Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Misbah century lifts Pakistan

Published:Friday | July 15, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Pakistan's Misbah-Ul-Haq plays a reverse sweep during day one of the first Test against England at Lord's, London yesterday.
England's Chris Woakes celebrates taking the wicket of Pakistan's Asad Shafiq for 73. Woakes ended the forst day with four for 45.


Captain Misbah-ul-Haq hit a century in his maiden Test appearance at Lord's and spearheaded Pakistan to 282 for six against England on the opening day of the first Test yesterday.

The 42-year-old Misbah overshadowed the return of fast- bowler Mohammad Amir to international cricket after a five-year ban for spot-fixing on the same ground, by smashing 18 fours in his unbeaten 110 off 179 balls after he won the toss and opted to bat first.

Asad Shafiq made a compact 73 with a dozen fours, and put on 148 runs with his skipper before falling to England's best of the four-pronged pace bowlers, Chris Woakes (4-45).

England bowlers got little support from their fielders, who grassed two chances, notably Joe Root's low miss in the slips when Misbah was on 16.

Misbah and Shafiq led Pakistan's recovery from 134 for four on a slow pitch before Woakes claimed two late wickets with the second new ball.

Misbah started off in his usual snail-paced style, but once he settled he made scoring look easy on a wicket which had little for the bowlers.

four boundaries

He went after Moeen Ali's bowling by smashing the offspinner for four boundaries in one over, which included two reverse swept boundaries.

Shafiq also matched Misbah with some exquisite cuts and drives before Woakes found the edge as Shafiq tried to take his bat away from a delivery outside the off stump.

Misbah brought up his ton off 154 balls. After he ran the single, becoming the third-oldest man to achieve a century at Lord's, he saluted his teammates and did 10 push-ups to show he was still young at heart. It was his 10th Test century.

Woakes earlier provided the twin breakthrough when he removed opening batsmen Mohammad Hafeez (40), who was dropped on 11 by James Vince, and Shan Masood in the first session as Pakistan progressed to 76 for two.

Azhar Ali, who hit two centuries in the preceding warm-up matches, could score only seven and was trapped leg before wicket by debutant Jake Ball, while Younis Khan (33) looked settled for a big knock before recklessly driving Stuart Broad to midwicket.

But, thereafter, England struggled to get the breakthrough as Misbah and Shafiq batted resolutely and made the most of the favourable batting conditions.