England vs. Pakistan: Lord’s horror show for Joe Root’s side
Another Test, another England batting collapse as Pakistan bowlers Abbas and Ali star on day one
A new season but the same old shambles for England as they were bowled out for a miserly 184 by Pakistan on the first day of the first Test at Lord’s in what The Guardian described as a “horror show”.
In reply the tourists reached 50 runs for the loss of just one wicket at the close of a very satisfactory day for them.
After the debacle Down Under in the winter, England had hoped for a fresh start this summer but once again they melted like an ice cream under the sun with only four players reaching double figures.
Had it not been for a fighting 70 by Alastair Cook - his 56th Test half-century - England would have been utterly embarrassed on what were challenging overcast conditions.
As it was, the 184 they totalled was their lowest score in a home Test for nine years, although on a positive note it was 126 runs more than they managed against New Zealand in March.
The pick of the Pakistan bowlers were Mohammad Abbas and Hasan Ali, who shared eight of the English wickets, many of their victims contributing to their own demise with poor shot selection.
The performance of the England batsmen sent Geoffrey Boycott ballistic. “That’s not good enough!” stormed the ex-player turned pundit. “There were at least three poor England shots - [Jos] Buttler, [Mark] Stoneman, [Joe] Root. Three of your top seven, gone.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan criticised the naivety of England although he pointed out Pakistan deserved recognition for the quality of their performance.
“Yes it [the ball] swung, but you expect swing in a Test match,” he said. “Pakistan’s bowling and slip catching was outstanding. It was 280 par, certainly not 184. It’s becoming too much like deja vu.”
The last time England won the toss at Lord’s and posted such a low total having chosen to bat first was 1955, and although Cook said the ball did “more than we expected”, he conceded it had not been an impressive display.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “It did swing and nip all day. But if bowlers missed lengths or lines, you could score.”
The first day was neatly summed up by commentator David Lloyd on Sky Sports. “Another Test match, another England batting collapse,” he said. “The team are just unable to cope with a hint of movement at the moment.”
England vs. Pakistan Test series
What time does the Test match start?
The first Test continues at Lord’s today until Monday 28 May. Each day’s play starts at 11am. The second Test is at Headingley from 1 to 5 June.
How to watch England vs. Pakistan on TV
The Lord’s and Headingley Test matches are shown live on Sky Sports.