England pile on pressure in second Test against Pakistan

July 25, 2016

England have continued to build on a dominant start to the second Test against Pakistan, wrapping up the visitor's first innings for 198 but choosing to forego the follow-on.

Day three of the Test at Old Trafford ended with England on top, following a strong display of bowling against the tourists that saw Alex Hales claim the final wicket for the visitors that meant England had the option to force Pakistan to bat again.

It was a choice not taken though and it was a shock move by the England captain - a decision that could come back to haunt the team should the Test drag on into a final day and forecast rain brings an unexpected early close to play.

It was a calculated risk by Alastair Cook though, with some speculation that he may have been sending a message to the Pakistani team that the England batsmen can deal with anything the tourists have to throw at them.

England needed just 40 overs to dismantle the tail end of the Pakistani order, with a score of 57-4 on the day to close the innings at 198 all out. England then took a lead of 391 into their own second innings and were able to build on this figure to close well ahead of their chasing opponents.

The sole wicket lost for England came in the form of Hales, who surrendered his batting near the close of the day in the 15th over, with a personal tally of 24. However, replaced by the impressive Joe Root for the last hour, England powered on and built an overnight score of 98-1 in the second innings and a lead of 489 heading into day four.

Indeed, it was a fine day for a fan of Root in particular, as he became only the third man in Test history to take four catches in an innings and score 250 or more. All eyes will therefore be on the Yorkshire batsman in the remainder of the Test.

Fans booking corporate hospitality and tickets for the final Test at the Kia Oval will now be hoping England can maintain their sparkling form as the rest of the series unfolds. Victory in the second Test will draw the series at 1-1 heading into the third, after Pakistan proved difficult opposition in the opener at Lord's.

The tourists celebrated their victory in style after securing the result by 75 runs, saluting the crowds and then doing a series of press-ups on the Lord's pitch. It was a spectacle the England team will not wish to see repeated in the coming days and therefore all eyes will be on Cook and co as they look to close out this second Test with their own dominant display.

By Alex Brundell

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