Yasir takes five as Pakistan nose ahead after Amir heartbreak

Cricket

BRIEF SCORES : Pakistan 339 (Misbah ul-Haq 114, Chris Woakes 6/70) vs England 253/7 (Alastair Cook 81, Joe Root 48, Yasir Shah 5/64)

LONDON: England were 253 for seven in reply to Pakistan’s first innings 339, a deficit of 86 runs, at the close of the second day of the first Test at Lord’s on Friday.

Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah, in his first Test since serving a three-month drugs ban — and first outside of Asia and the United Arab Emirates — took five for 64 to get himself on the Lord’s honours board.

It was the first time any leg-spinner had taken five or more wickets in a Test innings at Lord’s since his compatriot Mushtaq Ahmed, now on Pakistan’s coaching staff, returned second-innings figures of five for 57 against England in 1996.

Mohammad Amir took his first Test wicket in six years when be bowled England captain Alastair Cook. Amir was making his return to Test cricket at the scene of his 2010 spot-fixing crime which saw him given a five-year ban and a jail term for deliberately bowling no balls as part of a newspaper ‘sting’ during that year’s Lord’s Test against England.

The 24-year-old paceman suffered the frustration Friday of seeing fellow left-hander Cook dropped off his bowling by slip Mohammad Hafeez and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, who both missed routine chances, when the opener was on 22 and 55 respectively. But with Cook in sight of a hundred on the second day of the first of a four-Test series, Amir took the fielders out of the equation by inducing Cook to play on for 81. That left England 171 for five in reply to Pakistan’s first innings 339 — a deficit of 168 runs.

At that stage, Amir had taken one for 46 in 12.2 overs, with his 52nd Test wicket coming in his 15th match at this level.

Cook, always a prize wicket for any opposition bowler, had suggested before this match that if it were down to him, all fixers, including Amir, would be banned for life.

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