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England hammer Pakistan to win second Test and square series

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Pakistan´s Azhar Ali loses his wicket, England v Pakistan – Second Test – Headingley Stadium, Leeds, June 3, 2018. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

LEEDS: England thrashed Pakistan by an innings and 55 runs to win the second Test at Headingley on Sunday.

Victory, completed inside three days, saw England level the two-match series at 1-1 after Pakistan won the first Test at Lord´s by nine wickets.

It was also England´s first victory in a Test match since they beat the West Indies at Lord´s in September, with the side having endured a winless run of six defeats in eight Tests coming into this fixture.

By sharing the spoils in this short campaign, England avoided a third successive series defeat after reverses in Australia and New Zealand.

Pakistan´s Faheem Ashraf (C) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of England´s Jonny Bairstow on the second day of the second Test cricket match between England and Pakistan at Headingley cricket ground in Leeds. Photo: AFP

Jos Buttler´s blistering 80 not out on Sunday saw England to a total of 363 and commanding first-innings lead of 189.

Pakistan then collapsed to 134, losing their last seven wickets for just 50 runs. Stuart Broad took three for 28 and off-spinner Dominic Bess grabbed his first wickets at Test level in a return of three for 33.

The match ended when England captain Joe Root, on his Yorkshire home ground, held a sharp slip catch to dismiss last man Mohammad Abbas off the bowling of Broad.

´Pay the price´

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was left regretting his side´s first-innings collapse after skipper Safraz Ahmed won the toss.

“We didn´t get enough runs in the first innings, that´s the key,” said Arthur after the end of day two.

“You pay the price, if you win the toss and bat you need to score 300-plus to put pressure on the opposition,” the South African added.

But Pakistan pacers were not the only ones left frustrated on Friday. England skipper Joe Root, having often been criticised for failing to convert his Test fifties into hundreds, fell for 45 on Saturday when, chasing a scrambled seam delivery from Amir angled across him, he succeeded only in getting a thin edge to wicket-keeper Sarfraz.

England´s captain Joe Root (C) loses his wicket for 45 on the second day of the second Test cricket match between England and Pakistan at Headingley cricket ground in Leeds. Photo: AFP

England saw their tea score of 199 for three quickly transformed into 212 for five as they lost both Dawid Malan (28) and Bess, who shared a fourth-wicket stand of 62.

Amir struck with his first delivery after tea when a ball of extra bounce took the shoulder of Malan´s bat and looped gently to Haris Sohail at first slip.

Bess was on the brink of another Test half-century when, trying to dab a quicker ball from teenager Shadab, he was well caught by Asad Shafiq at slip to end a 95-ball innings that included seven fours.

England should really have been 220 for six when Buttler, who had made just four, stabbed at Shadab only for the ball to burst through Hasan Ali´s hands at midwicket.

Not long afterwards, Buttler was hit flush on the helmet by a Hasan bouncer after missing an intended pull shot.

But he hit the next ball for four.

Jonny Bairstow too might have fallen in single figures when he was lbw playing no shot to medium-pacer Faheem Ashraf for eight only to be spared on review by height.

Ashraf did dismiss the Yorkshireman for 21, however, when Bairstow edged to Sarfraz shortly before the new ball became available.

But the last over of the day saw Curran pull and drive two fours off successive Hasan deliveries.

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