Although much wasn’t expected of the relatively inexperienced Pakistan squad that traveled to England, the Men in Green almost surprised their hosts with their ambitious attempt at winning the white kit match. Given how the match transpired, Pakistan will no doubt be feeling dejected that they let slip what was almost surely their first win at Manchester since 2001. Meanwhile, England are busy lauding the brave, skilful save their mid-to-lower order engineered. Following their ODI defeat to Ireland, another humiliation would have been perfect fodder for the British media to tear up the ECB with, and they managed to avoid that. Before we head to the Rose Bowl for the second test, let’s take a glance back at the first match.
1st Test: Analysis and Teams News
Winning the toss and electing to bat, Pakistan showed great promise when, despite losing their opener and their captain by 43, they held strong till 139. However, despite a mammoth 156 from Shan Masood and solid knocks by Babar Azam and Shadab Khan, no Pakistani batsman could so much as reach double figures. Pakistan were made to close their book at a modest 326, with Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad being the pick of the bowlers with 3 each, and Chris Woakes supporting with 2.
England had a shambolic start, crumbling to 12-3 in just 5.3 overs, and Ollie Pope played a decent knock and Buttler and Broad did relatively decently, the rest of the batsmen put up miserable performances. The Pakistani bowlers were superb, albeit somewhat undisciplined with their stepping, and crashed England out for a small 219, with Yasir Shah picking up 4 and Shadab Khan and Mohammad Abbas 2 each.
On their second turn out, it was Pakistan’s turn to put up low scores, as no batsman except Yasir Shah could even breach the 30 mark. Broad, Woakes, Stokes and co made short work of the subcontinental side, limiting them to a pathetic 169.
Despite a solid stand by Dom Sibley and Joe Root, four wickets in rapid succession saw England limping at 117-5, with what looked like the last decent partnership in place. However, the undaunted duo played with a level of aggression that seemed ridiculous considering the amount of time they had and the situation they were in, with Buttler making 75 off 101 and Woakes stepping up for a daring 84 off 120. England reached their fourth-inning target of 277 with 3 wickets in hand.
England vs Pakistan 2nd Test Prediction
Given the low-scoring nature of the Rose Bowl, and the sheer bowling prowess English bowlers possess especially on home soil, one can easily see why the ODI world champions are the favourites heading into this contest. Expect Sibley, Root, and Buttler to show their chops with the bat, while Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad rip into the Pakistani batting lineup.
Given the resilience and unpredictability of Pakistan over the years, it’s truly hard to rule them out of any contest, especially given how close they came to winning the first game. Expect Shan Masood to continue his form alongside Babar Azam, while Yasir Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi to show promise with the ball.
Who will win the 2nd match?Match Prediction: Draw (3.58 @ 1XBET)
Other Betting Tips:
Toss - ENG
ENG top batsman – J Root
PAK top batsman – B Azam
Players to score a century - J Buttler/J Root (ENG), S Masood/B Azam (PAK)
Players to score a fifty – J Buttler/J Root/D Sibley (ENG), S Masood/B Azam/A Ali (PAK)
Players to take most wickets - J Archer/S Broad (ENG), Y Shah/S Afridi (PAK)
Most boundaries - ENG
Can England clean up the series with another well-earned win? Or will the visitors manage to go the extra mile to pull off what they tried so hard to at Manchester? Find out starting Thursday!