England edges ahead of Pakistan on rain-hit day

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England edges ahead of Pakistan on rain-hit day

Sam Curran was not only the seventh-youngest England player to make his Test debut, he was the third under the age of 21 to appear for them this year - after Hampshire leg spinner Mason Crane, who played at Sydney in January and Somerset's off-spinner Dominic Bess, who made his debut last week at Lord's.

While batting was seldom easy in overcast conditions, the pitch had few terrors and England, still smarting from their nine-wicket first test defeat, looked set to build a big lead in their bid to square the two-test series.

England surged to victory over Pakistan by an innings and 55 runs to win the second Test and draw the series 1-1. Pakistan further collapsed in the second session being down to 79/7.

England captain Joe Root.

They started that year fourth but a team led by Nasser Hussain won just one of eight Tests during the next 12 months before the appointment of former Zimbabwe all-rounder Duncan Fletcher as coach led to an upturn in England's fortunes. It has been very comfortable for a long period of time and one of the options might have been to break up the senior bowling pair. The second Test against Pakistan is a good opportunity for England to get a major push and boost their confidence.

Pakistan was bundled out for 174 in its first innings on day one after captain Sarfraz Ahmed's decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired.

But Pakistan pacers were not the only ones left frustrated on Friday.

But Bess and Malan batted confidently against Pakistan's four-man seam attack and also read well the googlies and legbreaks of Shadab Khan.

Bess was on the brink of another Test half-century when, trying to dab a quicker ball from teenager Shadab, he was well caught by Asad Shafiq at slip to end a 95-ball innings that included seven fours.

Not long afterwards, Buttler was hit flush on the helmet by a Hasan bouncer after missing an intended pull shot. Faheem Ashraf was the most successful Pakistan bowler with figures of 2/43. A four and a six were smashed off successive deliveries to bring up a well-deserved half-century, which he then followed up with back-to-back boundaries off Hasan Ali.

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