2nd Test: England vs Pakistan
England are heading south to meet Pakistan with victory in mind after going one up following a breath-taking three wicket win in the 1st Test.
It was a belting start to the series at Old Trafford, and now all eyes will be on the Ageas Bowl in Southampton for the 2nd Test: England vs Pakistan to see if the hosts can drive home their advantage, or whether the tourists can fight their way back into the series.
It’s a must-not-lose for Pakistan after they succumbed in Manchester, having dominated the first two days play.
The absence of Ben Stokes has dominated England vs Pakistan news this week after the ECB announced the star of the series victory over the West Indies earlier in the summer would be unavailable for the remainder of this series.
The Durham all-rounder is flying to New Zealand to be with his family and will miss the two tests in Southampton. Everyone in cricket wishes him and his family well, but the England selectors have a choice to make.
It seems likely that Stokes will be replaced by Kent youngster Zak Crawley who missed out in the opening test as Stokes was being used as a specialist batsman.
He looks the obvious replacement having impressed since making his England debut against South Africa over the winter, with two fifties to his name already.
Crawley’s inclusion at number three would allow skipper Joe Root to drop down to his favoured number four position, where he has scored eight of his 17 Test hundreds and averaged almost 50.
Woakes can step up
The Lions roared back in the series opener at Manchester when their backs were against the wall at 117 for five, chasing a total of 277 to win. But a magnificent unbeaten innings by Chris Woakes turned the game around as he made his case for being used as a specialist all-rounder.
Woakes blasted England to victory alongside Jos Buttler in a 139 stand, finishing on 84 not out after Buttler had been dismissed for 75.
The two big hitters went into one-day mode — both with a strike rate of 70 — to take the game away from the tourists.
Broad gets a telling off from dad!
Meanwhile, the fast bowling warhorse Stuart Broad is in hot water again having breached the rules of sporting behaviour as he bowled his way to three wickets in each innings at Old Trafford.
Broad used inappropriate language after dismissing Yasir Shah and has been sanctioned and fined by the match referee, which is his dad Chris!
Pakistan bowlers search for revenge
England’s three-wicket win came as a surprise to Pakistan fans – who midway through the final day must have thought they were on course for a famous win.
They have eight quick bowlers to choose from in their 20-man squad, and a young pace attack spearheaded by Shaheen Shah Afridi certainly gave England’s batsmen something to think about.
They have good variety with the left arm Afridi extracting bounce from his 6-foot-6 height, the accurate Mohammad Abbas, and the raw pace of 17-year-old sensation Naseem Shah.
But the star of the show in Manchester was world class spinner Yasir Shah who picked up for wickets in each innings as Pakistan tried to force a win.
Opener S M Khan scored a magnificent 156 in the first innings at Old Trafford to set them well on their way, but Woakes and Buttler snatched victory away and the tourists will be after revenge.
England have won 17 of the last 30 meetings since 2015 across all formats of the game, with Pakistan triumphing on 11 occasions and there have been two draws.
And the Lions’ are on a good run as their victory in the 1st Test was their fifth in the last six meetings.
|England vs Pakistan||England Runs in First 10 Overs – Over 28.5 @ 2.96|
|August 13-18, 18:00 (GMT+8)|
The England vs Pakistan betting odds here at SBOBET point to another fantastic game, with the hosts marginal favourites at odds of 2.02, while Pakistan are at 4.26 and the draw is available at 2.75.
The price on England scoring at a rate of almost three an over in the first ten is quite high, not least because opener Dom Sibley is determined to add another hundred to his two so far and doesn’t care how long it takes him to do it.
Sibley made eight and 36 in the first Test but wants to go big in the second, saying: “When you’re not scoring as quickly as other people in the team you get judged: the only time it surprised me was when I got a hundred and people were still making comments.”
I doubt Sibley will change his style but the industrious Rory Burns can score quickly from the other end.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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