Azhar Ali and Aslam put Pakistan in control

Match Report : 3rd Test: Day 2: England vs Pakistan at Birmingham, Aug 4, 2016

Match Report: 3rd Test: Day 2: England vs Pakistan

Brief scores: Pakistan 257/3 (Azhar Ali 139, Sami Aslam 82; James Anderson 1-32) trail England 297 (Gary Ballance 70; Sohail Khan 5-96) by 40 runs.

The second day of the third Investec Test match at Edgbaston belonged to Pakistan. Despite the early loss of Hafeez, Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam batted superbly and left Pakistan in a strong position at close of plain 257-3 just 40 runs behind England’s total.
With England bowled out yesterday it was Pakistan’s turn to bat on day two of the 3rd Investec Test at Edgbaston.
Anderson struck early and removed Hafeez after four balls for a duck. The first over was a wicket maiden.
Pakistan rallied and Aslam on debut struck two consecutive fours off Stuart Broad. Azhar and Aslam continued to establish a solid foundation. By 12.30 they had brought up the fifty partnership off 125 balls.
By lunch they had moved the score on to a healthy 72-1. Sami Aslam not out 27 and Azhar Ali not out 38. A position Pakistan would have been very happy with when play began.
After lunch Broad found Azhar Ali’s outside edge but the ball lands a foot or so short of Alastair Cook at first slip.
At 90-1 there was a further scare but Azhar was adjudged not out to a big LBW shout from Anderson. Azhar brought up his 21st test fifty off 129 balls an hour after lunch with a punch through the covers. And then came the hundred partnership between Azhar and Aslam.
Aslam was next to bring up his fifty from 135 balls. Pakistan were progressing slowly but batting themselves into a strong position. Jimmy Anderson clashed with umpire Bruce Oxenford after he was warned for running on the pitch.
There was a difficult chance for Moeen with a caught and bowled from Azhar who was on 69. The ball was driven back extremely hard but Moeen did get both hands to it.
There was a further scare when Aslam cut a ball close to Barstow from Moeen. But at tea we had the first wicketless session of the series and Pakistan were 154-1 and trailing England’s first innings score by 143.
With the score at 181 there was a terrible mix up and Aslam was run out by Vince for 82.  Woakes now caused problems for Younis with a couple of balls beating the bat.
Shortly before 5pm Azhar brought up a wonderful hundred and the team’s two hundred. It was his first hundred outside Asia.
Anderson was warned for a second time for running on the pitch much to his displeasure. In what seemed to be quick time Younis and Azhar brought up the fifty partnership from 90 balls.
With less than an hour to play rain brought a hold up with the score at 237-2. The break wasn’t to last long and the players soon resumed. One over later England took the new ball with the score at 243-2.
Pakistan continued to whittle down England’s lead. Then tragically Azhar was caught by Cook from Woakes from the final ball of the day after a superb 139. Younis Khan was 21 not out.
At stumps Pakistan were 257-3 just 40 runs behind England’s first innings total.

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