Blunder at the toss and other talking points as England gain advantage in Leeds

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Sarfraz Ahmed could be regretting his decision to bat first.

England were in the driving seat after day one in the second Test against Pakistan at Headingley.

Pakistan were bundled out for 174 in their first innings after skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bat first at Leeds. In reply, the hosts were batting on 106-2 when stumps were called on Friday.

Here, we look at the key talking points from an action-packed day at Headingley.

BROAD GIVES ENGLAND A ROARING START

Throughout the Lord’s Test, the difference between the English and Pakistan pacers in their lengths and lines had been one of stark contrast. While the visitors had very much pitched it up, England’s pacers likes James Anderson and Stuart Broad had veered towards the shorter side.

It seemed the hosts had very much learnt their lessons as Broad reaped the rewards of pitching it up. Broad had Pakistan opener Azhar Ali pinned lbw with a fuller delivery to give England a roaring start. Soon, he snared the other opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq with another half-volley which the left-hander could only guide into the hands of second slip.

Broad’s opening burst was just the tonic England needed after their Lord’s disappointment and it set the tone for the rest of the day.

Broad was the pick of the England pacers with three wickets.

Broad was the pick of the England pacers with three wickets.

SHADAB KHAN PERFORMS REARGUARD ACTION FOR PAKISTAN

Shadab Khan’s impact with the bat since his introduction to Test cricket has been nothing short of extraordinary. The 19-year-old leg-spinner had struck a half-century in each of Pakistan’s last two Tests wins over Ireland and England.

He followed that up with another solid showing with the bat which prevented an utter humiliation for the batting-card. After Broad’s early burst, Anderson and Chris Woakes had got among the wickets too to leave Pakistan teetering at 79-7. That is when Shadab took charge with the bat, forming a vital partnership with Mohammed Amir first followed by another one with Hasan Ali.

The youngster struck 10 boundaries in a plucky innings full of heart as he notched up his third half-century in just his sixth Test innings. His sparkling 56 off just 52 balls was the sole reason Pakistan got to 174 after their horror-start.

Shadab Khan kissed the ground after registering his half-century.

Shadab Khan kisses the ground after registering his half-century.

ENGLAND’S BATSMEN STRENGTHEN GRIP

The impressive showing from England’s pacers was backed up by their batsmen as the hosts took control of the Headingley Test. Openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings were beaten on quite a few occasions by the Pakistan pacers but they held their composure and pounced on the loose deliveries to put up a 53-run stand for the first wicket.

While Jennings was dismissed eventually by Faheem Ashraf, Cook and Joe Root did not let the initiative slip away from the hosts. Cook, playing in a record 154th consecutive Test for England, showed the steely resolve and powers of concentration which have been his forte over the years as he kept the Pakistan pacers at an arm’s length.

Though Cook was dismissed shortly before the close of play, his 46-run innings had put England in complete command at Headingley.

Cook laid a strong foundation for England with his 46.

Cook laid a strong foundation for England with his 46.

SARFRAZ AHMED MISREADS PITCH?

In the first Test at Lord’s, England skipper Joe Root’s decision to bat first on a cloudy morning had backfired massively with the hosts getting bowled out for just 184 runs on a seaming pitch.

That decision had proved to be fatal for England and at the end of the first day’s play at Headingley, the very same scenario seems to be playing out again. Sarfraz Ahmed’s decision to bat first despite swing being forecast big-time at Headingley looked like a brave gamble in the morning and come stumps, the lapse in judgment seems to have been confirmed.

Pakistan’s batsmen found the going tough as England’s pacers made the most of the overcast conditions. By the time England came on to bat, the pitch had started to ease out considerably and the hosts seem well placed to tighten their grip on the Test during day two.

Sarfraz's decision to bat first is not looking good at the moment.

Sarfraz’s decision to bat first is not looking good at the moment.

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Watch Ben Stokes distract England team-mate Alastair Cook during second Test against Pakistan

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Cook was distracted by his own team-mate while batting on day one.

Ben Stokes failed to pass a late fitness test ahead of the second Test between England and Pakistan but that wasn’t enough to keep the all-rounder out of the action.

Stokes was unable to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered in the first match at Lord’s as Sam Curran was handed an England debut at Headingley on Friday.

However, the controversial star made his presence felt nevertheless.

After Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bat first, England’s pacers had come to the party as the visitors were bowled out for 174 in the first-innings.

In reply, England openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings gave the hosts a solid start as they formed a 53-run stand for the first wicket.

Hilarity ensued during a Mohammed Amir over with Cook about to take guard. The England opening stalwart had to stop the pacer in the middle of his run-up after being distracted by Stokes who seemed to be fooling around near the sight-screen.

The all-rounder could be seen giggling as he was beckoned to move to another area. While no batsman likes to be distracted by movement near the sight-screen, thankfully no damage was done for Cook and England.

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West Indies' T20 star Carlos Brathwaite wants Test cricket to be protected

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West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite has told cricket bosses to keep on innovating – but also to fight to protect the Test-match format.

Brathwaite led the West Indies to a 72-run victory over the World XI at Lord’s in the Hurricane Relief Twenty20 Challenge on Thursday night.

While Samuel Badree’s early double-wicket maiden set the West Indies en route to a convincing win, Nasser Hussain was commentating for Sky Sports from within the field of play as the action unfolded.

Brathwaite hailed cricket’s continued attempts to innovate, but insisted the traditional Test format must remain central to the sport’s future.

“I didn’t see him Nasser much, honestly,” said Brathwaite. “For me it wasn’t a massive distraction.

“But hopefully people enjoyed it and it will help draw more people into cricket. Things happen so quickly now, and we have to move with the times and grow and evolve the sport.

“It may work, it may not, but we’ve tried something, and that’s important. Let’s see what we can do, because sometimes you never know what will be the new innovation that will catch on.

“Firstly I’d like to see the Test format stay as it is. I don’t know whether that’s financially viable, but I think the Test nations have to work to make that
stay and be the case.

“But the game and the world is changing, and the sport has to grow with that. At the same time though, the challenge of Test cricket remains the ultimate.”

Evin Lewis’ 58 from 26 balls set the tone for the West Indies’ 199 for four, with Marlon Samuels contributing 43 and Denesh Ramdin 44 not out for the reigning ICC World Twenty20 champions.

Badree and Andre Russell then left the World XI’s reply in tatters as they took two early wickets apiece to leave their opponents on eight for four.

Sri Lankan Thisara Perera tried to stage a recovery with 61 off 37 balls but he was the only player from the World XI line-up to score more than 12.

And, with Tymal Mills unable to bat, the World XI’s challenge ended when Mitchell McClenaghan became the ninth wicket to fall with the score on 127.

The match was held to raise funds to help rebuild stadia in Anguilla and Dominica ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017.

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

Brathwaite hopes this clash could turn into an annual fixture, but hailed all involved for raising vital funds for the Caribbean.

“For those affected by the hurricanes, there have been people left homeless, and have had their lives devastated,” he said.

“So it’s important for those of us who can to be able to use our profile for the greater good. Hopefully there will be a psychological boost for the communities, as well as obviously the money going into rebuilding, and infrastructure and all those kinds of things.”

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