The cause was everything tonight, and to have been able to help, it’s fantastic. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported this.”

During the match, Afridi was asked by commentator Nasser Hussain if there is any possibility of another comeback. The all-rounder, suffering from a persistent knee injury, said: “No that’s it. You can see my situation with the injury.”

Afridi donated $20,000 to Hurricane Relief from his foundation, while all the players donated their match fees to the charity.

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