Cricket

Pakistan bat against England in 2nd Test

2018-06-01 12:24
Sarfraz Ahmed (AFP)

Leeds - Ben Stokes was ruled out as Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bat against England in the second Test at Headingley on Friday. 

England all-rounder Stokes had been struggling with a torn left hamstring and was ruled out on the morning of the match. 

He was replaced by 19-year-old debutant left-arm seamer Sam Curran as England made three changes in total to the side that suffered a nine-wicket thrashing by Pakistan inside four days in the first Test of this two-match series at Lord's. 

Keaton Jennings replaced struggling opening batsman Mark Stoneman and pace bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes came in for dropped fast bowler Mark Wood. 

Pakistan were forced into making one change, with middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin given a Test debut after Babar Azam suffered a broken arm while facing Stokes at Lord's. 

Sarfraz explained his decision to bat first by saying: "It looks like a good pitch, a dry pitch, so hopefully we can post a good score." 

England captain Joe Root, playing on his Yorkshire home ground, added: "It's humid today so we might get swing and we have to use what we get with a fresh pitch. 

"We were below par in the last Test and the fact the game has come around so quickly has helped us." 

Curran was presented with his Test cap by Graham Thorpe, England's one-day international batting coach. 

"It was nice to give Sam his cap," Thorpe, a former Surrey and England batsman, told BBC Radio's Test Match Special. 

"To present it to a Surrey player, at his age, was really special. 

"He's a talented player. England's search for a left-arm seamer is well documented and it's a great opportunity for Sam," Thorpe added. 

If Pakistan avoid defeat, they will win their first Test series in England since 1996. 

England, who have lost six of their last eight Tests, are looking to avoid a third straight series loss after reverses in Australia and New Zealand.

Teams:

England

Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (captain), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Dominic Bess, Sam Curran, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Pakistan

Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain/wkt), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas

Umpires: Rod Tucker (AUS), Bruce Oxenford (AUS)

TV umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

Read more on:    pakistan  |  england  |  sarfraz ahmed  |  cricket
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