About the Match
The hosts were defeated in their own backyard by Pakistan in the 1st Test match at Lord’s by 75 runs, halting their recent winning momentum; England and Pakistan will now meet each other for the 2nd Investec Test at Manchester starting from 22nd July. The visitors produced a win at the prestigious Lord’s stadium after a 20-year wait and their morale is boosted right now; England on the other hand is doing everything right after a long time and they will definitely be motivated to bounce back. The contest between batsmen and bowlers will surely be evenly fought and whichever side can deliver results with patience will have the edge to win.
Chris Woakes was sensational with a total of 11 wickets in the first test at an average economy of just over 2 runs per over; he adds stability to the bowling attack and along with other speedsters like Stuart Broad, who picked up 6 wickets, Steve Finn and Jake Ball, England can surely exploit the home conditions to stifle the Pakistani batsmen.
While the bowling was impressive in both innings, the batsmen failed to impress much as the top and middle order players couldn’t face Yasir Shah’s spin tactics and failed to reach the target of 283 runs on the 4th day, getting all-out for 207. Alastair Cook made 81 off124 in the first innings but couldn’t repeat the performance in the second; players like Joe Root, who scored 48 runs in the first innings, can apply themselves better to keep the scoreboard ticking.
The middle order batsmen like Ballance, Bairstow, James Vince and Moeen Ali can try to build stronger partnerships here while the top-order must shoulder its responsibility to be on the field for the long haul. The bowlers are sharp with pace and Moeen Ali provided the spin attack; they might play 2 spinners in the next match with Adil Rashid being called to join the squad. Overall, they definitely have the resources to make a comeback here before the situation gets out of hand.
Misbah-ul-Haq led the team from the front after opting to bat first; his inspiring 114 off 199 in the first innings after the top-order stumbled at 4-134, took the team to 339 with help from Asad Shafiq’s well-made 73. Players like Sarfraz Ahmed, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan and Mohammad Hafeez can add depth to the batting unit and they will surely leave no stone unturned to win again.
The bowlers were stupendous and Yasir Shah’s tremendous 10-wicket haul sealed a much-deserved win for the team; his spin and reverse swing caught the English batsmen off-guard and along with a good performance by pacemen Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali and Mohammad Amir, Pakistan leapt to victory by 75 runs.
The bowling can be deadly under any circumstance and this is their biggest strength; with a well-balanced pace and spin attack, they can yet again outwit the inexperienced English middle order.
Pakistan has taken a 1-0 series lead and will be pumped up here; England on the other hand is likely to make few adjustments to bring more stability to the batting line-up. The contest could go down to the wire but we feel that England will work harder to make a comeback with a win here.