Skipper Misbah stands alone as Pakistan crumble

Pakistan's first innings went from bad to worse on the third morning at Old Trafford.
Skipper Misbah stands alone as Pakistan crumble
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Pakistan's first innings went from bad to worse on the third morning at Old Trafford. The victors at Lord's were given a going over 200 miles further north in Manchester, losing four wickets in a rain-interrupted morning to enter lunch at 119 for 8, still 470 behind.

Such was Pakistan's inability to cope with a hostile England pace attack that an innings defeat within three days could not entirely be ruled out. All four England quicks took a wicket in a session that was interrupted for an hour by rain.

Resistance with an increasingly baleful countenance was summoned by Pakistan's captain, Misbah-ul-Haq. But even he was discomfited by a well-directed bouncer from Chris Woakes in the last over of the morning, flicking his glove as he jerked his head away in self-preservation and lost a piece from his helmet in the process.

Pakistan's starting position was a dispiriting one: four wickets already lost for 57, still 532 runs in arrears. On a cloudier day, there was bounce and zip in the pitch and they proved unequal to the task.

It took six balls for England to sense that it might be an excellent bowling morning – Shan Masood edging James Anderson on the bounce to James Vince at third slip. Masood managed a more controlled boundary off Anderson, clipping off his pads, but a jab at a rising delivery later in the over gave Joe Root an inviting catch at second slip.

But even Misbah could not disguise his surprise when a back-of-a-length delivery from Broad exploded from the pitch, flew over his horizontal bat, and landed directly in the hands of Alastair Cook at first slip.

The rain break interrupted England's progress, but when they resumed at 12.30pm it was not long before Asad Shafiq fell to a slower offcutter by Stuart Broad, a front-foot drive flying to Alex Hales at backward point.

The most idiosyncratic innings, though, was played by Sarfraz Ahmed, whose slash at two of his first three balls, from Broad, indicated his state of mind. His counterattack lasted 18 balls, 26 riskily assembled, before he edged Ben Stokes to second slip.

All it required was for Woakes to take a wicket for England's pace bowlers to complete the set. It duly arrived with Root's third slip catch of the morning – and fourth of the innings – enabling England to go to lunch a ball early. Woakes had his fourth wicket, a self-effacing allrounder making a name for himself.

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