Cricket

Ali strikes as Pakistan struggle

2016-07-25 17:53
Moeen Ali (Getty)

Manchester - Moeen Ali took two wickets as England moved closer to victory in the second Test against Pakistan at Old Trafford on Monday.

However, the second session of the fourth day also saw England all-rounder Ben Stokes leave the field with a calf injury.

At tea, Pakistan were 161 for five in their second innings, needing a further 404 runs to reach their huge victory target of 565.

Asad Shafiq was 35 not out and Sarfraz Ahmed five not out.

Before lunch, James Anderson returning to Test cricket after missing Pakistan's 75-run win in the series opener at Lord's with a shoulder injury, struck twice on his Lancashire home ground to remove both Shan Masood (one) and Azhar Ali (eight).

But with Pakistan on the ropes, England then saw Stokes injured himself while bowling.

After delivering his second ball of the 22nd over, with Pakistan 68 for two, the Durham pace bowler pulled up with a right calf strain and left the field.

An England spokesman said Stokes, returning to England duty this match after suffering a knee injury in the first Test against Sri Lanka in May, would take no further part in the day's play.

The spokesman added the 25-year-old would also undergo a scan on Tuesday to determine the full extent of the injury.

Off-spinner Ali, completing the over, was then hit for six by Mohammad Hafeez.

Two balls later Ali bowled a no-ball full toss that sailed above Hafeez's head.

A second full toss above waist-high could see Ali barred from bowling in the rest of the innings and, with Stokes injured, leave England down to just three frontline bowlers.

However, Ali regained his composure to dismiss both Hafeez (42) and Younis Khan (28) in a spell of two for 13 in 19 balls.

Hafeez gave a simple bat/pad catch to Gary Ballance at short leg.

Pakistan's 83 for three became 102 for four when Younis, trying to loft Ali over the top, was caught at long-on.

It was a reckless shot from such an experienced player given that Pakistan needed to bat time to escape with a draw and that there was man deep in the field waiting for a chance.

Misbah too needlessly chanced his arm in hitting Ali for six.

But having made a patient 52 in Pakistan's meagre first innings 198, Misbah was unlucky to fall to Chris Woakes for 35 when he dragged a full toss onto his stumps.

Earlier, England declared their second innings on 173 for one.

Alastair Cook, the England captain, was himself 76 not out and Joe Root unbeaten on 71.

England, already with a huge lead of 489 runs, resumed on 98 for one.

Cook, who scored 105 in England's mammoth first innings 589 for eight declared, was 49 not out and vice-captain Root, whose Test-best 254 was the cornerstone of that total, 23 not out.

Between them, they plundered 75 runs in just nine overs on Monday before Cook called a halt.

Read more on:    pakistan  |  england  |  moeen ali  |  cricket
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