Day 4 would see England batting to try to save the first test against Pakistan.  Spin bowler Yasir Shah had taken 6 wickets in England’s first innings – an innings that saw them all out for 272. Alastair Cook had made 81 before being bowled by Amir and Root 48 before becoming Yasir’s first wicket of the innings.

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Yasir took 6 wickets for 72 runs and earned himself a place on the Honours Board.  Woakes had carried on taking wickets in Pakistan’s first innings taking 6 wickets himself for 70 runs.Pakistan had made 339.  The engraver at Lords will have had a busy couple of days!

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There were long queues to get into the ground on Day 4, I therefore missed the 2 wickets England needed to complete the 2nd Pakistan innings.  The visitors were 214 for 8 overnight – they finished on 215 All Out.

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I’d been ‘sensible’, I thought, and booked a seat in The Lower Compton, having had a full day in the sun on Day 1 it seemed a good plan.  When I got to my seat I realised I couldn’t see the wicket at all, my view was completely blocked by a cameraman.

A steward was moving two people in front of me, so I tagged on and asked to be moved too, I ended up with a great view, behind the bowlers arm pretty much.  My day would have been pretty pointless had I had to stick with the seat I was meant to be in.  I was very grateful to be moved!

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Lords is often an unhappy ground for England, I’d been at Day 4 of the Ashes last summer and seen my team bowled out for 103 to lose by a huge 405 runs.  I was hoping for a better performance.

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The day wasn’t quite as miserable as an England fan, England amassed twice as many runs on this Day 4, and the spirit on the pitch was quite different.

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Rahat Ali despatched the top order seeing England on 47 for 3.  James Vince, a man under a lot of pressure at 4 and Gary Ballance back in the fold provided some resistance, Vince making 42 and Ballance 43.

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Vince was caught by Yasir from the bowling of Wahab Riaz and after 100 minutes at the crease Ballance became Yasir’s first victim of the innings.

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Jonny Bairstow a man in top form had joined Ballance, he tends to be a powerful hitter of the ball who is often in a hurry.  He partnered Ben Stokes in the 2nd Test in South Africa in a record 6th wicket stand, making 150 in 281 minutes, facing 191 balls.  Stokes made an enormous 258 – prompting a photo of the pair with a banner of ‘Ginger Power’

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There was no Stokes to help out nor a place for power hitting, Moeen Ali who is more than capable of hitting runs, took a huge swipe at a Yasir ball, it was a dreadful shot and one that saw him clean bowled.  It was irresponsible when England were chasing runs.

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Chris Woakes, who was a revelation during this match joined Bairstow and the 2 played innings that one Geoffrey Boycott would have been proud of, patience was the order of the day for both men as they saw off the spin bowler Yasir.

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Bairstow batted for 200 minutes and faced 147 balls, making 48 runs before Yasir got through his defences to bowl him; he was clearly very disappointed and will have been less than amused by the camera that tracked him as he left for the pavilion.

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It felt as if the hopes of the team were in the hands of Chris Woakes, England were on 195 for 7.  Stuart Broad was next in and very promptly the next out, his confidence doesn’t seemed to have returned after he was hit in the face by a Varun Aaron ball at Old Trafford in 2014.  I can recall taking photos of him with panda eyes at the Aegeas Bowl later that summer.  He was bowled by the 3rd ball he faced, a wicket for Amir.

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England’s tail end in Test cricket is no match for the limited overs team and it was clear that Pakistan would have the game won promptly.  Yasir took the wicket of Woakes to the delight of his team mates, Younus took the catch that saw England’s last hope depart having scored a creditable 23 runs.

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Jacob Ball came to the wicket and was clean bowled by Amir, which saw an ecstatic celebration with the game won.  At that point the Site Screen was rolled in front of where I was sitting.  Meaning I missed the true celebration, the whole Pakistan team lined up, saluted and did 5 press ups before leaping to their feet and saluting again!  I’m gutted to have missed it, but here’s a video!

This was an emphatic win for Pakistan, both Misbah ul-Haq and Yasir Shah found their way onto the Honours Board, it was well worthy of such a celebration.

 

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