Pakistan’s bid for a victory inside three days over England in the first test was thwarted by an unbeaten 125-run stand between Jos Buttler and debutant Dom Bess at Lord’s on Saturday.
Trailing by 179 runs after the first innings, England slumped to 110-6 and Pakistan had a session to finish off the home side with two days to spare.
Buttler (66 not out), a limited-overs specialist, and Bess (55 not out), a 20-year-old spinner, displayed the kind of diligence and discipline that the top order lacked to earn England a 56-run lead by the close of play on a beautiful day in northwest London. England was 235-6 at stumps.
Pakistan is still the big favourite to go 1-0 ahead in the two-test series, but the tourists at least will have to work for the victory.
England has been prone to batting implosions in recent years and another arrived on a warm afternoon at Lord’s, sparked by a superb catch from wicketkeeper and captain Sarfraz Ahmed to remove Malan.
Two balls later, Amir shaped a ball through the gate as Bairstow was beaten all ends up.—Agencies