England v Pakistan Bowlers Put Hosts On Top In Second Test

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England v Pakistan Bowlers Put Hosts On Top In Second Test

England’s bowlers grabbed the upper hand in the second Test against Pakistan on a rain-affected first day at the Ageas Bowl.

James Anderson claimed two wickets and Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran one each as Pakistan closed on 126-5 with only 45.4 overs possible.

Abid Ali was dropped twice on the way to 60, with Pakistan looking well placed on 78-1.

But after a lengthy rain break, the hosts capitalised on humid conditions suited to seam bowling by taking 3-18 during an hour-long session.

Rain forced the players off again at 17:00 BST and bad light prevented them from returning.

More stormy weather is forecast for the remainder of the match but if conditions stay the same both sides will be confident of winning.

Pakistan have a bowling attack that could easily utilise conditions as England have done, while they will look to star batsman Babar Azam to extend their score on day two. He ended unbeaten on 25.

After last week’s superb victory at Emirates Old Trafford, victory in Southampton would give England a first series win over Pakistan in 10 years.

Pakistan opted to bat at the toss but the steamy conditions helped England find movement in the air and off the pitch.

Anderson and Broad bowled a fine opening spell, one that should have seen greater reward than just the wicket of Shan Masood for Anderson in the third over.

Both beat the bat regularly and Dom Sibley dropped a comfortable catch off Broad at third slip when Abid was on one.

Second slip Rory Burns spilled an even easier chance soon after and those missed chances could easily have frustrated the bowlers.

Instead, they came out after the interruption and were rewarded for their good bowling with the fielders making amends.

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Burns clung on when Curran – preferred to pace bowler Jofra Archer – found Abid’s edge and Sibley took one low when Asad Shafiq nicked Broad.

Anderson gives reminder of his powers

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After a difficult match at Old Trafford – he returned match figures of 1-97 – it took Anderson only eight balls to double his wicket tally for the series.

The 38-year-old trapped Masood, Pakistan’s centurion in the first Test, lbw with an inswinger in his second over.

Anderson bristled with frustration this week at speculation he could retire after some observers suggested the powers of England’s record wicket-taker were beginning to fade.

The early signs in Southampton are that he is finding his groove.

England v Pakistan Bowlers Put Hosts On Top In Second Test

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