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Pakistan in trouble at 57-4 after Root hits double century

July 23, 2016

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — England rode on Joe Root’s career-best 254 to declare on a massive 589-8 and Chris Woakes’ triple strike left Pakistan in trouble on 57-4 at stumps in the second test on Saturday.

Woakes got rid of Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali and nightwatchman Rahat Ali on day two while Ben Stokes had Younis Khan caught behind. Pakistan still trails by 532 runs with opener Shan Masood on 30 and captain Misbah-ul-Haq on 1.

Root’s double century off 406 balls spanned over 10 hours with 27 fours, and was backed up by half centuries from Woakes and Jonny Bairstow before England declared after tea.

Top-ranked test leg-spinner Yasir Shah made an unwelcome double century of his own, finishing on 1-213, the most runs conceded by a bowler at Old Trafford after England resumed overnight on 314-4.

On an easy paced wicket, Pakistan fielders dropped two catches and gave little support to their bowlers after England resumed the day on 314-4.

Root had added 14 to his overnight 141 when Younis spilled a low catch off Shah as the lone slip. Woakes, who came in Friday as the nightwatchman, showed aggression from the onset and even sliced a six over third man off Mohammad Amir while hitting eight fours in his knock of 58.

Woakes shared 103 runs with Root for the fifth-wicket partnership before giving a return catch to Shah for his first wicket in the 39th over of the innings as England reached 427-5 at lunch.

Root continued to bat resolutely and went past his previous test best of an unbeaten 200 — against Sri Lanka two years ago at Lord’s — when he reverse swept Shah for a boundary to raise his second double century in 44 test matches.

Ben Stokes contributed a quick 34 before Wahab Riaz won a caught behind decision through a referral as the left-hander went for a pull but the ball feathered his gloves.

Bairstow (58) gained from wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed’s dropped catch when he had reached nine and dominated a 106-run stand with Root, who hit only two boundaries in the second session.

England showed an urgency to declare soon after tea. Root swept part-time spinner Azhar for three successive boundaries before he skied Riaz (3-106) and Hafeez dived full length to pluck a two-handed catch.

Captain Alastair Cook declared after Bairstow holed out at mid-off to give Riaz his third wicket but Amir was by far Pakistan’s best bowler with 2-89 while the third left-arm seamer Rahat picked up 2-106.

Pakistan’s opening pair of Hafeez and Shan Masood survived the new ball pair of James Anderson, returning to the test side after missing the first test through injury, and Stuart Broad.

But Woakes, who picked up 11 wickets in England’s 75-run defeat at Lord’s, got the breakthrough in his first over when he induced an outside edge of Hafeez’s bat to Root in the slips.

Azhar’s torrid series continued when he lobbed a gentle one-handed return catch to a leaping Woakes and Rahat couldn’t get his bat out of the way off Woakes’ short pitched delivery to spoon an easy catch close to the wicket.

In between Woakes’ strikes, Younis glanced Stokes behind the wicket as Pakistan’s top order crumbled on a wicket where England appeared hardly troubled in five sessions.

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