Pakistan strengthened its grip on the first Test against England today by reaching 350-8 to take a 166-run lead after the second day at Lord’s.
Babar Azam was the top scorer with 68 before retiring hurt after being struck on the arm by a rising delivery by Ben Stokes, while Azhar Ali (50), Asad Shafiq (59) and Shadab Khan (52) also made half-centuries on a day when England dropped five catches.
Mohammad Amir (19) and Mohammad Abbas (0) were there at the close, and it wasn’t clear if Babar would be returning to bat on Saturday for the final wicket.
James Anderson (3-82) and Stokes (3-73) were the pick of the bowlers as England toiled for a second straight day at the home of cricket.
“Good two days, we will enjoy them,” Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said, “but the reality is we’ve got plenty to do.” After England collapsed to 184 all out soon after tea yesterday, Pakistan resumed on 50-1 and resisted for an hour before losing two wickets — Haris Sohail (39) and Azhar — in the morning session to reach 136-3 at lunch.
Pakistan was limited to 91 in the afternoon session with Stokes removing Sarfraz Ahmed (9), who top-edged a hook to Mark Wood on the deep square leg boundary, and Shafiq, who edged to slip.
Babar struck 10 fours before going off injured after tea, leaving England to attack Pakistan’s tail. Still, Faheem Ashraf (37) and Amir have managed to add crucial runs to allow the tourists to take charge.