Jos Buttler and Dom Bess strike back to save England from humiliation of three-day defeat... but Pakistan still firmly in command

Nick Hoult
Joe Buttler (right) and Dom Bess (left) walk off having saved England from embarrassment - REUTERS

Jos Buttler saved England from the embarrassment of a three-day defeat to Pakistan at Lord’s, but they remain in a perilous position in the first NatWest Test. 

Two of Ed Smith’s picks as national selector immediately paid dividends with Buttler scoring only his second first-class fifty in three years on his England recall and Dominic Bess marking his Test debut with a composed, unbeaten 55.

Their 125-run, seventh-wicket stand averted an innings hammering but with the new ball due on Sunday morning, England are staring at what would be a morale-sapping defeat to Pakistan, a team ranked seventh in the world.

Buttler’s best innings in Test cricket added a twist to this captivating match and, with rain forecast on Sunday, England will have faint hopes of a remarkable turnaround. By the close, the Lord’s crowd had bought in to the dream, too, with huge cheers greeting Bess creaming the last ball of the day through the covers for four.

Buttler is capable of magical, Bothamesque deeds with the bat, and scoring against the new ball can be quick, but with Pakistan one breakthrough from the tail, and refreshed bowlers in the morning, it feels like a futile, if entertaining, fight back. 

Jos Buttler puts away the bad ball Credit: pa

Pakistan are closing on a famous victory because England have been awful with bat, ball and in the field after yet another poor Test-match performance.

This week will mark a year until the World Cup, and England are favourites to win the tournament, but in Test cricket they are sinking. The problems run deeper than this team, right down to the entire English system itself. England will never admit it publicly, but the focus on white-ball cricket and winning next year’s World Cup has weakened the Test team and the framework underneath - county cricket - that is designed to keep it strong. 

Shunting the Championship to April to fit in so much Twenty20 cricket has cheapened the four-day game with the result that no batsman is in form to put pressure on the failing players in the Test team. 

Trevor Bayliss has been a wonderful leader of the one-day team and has re-branded England’s white-ball cricket, but in Test cricket they have gone backwards. Of the 19 batsmen who have played under Bayliss, only four have averaged over 35, and one of them, Haseeb Hameed, is now playing for Lancashire seconds.

They have scored 400 just five times in 28 innings and on four of those occasions they still managed to lose by an innings, proving they are failing not just with the bat but the ball too. England have not won since the final Test of last summer and that victory followed an awful performance, and defeat to West Indies at Headingley, the week before.

This has been Joe Root’s worst Test as captain, from the moment he chose to bat in bowling conditions on the first day, through to his poor shot in the first innings and confused captaincy in the field as Pakistan built a big first-innings lead. 

His inability to convert fifties into hundreds continued with another perfectly-constructed 68. He looked back in rhythm and oozing class once again but the furious swish of the bat when DRS confirmed his lbw to Mohammad Abbas summed up his mood.

Mark Stoneman’s innings was painful. Playing for his place, and knowing that, at the age of 30, there will not be a second chance, he was gripped by a fear of failure. He lasted just over an hour, but could have been dismissed at any stage. There was no footwork, he edged between the slip and keeper, another nick landed short of slip and it was a mercy when he was dismissed by a shooter from leg-spinner Shadab Khan. England do not like making changes between back-to-back Tests, but he looks done and dusted. 

Dawid Malan looked equally uncomfortable. He was hit on the head by Hasan Ali, when he misjudged a bouncer, and too often wafted at deliveries without moving his feet. It was no surprise when Mohammad Amir found a little reverse swing to finish him off. Jonny Bairstow was bowled with the ball of the day, nipping back through the gate to hit middle stump for a two-ball duck, but there was no excuse for Ben Stokes who played an awful slog to a long hop from Shadab that went straight in the hands of midwicket.

Dawid Malan is struck on the helmet Credit: reuters

Root’s dismissal felt like the final act and Mickey Arthur, the Pakistan coach, punched the air when he was given out. But Buttler and Bess restored a semblance of respectability. 

Buttler had gifted his wicket in the first innings but this time his shot selection was perfect, putting away the bad balls and not taking unnecessary risks. He played conventional cricket shots, rather than T20 funk, and justified his recall with an 83-ball fifty.

Bess has never faced a challenge like this with Amir and Abbas bowling beautifully, and a leg-spinner with all the tricks probing away. A full house on a Lord’s Saturday is a world away from Taunton and the County Championship, but Bess was picked on character and he has taken to his new environment better than any young player since Stokes came along. 

Having Buttler at the other end will have settled the nerves, not just because he used to play for Somerset, but because of how much a modern player respects his batting ability. Their stand was entertaining, and gives the team some hope for Sunday, but also reinforces the frustration of just what England could achieve if their top order put up some resistance. 

6:52PM

So, England (particularly Buttler and Bess) have fought back well...

...to give England a 52-run lead. But it is unlikely to be enough. Tomorrow is a new day and both batsmen will be have to play themselves in again. An unbeaten 125-run partnership for the seventh wicket, yes, but what happened earlier in the day - when England were 110/6, was pretty poor stuff.  

Alan Tyers will be back tomorrow morning to take you through that. However long it lasts. 

6:45PM

Jos Buttler speaks to Sky's Ian Ward

Great to spend time there - [with] a fellow West Country boy. We just wanted to scrap hard and get ourselves back into the game. He's [Bess] a confident boy and he's a real scrapper and a real fighter. He's got some character and he showed that. I just wanted to be busy. I just wanted to try and get off strike. Get ones and twos where I could and put them off their lengths a little it.  [I want to try] to take the same mentality across all my batting. 

6:42PM

These two can walk off the field happy with their day's work, at least...

Dom Bess and Jos Buttler leave the field at the close of play following their unbeaten 125 run partnership Credit: AP

 Root also made a decent 68 - another score between 50 and 100 for the captain. Nobody else made much of an impression. Malan scored 12 but Cook, Stoneman, Bairstow and Stokes all fell for single figures. Again England found themselves three (and indeed four, five and six...) down for not very much.

6:37PM

England lead by 56 at the end of day three

Michael Vaughan is...optimistic?

You do never know. England have fought and have at least managed to get into a position that looked very unlikely a few hours ago. There's an awful lot for them still to do, though. But with Bess and Buttler they have some positives.  Not sure how some of the lads who failed earlier in the day will feel. Pretty wretched, I imagine. 

6:32PM

CLOSE OF PLAY: OVER 78 - ENG 235/6 (Buttler 66* Bess 55*) 

Amir continues to Bess from over the wicket, trying to draw him into a shot, angling it across the 20-year-old's body. Bess has a flash at a wide one and thankfully misses. He wasn't far away. That didn't look wise. Not long left in the day. Just. Stay. In.  

Bess leaves the next delivery outside off and brings up his a hundred balls faced. 51 scored. That's a strike rate of 51. Quick maths. 

The final ball of the day is also outside off. Bess goes for the drive...and connects this time. Expertly-timed. The West Country lads have given England a lead of 56 at the end of the day.

A maiden 50 for Bess, a 50 for the returning Jos Buttler and a 125-run partnership for the pair.  England aren't exactly right back in this game but if they can add another 70 or so tomorrow then...well. It'll at least be worth watching or turning up at the ground. 

6:26PM

OVER 77: ENG 231/6 (Buttler 66* Bess 51*) 

Faheem Ashraf continues doggedly in his quest to take a wicket. He draws Buttler into a false shot, the ball nipping past his outside edge as he tried to play it onto the leg side. One run from the over. 

Body language: "is it home time yet?"

6:22PM

Dom Bess gets a debut 50...

Dom Bess salute the crowd on reaching his fifty Credit: ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS

 Well played young man. 

6:20PM

OVER 76: ENG 230/6 (Buttler 66* Bess 50*) 

Mohammad Amir with the next over from the Nursery End. England looking comfortable here at the moment - for the first time in the match, really.  

West Country lads going very well but really just looking to play out until the end of play. Sensible cricket, that's what we want. Amir nips one back into Buttler from over the wicket, drawing a reaction from the bowler. 

England lead by 51. 

6:16PM

OVER 75: ENG 228/6 (Buttler 64* Bess 50*)

Faheem Ashraf returns. Any nerves from the young Devonian?  Nope. A leg-side ball first up and he nudges it to square leg for a single. That's 50 for Dom Bess on debut.  He came out at 110/6, remember. A mature innings. 50 off 93. Have England found another off-spinning Test allrounder? 

Buttler pushes Faheem off his hip and runs a quick two.  He tries a bouncer to Buttler but it was a poor one at 80mph and it gets what it deserves - four runs past a diving fielder down to the long leg area. Similar again next ball, but squarer this time - but the fielder picks it up to stop a boundary. 

Message goes out to the Pakistan team at the end of the over. 

6:09PM

OVER 74: ENG 220/6 (Buttler 57* Bess 49*)

Bess pulls Abbas to mid-wicket for a single off the first ball. Within one of his fifty.  Buttler prods and misses one outside off. Abbas shakes his head. The best passage of play by England all match, this.  Abbas hasn't given much away this innings. Economy of 2.42 runs per over. 

Will we see the second new ball before the end of play? Probably not.  Bess to face the first ball of the next over on 49*. 

6:05PM

OVER 73: ENG 219/6 (Buttler 57* Bess 48*)

Bess takes a single off Shadab but Buttler plays an interesting shot (a one-day shot, some might say) to a ball of his outside leg, missing entirely. Didn't really threaten the stumps but could have been dangerous. Bess takes a single off the final ball to move to 48 and keep the strike. 25 minutes of play left. Maybe six or seven overs?

6:01PM

OVER 72: ENG 216/6 (Buttler 56* Bess 46*)

Heresy on Sky Sports as Michael Atherton and Wasim Akram - both supposed Manchester United fans - claim they will be supporting Liverpool in tonight's Champions League final.  This is the sort of thing that got Matt Dawson into hot water...

Mohammad Abbas's fourteenth over brings just three runs. England lead by 37. 

5:58PM

Buttler celebrates his 50

Jos Buttler scored 50 on his return to the side Credit: REUTERS

5:57PM

OVER 71: ENG 213/6 (Buttler 55* Bess 44*)

Shadab now around the wicket to Bess with his leg breaks.  Not the most threatening over, just a single off it. 

5:54PM

OVER 70: ENG 212/6 (Buttler 55* Bess 43*) - England lead by 33

Mohammad Abbas back into the attack. His loosener is creamed to the boundary on the off-side by Bess for four who rocked back and punched it firmly. A single off the second ball takes Bess to 43. 

Abbas sends one down the leg-side which Sarfraz cannot take. Four leg byes! And the 100 partnership. 52 runs scored by Buttler, 43 by Bess. Another two to Buttler off a leave/play/leave type shot down to third man. Weird but you'll take it. He'll have to. 

5:49PM

STAT ATTACK

You might suggest Pakistan should have done their homework. Although homework can be a sore subject in cricketing circles.  

5:48PM

OVER 69: ENG 201/6 (Buttler 53* Bess 38*)

Shadab returns for his 17th over and his 17th from the Pavillion End. Buttler plays his first delivery firmly through the covers to bring up England's 200. The partnership moves into the 90s. 

Bess steals a single to mid-on off Shadab's third ball, the fielder missing the stumps. He looked safe, though. 

5:44PM

OVER 68: ENG 199/6 (Buttler 52* Bess 37*)

That's Buttler's seventh test 50. He's had plenty of them in the IPL this year but to see him play an innings like this is very pleasing, especially coming in with wickets tumbling and England facing an innings defeat. 

Hasan Ali comes over the wicket to Buttler. Bowls a bouncer outside off which Buttler tries to pull but mistimes. It was in the air for a bit but he gets a single for it. A wide takes England to 199. Bess sees out the rest of the over. 

5:39PM

OVER 67: ENG 197/6 (Buttler 51* Bess 37*)

Buttler plays Shadab for three out towards mid-wicket. Or was it three? The fielder was close to the boundary there. The umpires have a closer look...and that is four. And Buttler's 50. Well played. 50 off 89 on his return to the side.  Ed Smith applauds in the stands. 

Shadab causing a few small problems but is being played fairly well by Buttler and Bess.  

5:36PM

OVER 66: ENG 192/6 (Buttler 46* Bess 37*)

Hasan Ali again. A short-arm jab by Buttler off the first ball races towards the boundary at midwicket but a fielder is there to clean up. Just the single from that crunching shot. Good running brings about another single for Bess. These two playing the Pakistan bowlers very well at the moment. Three runs off the over. 

 

5:31PM

OVER 65: ENG 189/6 (Buttler 44* Bess 36*)

This Bess/Buttler partnership fairly races to 79.  England have scored 43/0 off the last 10. 

An appeal for LBW by Shadab off the second ball is turned down, before Bess plays and misses a forward defensive. Nothing doing. A maiden over. England are 10 runs ahead. Four wickets remain. 

5:29PM

OVER 64: ENG 189/6 (Buttler 44* Bess 36*)

Hasan Ali bowls a full wide-ish one and Bess takes full advantage, smashing him through the covers for four. off the second ball of the over. Well-timed, if not creamed.  England into the lead by three runs. 

The field is then changed for the next ball as Ali comes around the wicket. Time for some short stuff.  Ali's fourth ball is wide again and Bess cuts for another four! Poor bowling. 

A much better delivery next time as a short and nasty one rises sharply into Bess's armpit area. He gets his bat out of the way, though and left it well. A stifled appeal as Sarfraz takes it, diving behind the stumps. A push off the final ball of the over brings Bess three. 12 off the over. 

5:22PM

OVER 63: ENG 177/6 (Buttler 43* Bess 25*)

Bess plays a nice paddle sweep off Shadab Khan for a single, after Buttler took a single from the first ball.  Buttler looking the more aggressive of the two currently, though not taking too many risks.  Three runs off the over. England trail by two. 

5:20PM

A penny for this man's thoughts

Two of his picks saving England's blushes - for now. 

Ed Smith watches on Credit: SKY SPORTS

5:19PM

OVER 62: ENG 174/6 (Buttler 41* Bess 24*)

Hasan Ali back into the attack for his 15th over. A misfield off the second ball (a defensive shot that runs into the off-side) brings England and Buttler a couple of runs and takes him into his 40s.   Hasan Ali remains wicketless.

Meanwhile the umpires look at the ball, which appears to have gone out of shape, delaying the final two balls of the over and bringing about drinks...

They change the ball and then Buttler pulls away from the first delivery attempt after the break. He pulls the ball - when it is delivered on the second attempt - for a single. The over is finally over. 

5:11PM

  OVER 61: ENG 171-6 (Buttler 38* Bess 24*)

It's the leggie Shadab Khan back into the attack. His second ball is pushed off the back foot by Buttler for a single.  Bess back on strike and plays a late cut off a short-ish googly down to third man for four. 

England are now behind by just eight runs and this partnership is 61. 

5:07PM

OVER 60: ENG 166/6 (Buttler 37* Bess 20*)

Hello, Luke Slater here. We wait to see if England can hold out and avoid an innings defeat - which now does look likely as Bess and Buttler have put on 50 together now and seem fairly comfortable. At the moment. 

Mohammad Amir on a decent line and length here and Bess plays and misses a drive outside off-stump. Wafty, you might say.  He keeps it out there for the rest of the over.  But Bess does eventually connect with one on the final ball off the over and gets four with a nicely-timed cover drive.  Cracking shot. 

5:03PM

OVER 59: ENG 162/6 (Buttler 37* Bess 16*)                             

Faheem Ashraf, hiding the shine as he runs up to bowl with one slip, tries a bouncer. Easy pickings at his pace. Now a rare blemish for Pakistan, short ball, Buttler pulls at it and there is a misfield in the deep, allowing four.

Single to each batsman. I am going to hand you over to Luke Slater for the rest of the day.

4:59PM

OVER 58: ENG 156/6 (Buttler 32* Bess 15*)                            

Buttler takes one off the first ball of Amir's over. Bess deals gamely with the rest.

4:57PM

OVER 57: ENG 155/6 (Buttler 31* Bess 15*)                           

Bess having a go! Faheem Ashraf to Bess and he attacks him, slashed through the slips and then through the covers. Both shots uppish. But runs to the total.

4:49PM

OVER 56: ENG 147/6 (Buttler 31* Bess 7*)                          

Here comes the main man then. Mo Amir. Tries around the wicket to the right-handed Buttler. Looking for that angle in. Watchfully played/left by Jos.

England trail by 32

4:47PM

Noice!

4:44PM

OVER 55: ENG 147/6 (Buttler 31* Bess 7*)                         

Faheem Ashraf to Buttler. One off the over. Mo Amir is warming up. Next level challenge for Bess coming up.

4:40PM

OVER 54: ENG 146/6 (Buttler 30* Bess 7*)                        

Abbas now into his seventh over, great commitment. Big inswinger foxes Jos, who nearly edges that behind.

4:39PM

OVER 53: ENG 143/6 (Buttler 27* Bess 7*)                       

Faheem Ashraf, who has been used as handy relief, comes on and attacks the stumps. This batting pair fighting hard as they hope to make Pakistan at least bat again.

4:32PM

OVER 52: ENG 140/6 (Buttler 24* Bess 7*)                      

Mohammad Abbas into his sixth over, this pair putting in a shift as they try to find the reverse swinger. Buttler with a leading edge! Screws in the air, luckily for him it evades the offside field.

4:30PM

OVER 51: ENG 135/6 (Buttler 20* Bess 6*)                     

There's that yorker Hasan Ali has been measuring Dom Bess up for. Digs it out well.

4:22PM

OVER 50: ENG 133/6 (Buttler 20* Bess 4*)                    

Mohammad Abbas. Couple of efficient shots from Buttler to the legside, a two and a one. Single to Bess.

4:21PM

OVER 49: ENG 129/6 (Buttler 17* Bess 3*)                   

Nice bit of analysis on Sky as they note that an unusually high percentage of deliveries would have hit the stumps in this match by Pakistan (15%) as opposed to 11% by the English. Reverse swing, LBWs and bowled all in play.

Jos, hoping to take LBW out of the equation, is coming forward at the bowler and looking to get outside off.

4:16PM

OVER 48: ENG 128/6 (Buttler 16* Bess 3*)                  

Bess sort of leaves, sort of plays, and gets three off the underside of the bat to third man.

4:09PM

OVER 47: ENG 124/6 (Buttler 15* Bess 0*)                 

Two lovely, classy shots from Buttler. A firm pull for four, and then an inside-out drive to the extra cover fence. On the walk now, he defends. Looks like Jos has been told to go and play his shots. Fine by me. An inswinger now, Jos sees it early and it's nothing more than a firm push as he sends it racing to the fence. What a player this guy is. I would really love him to become an England great. I think he has the skills. Nice guy as well.

4:06PM

OVER 46: ENG 112/6 (Buttler 3* Bess 0*)                

Jos works a short ball away for a single. Bess on strike. Abbas very full and straight, all forms of dismissal are in play. Bess defends pretty well.

4:05PM

The cricket

4:04PM

Here comes Abbas 

From the Nursery End.

Jossington Buttler is on strike.

4:02PM

Nice day for a pasting

View at Lord's on Saturday Credit: Sky

3:44PM

TEA: England 111/6 (Buttler 2* Bess 0*) trail by 68

England lost four wickets for 74 in 25 overs in that afternoon passage. Another session to Pakistan, who are absolutely rampant at Lord's.

A reaction from the England coaching set-up now.

Credit: Sky

Stoneman and Cook, of course, had already fallen by lunch.

Mark Stoneman's Test career is in the ICU after playing back to this leg-break Credit: AP

3:42PM

OVER 45: ENG 111/6 (Buttler 2* Bess 0*)               

Hasan Ali to bowl what I expect to be the last over before tea. Bess has a method of staying inside the line, hanging on leg stump. It exposes the stumps. Hasan looking for that late swing, and finding plenty. Bess survives, it's a maiden, and it's tea.

3:40PM

Pakistan pals loving this

3:39PM

OVER 44: ENG 111/6 (Buttler 2* Bess 0*)              

Mohammad Abbas to Buttler. A maiden.

3:36PM

OVER 43: ENG 111/6 (Buttler 2* Bess 0*)             

Well, Dom Bess is still there. Not quite sure how. He's beaten by a big inswinger from Hasan Ali. Inside edge saved him from LBW. Now another one arcs in and he's beaten comprehensively as he comes forward.

3:30PM

OVER 42: ENG 110/6 (Buttler 1* Bess 0*)             

Pakistan having a dream day. Their three seamers all bowling very well, finding the reverse they love, and the young leggie doing his bit at the other end.

Somerset in the house as Bess joins Jos.

3:25PM

WICKET! Root lbw Abbas 68 

It has taken just three balls! Root is gone. He reviews, but it never looks likely to save him.

Credit: Sky
Credit: Sky

Nice delivery, seams back in, hits him on the knee roll. Bat nowhere near it.

Credit: Sky

And he's gone! England lose a review and most importantly, they lose their captain. And, also, the Test match I am now 100% sure.

3:24PM

Mohammad Abbas

is coming on for a spell

3:24PM

OVER 41: ENG 110/5 (Root 68* Buttler 1*)            

Hasan Ali on for a spell. Overpitched, confidently driven by Root through the covers for a boundary. This is a nice pill later in the over, swinging it back into Jos.

3:19PM

OVER 40: ENG 105/5 (Root 63* Buttler 1*)           

Mo Amir fancies another, seventh of the spell and showing his heart as well as his skill. He's beaten Buttler here with a snorter, Jos's feet were stuck in the crease and he poked listlessly.

3:17PM

OVER 39: ENG 105/5 (Root 63* Buttler 1*)          

Go on Jos. Just come in and score at four an over without taking any risks. Thanks.

3:15PM

Pakistan fans are going to enjoy this

3:14PM

BEHOLD THE VILLAIN OF THE PIECE

He's got a smartphone you know. Perhaps it's got data on it.

Credit: Sky

3:09PM

WICKET! Stokes c Sub (Fakhar) b Shadab 9

Oh goodness, that really is a tame end. England going down with a whimper now. Stokes plays this bizarrely dainty, frou-frou sort of chip-shovel shot and it's just dollied up to midwicket for the easiest catch you'll ever see. Sub fielder Fakhar does the business. FOW 104/5

Very un-Stokes like sort of shot. Just bloody hit the thing Ben! Eurch. It gets worse every time you see it. No clear plan, just flipping the ball pleasantly like he was giving catching practice.

Nothing ball, nothing shot. 

3:07PM

OVER 38: ENG 103/4 (Root 62* Stokes 9*)         

Amir is into the sixth over of this spell. England keep him at bay.

3:06PM

Bairstow straights

3:04PM

OVER 37: ENG 100/4 (Root 61* Stokes 8*)        

And more drama! Stokes drives hard and true and it smashes into the boot of the man at silly point. It pops up and short leg dives to grab it. No?! ! Surely not. Fortunately for England, it looks like it bounced in front of the man.

Credit: Sky

2:59PM

OVER 36: ENG 95/4 (Root 60* Stokes 4*)       

Two in an over from Amir has ripped the heart out of England and a three-day finish is suddenly likely.

Stokes clips his first ball away for four.

2:54PM

WICKET! Bairstow b Mohammad Amir 0

Another one! Two in an over. Bairstow leaves the first one, and is now bowled by a proper snorter. FOW 91/4

Credit: Sky

It came back in off the seam and clipped the top of the stumps. Glorious bowling. 

Like this

meanwhile 

2:53PM

that brings Baristow to the crease

and Amir has his tail up.

2:51PM

WICKET! Malan c Sarfraz Ahmed b Mohammad Amir 12

Another England man fails. Again. It was a good ball outside off stump, it was full, it was quick, and Malan poked at it. Quality low diving catch by the keeper and that's the end of Dawid. FOW 91/3

2:45PM

OVER 35: ENG 91/2 (Root 60* Malan 12*)      

Rare aggression from Malan as he sweeps the leggie for four. That takes us up until drinks.

2:42PM

Brothers in arms

2:40PM

OVER 34: ENG 85/2 (Root 59* Malan 7*)     

Reverse swing perhaps starting to happen, Malan a tendency to stay back. Amir must be fancying a bit of a toe crusher?

2:39PM

OVER 33: ENG 82/2 (Root 56* Malan 7*)    

Rare, and I think the first, bad ball from the young leggie. Root whack a full toss for four.

2:38PM

Stoneman's weight

2:33PM

OVER 32: ENG 77/2 (Root 51* Malan 7*)   

Root's enjoying himself through third man today, a classy glide through that region for four off Amir brings him his fifty, I believe it is his 15,000th socre of 50 or more in Tests and, as ever, made in a frictionless way at a good clip.

2:30PM

OVER 31: ENG 72/2 (Root 46* Malan 7*)  

Root tries to tickle it to third man but chops the ball downward and, well, that could have easily cannoned into the stumps rather than running, as it does, for four.

2:25PM

OVER 30: ENG 66/2 (Root 39* Malan 6*) 

Classy cricket this, enjoyable stuff. Quality left-arm fast at one end, talented leggie at the other. Mohammad Amir and Shadab Khan. Shades of Wasim and Mushy, as Athers notes.

Probing stuff from MoAm, accurate, good pace, moving it both ways just a little bit.

2:18PM

OVER 29: ENG 64/2 (Root 39* Malan 6*)

 Drama! Shadab Khan to Malan

Credit: Sky

He sweeps the ball fine but doesn't get hold. The man at leg slip grabs it and chucks at the stumps. He was back. 

2:17PM

OVER 28: ENG 63/2 (Root 38* Malan 6*)        

Mo Amir returns. Key moment. Two slips and a gully. I thought that maybe a suggestion of the ball tailing in there off a couple of deliveries. Certainly the conditions are suitable for reverse. Malan clips to leg and they run two, again very very tight and again that would have been out with a DH. Last ball of the over nibbles away. Woolly whoosh from Malan....

2:12PM

OVER 27: ENG 61/2 (Root 38* Malan 4*)       

Malan, back and across, flicks the ball to the legside and not a million miles from that catcher at short leg. Shadab Khan looking less likely as each over goes by. 

2:11PM

The Late Joe Root

2:09PM

OVER 26: ENG 58/2 (Root 38* Malan 4*)      

Sarfraz must be thinking of a change, England reasonably comfortable in that 25 minutes since luncheon, bar that bumper. Root drives Hasan Ali for four, not totally convincing. 

2:03PM

OVER 25: ENG 54/2 (Root 34* Malan 4*)     

Shadab. Classy shot from Root as he donks the ball through third man, late and wristy, for four runs. Delay: Root has got something in his eye. Joe's record against leg-spin is exceptional.

2:01PM

Dat Bouncer

2:00PM

OVER 24: ENG 47/2 (Root 28* Malan 3*)    

Hasan Ali has got these England batsmen well rattled. An absolutely idiotic single here. Root plays it behind square and they run for the shot. Super work from Imam at point, he stops it and has all the time in the world to aim at the single stump. Malan there has stopped running, but the throw misses by a whisker.

Nearly run out Malan Credit: Sky

1:57PM

OVER 23: ENG 44/2 (Root 26* Malan 2*)   

England's most assured over yet v the leggie: Root back cuts for an attractive three and they add a couple of singles.

1:51PM

OVER 22: ENG 38/2 (Root 22* Malan 1*)  

I told you that Hasan Ali gets a bit of juice. He's produced an absolute beast of a ball, a bouncer that smashes into Malan's helmet. It was not all that short but it was properly horrible. 

Malan struck Credit: Sky Sports

It crunches into the helmet and dislodges the stem guard. 

Malan gets checked out Credit: Sky

Both doctor and physio come on. He's okay to continue. 

1:49PM

The new England selecta

Ed Smith. How's he feeling I wonder?

Credit: Sky

His calls in this match? Sticking with Stoneman,  bringing back Jos, blooding Bess and giving Wood his chance I guess you'd say.

1:41PM

OVER 21: ENG 38/2 (Root 22* Malan 1*) 

It will be Shadab to start. He has a slip, silly point and a short leg for Malan. Malan drives the first ball out of the rough for no run. Back in the crease, looking to tuck the ball away off the legs. It's going to be a stressful watch this afternoon I fancy.

1:40PM

Root and Malan

stride to the crease. Joe twirling his bat in a pleasingly rakish, Corinthian sort of way. Malan all business. And England need to be. They are miles behind in this match, Pakistan have a talented leggie with rough to bowl into.

1:37PM

Players will be back out shortly

England need to fight for their lives here. Another humiliating defeat could be very serious.

1:10PM

Cook fell early

Main man down: Alastair Cook fell for just one as England began their second innings Credit: Philip Brown/Getty Images

1:06PM

LUNCH: England 37/2 (Root 22* Malan 0*) trail by 142

Chalk another session up to the very impressive tourists. They whacked a dozen runs first thing for their last wicket, and have shifted both of the England openers for not many runs at all. A quality bit of seam bowling did for AN Cook, and then Mark Stoneman was bowled by the leg-spinner playing back when he should have been forward. 

There is plenty of rough for young leggie Shadab Khan to aim at: and plenty of English left-handers, too: Malan, Stokes, Broad, Anderson. 

Poor Mark Stoneman did not look the part at all in that innings and I would strongly suggest that any English openers stand by their beds.

1:02PM

OVER 20: ENG 37/2 (Root 22* Malan 0*)                   

A Hasan Ali maiden to Joe Root takes us up until the lunch interval.

1:00PM

OVER 19: ENG 37/2 (Root 22* Malan 0*)                  

Four balls from Shadab to Root. Single. A chance to have a go at Malan. Men around the bat. Malan plays back, either untroubled by or forgetful of the fate of his fellow left-hander Mark Stoneman. They don't seem the most intelligent, in sporting terms, some of this England crop.

12:55PM

OVER 18: ENG 36/2 (Root 21* Malan 0*)                 

Hasan Ali to Root. Nice square drive. Attractive boundary.

12:53PM

OVER 17: ENG 31/2 (Root 16* Malan 0*)                

Gutting for Stoneman but hardly an isolated incident. He was struggling badly throughout the innings and had edged the ball between keeper and slip earlier in the over.

Malan, another lefty, comes in. Shadab is going to be a handful with that rough to aim at.

Here's that Stoney wicket.

12:48PM

WICKET! Stoneman bowled Shadab 9

Oh, Mark Stoneman. He's been totally done there. He's trapped on the crease, he plays sort of half back, tentatively, the ball spins back and he has been bowled neck and crop. Sorry to say, Sahadab has made a bit of a monkey of him there, and one has to say that Mark Stoneman's Test career is on life support right now.

Stoneman plays back and is bowled Credit: Sky

He might argue that it kept a bit low out of the rough, and indeed it did... but that is why you have to play forward. FOW 31/2

12:46PM

Change of bowling

It is the leg-spinner Shadab Khan.

12:43PM

OVER 16: ENG 26/1 (Stoneman 5* Root 15*)               

Nice probing stuff from Hasan Ali , who gets a little bit more out of the surface than he looks like he should. A guy with a little bit of something, It's another maiden. Stoneman battling hard. Can he keep it up?

12:40PM

OVER 15: ENG 26/1 (Stoneman 5* Root 15*)              

Maiden from  Faheem Ashraf  to Joe Root, who hangs the bat at a gentle wide-ish ball.

12:36PM

OVER 14: ENG 26/1 (Stoneman 5* Root 15*)             

Pakistan lose a review for that and can have no complaints. Stoneman hanging tough. Plays and misses. Huge moment in his career, this innings.

12:32PM

Terrible review from Pakistan

Hasan Ali to Stoneman for LBW. Given not out on the field. This is surely pitching outside leg? By a mile, I would say.

Hasan Ali review Credit: Sky

12:30PM

OVER 13: ENG 24/1 (Stoneman 3* Root 15*)            

Shot of the innings. Root cuts Faheem Ashraf  hard and true. Four runs. Minor moment of concern a few balls later though when Root tries to chop at the ball, that had "played on via under edge" written all over it

12:27PM

OVER 12: ENG 20/1 (Stoneman 3* Root 11*)           

Double change as Hasan Ali comes on. Putting some fizz into his work, decent line and length, and some carry.

12:20PM

OVER 11: ENG 19/1 (Stoneman 3* Root 10*)          

Faheem comes on. Wasim Akram, on Sky comms, says of him: "He is a genuine all-rounder. And a much better batsman than I was, I can assure you."

Right arm over for Faheem. Low 80s pace. Decent length. Leeetle beet too wide to Stoney, they first three. Sliding it across. Fourth one very wide. Slope? Easy leaves for the leftie, these.

12:17PM

OVER 10: ENG 19/1 (Stoneman 3* Root 10*)         

That one really goes from the arm! Big inswinger from the hugely impressive Mohammad Abbas, it pins Root on the pad but was ever swinging down the legside.

12:12PM

OVER 9: ENG 17/1 (Stoneman 2* Root 9*)        

More from Mo Amir.

Root gets him away off the hip for a single. A ball to Stoney shapes back in late. Not saying it is happening yet, but given an abrasive outfield I would expect some reverse later in the day. 

12:08PM

OVER 8: ENG 16/1 (Stoneman 2* Root 8*)       

Mohammad Abbas continues. Three to Root behind point. And now a loose drive from Stoneman! He is lucky to miss that. This is a searching examination from a classy opening pair.

12:05PM

OVER 7: ENG 13/1 (Stoneman 2* Root 5*)      

That's the stuff from Mohammad Amir. Exemplary bowling from the Pavilion End as he sends this across Root. Left arm over, very dangerous, nothing to that but out. Root beaten.

Another quick single, Root dabbing to cover. Stoneman is in the wide awake club. Home safe. Stoneman now off the mark tenth ball, nice tuck for two. But now he edges the ball short of second slip! Oooof.

11:59AM

OVER 6: ENG 10/1 (Stoneman 0* Root 4*)     

Abbas has got the ball on a string here. Classy. Lands the ball on a sixpence and just nibbles it off the seam down the slope. Rooty beaten all ends up by that. Root tucks a rare leg stump one away for two. They take a tight leg bye last ball of the over.

11:54AM

OVER 5: ENG 7/1 (Stoneman 0* Root 2*)    

Amir not quite spot on with his lines just yet, for mine. Four leg byes here as the ball slides down Root's legside. But this is a nice cherry: seams, Root pushes across the ball. Beaten.

11:49AM

OVER 4: ENG 2/1 (Stoneman 0* Root 1*)   

England's captain nudges the accurate, skillful Abbas away for one through the covers.

11:46AM

OVER 3: ENG 1/1 (Stoneman 0* Root 0*)  

Tight line from Amir to Stoneman. A prod and a miss in this maiden.

11:42AM

OVER 2: ENG 1/1 (Stoneman 0* Root 0*) 

It was quality bowling from Mohammad Abbas. Brought Cook forward, he had to play, and just a bit of nibble in.

Cook LBW Abbas Credit: Sky Sports Cricket

Root comes in and survives the remaining ball of the over.

11:38AM

WICKET! Cook lbw Abbas 1

He's done it! Lovely bowling from Mo Abbas. Bit fuller than the previous, runs it down the slope and pins Alastair in front. Cook does not review. FOW 1/1

White one the wicket ball, a yard fuller Credit: Sky

11:34AM

OVER 1: ENG 1/0 (Cook 1* Stoneman 0*)

First four balls from Mo Amir shape away from Cook, but all are too wide to provoke the monobrowed lamb-loving former choirboy. Fifth ball angles in, Cook dabs that to the offside for a quick, but safe, single and England are off the mark.

11:30AM

Here comes Amir to bowl to Cook

He has three slips and a gully from the Pavilion End.

11:30AM

Well then, Mark Stoneman

If not now, then when? Lord's Test Saturday, the sun's out, the team is in trouble. Has he got what it takes?

Credit: Sky

11:28AM

Here's Tim Wigmore on Wood

11:22AM

Pakistan 363 all out lead by 179

A little bit of fun for the Pakistan tailenders this morning, each man whacked a boundary. Mark Wood put an end to the silliness not a moment too soon, from an England point of view. With Babar Azam nursing a broken arm, that ninth wicket stand will be the end of the innings and Pakistan lead by 179

11:20AM

WICKET! Abbas c Baristow b Wood 5

Mark Wood goes route one. Bouncer. Abbas plays the first one well. Second ball of the over, also a bumper. Spicy meatball that. Gets out of the way. Third one now, also dug in, hits the gloves. Bairstow with a really good catch, moving down leg, then has to adjust as the ball loops down the offside. Good grab. FOW 363 all out

 

Pakistan's Mohammad Abbas flicks the ball with his glove to get out from England's bowler Mark Wood Credit: PA

11:18AM

OVER 113: PAK 363/8 (Amir 24* Abbas 5*)   

Leg bye off one swinging down leg.

Broad puts it on a dish for Amir, who gets the long leavers working and plants the ball back down the ground! Shot Mo! Dabs to the covers now, Stomenan aims at the stumps and there's an overthrow.

11:13AM

OVER 113: PAK 356/8 (Amir 19* Abbas 4*)  

Mohammad Amir plays that over very properly. Not giving Wood a lot to work with. Maiden. He can bat, MoAm.

11:08AM

OVER 112: PAK 356/8 (Amir 19* Abbas 4*) 

Broad from the Nursery End.  Powderpuff start from him. Abbas tries to smear a wide one to point, then Broad goes a bit shorter. Abbas heaves that to cow corner for four! Ugly sort of a shot, bit of a tennis effort but who cares about that? Four runs, well struck sir. Next one is in the channel, Abbas has a waft and is lucky to miss. Joe Root has the lid on at short leg. One to delegate, no?

Root at short leg Credit: Sky

Huge heave again! Doesn't get hold of that.  Plays and misses at the last couple of deliveries. Wasted on thee.

11:04AM

OVER 111: PAK 351/8 (Amir 19* Abbas 0*)

No major alarms for Abbas in that over, he played it pretty well. Straight from Wood but only mid 80s. A leg bye. YJB has to fling himself down leg to the last ball of the over.

11:02AM

Mickey Arthur

enjoying a party-sized bap.

Mickey Arthur with an isotonic sandwich Credit: Sky

11:00AM

Right then

Joe is starting with Mark Wood. Interesting choice - a vote of confidence? A feeling that raw pace is the way to blow away this tail?

Mark is coming from the Pavilion End.

10:55AM

Overnight: PAK 350/8 (110 overs) Amir 19* Abbas 0* lead by 166

Can they wallop that lead up to 200 odd? It's already a very handy advantage.

Pakistan resume with a lead of 166 on day three at Lord's Credit: Getty Images

10:52AM

Waqar is ringing the bell

at Lord's, and play is coming up.

10:52AM

News from Sri Lanka

A plot to fix an upcoming England cricket match has been exposed by an undercover investigation, the Telegraph can reveal.

Match fixers have been caught discussing  plans to rig the outcome of England’s first Test in Sri Lanka, scheduled to begin on November 6.

An undercover journalist, posing as a businessman looking to place bets on the match, filmed a match fixer and the groundsman of the match venue in Galle agreeing to help alter the outcome.

The "wicket fixing" plot involves doctoring the pitch to make it impossible for the contest to end in a draw. Such tactics would allow those involved to profit dishonestly from placing bets against that outcome with unsuspecting bookmakers.

The match-fixing allegations come from a documentary entitled Cricket’s Match-fixers, to be broadcast by Al Jazeera on Sunday night.

Exposed: How 'betting scam match fixers' planned to rig England cricket Test

10:50AM

Pakistan lead by 166 runs

"England need a big performance," says David Lloyd.

10:50AM

Babar won't bat

So Pakistan are down to their last stand. Mo Amir, who likes to give it a thump, is unbeaten on 19* ovenight, his partner Mohammad Abbas has yet to score.

10:47AM

But bad news overnight for Babar

Who had battled with real heart and grit before Ben Stokes struck him with a lifter. It broke his forearm.

10:46AM

Still looks to be something for the seamers

10:44AM

Excellent use of stats

10:42AM

Pakistan resume on 350/8

No one massive score in there but almost everyone, bar a dumb shot from keeper Sarfraz the ball before tea, dug in and applied himself.

10:41AM

Because England are going to need to bat well

Getting beyond a joke now. Yet again in this match they were three down for not many and, while they bowled okay yesterday, the horse may well have already bolted.

10:38AM

Morning!

Tyers here. It's warm in London (about 70 degrees) and forecast to get up to 78 or so. Felt a bit muggy and humid on the way to work, smoggy, cloudy overhead. Something for the swingers early on maybe. And then hopefully that cloud burns off and we have a lovely day for cricket - and for batting.

9:01AM

Bairstow: England still in with shout of comeback win

Jonny Bairstow insists England are still in with a chance of a comeback win in the first NatWest Test despite Pakistan's 166-run lead at Lord's.

England's wicketkeeper appeared to bristle at times when he was invited to account for the five catches dropped while Pakistan were racking up 300 runs on day two to close on 350-8.

After four Pakistan batsmen reached 50, England are clinging to the hope that forecast hot weather over the weekend may bake an already dry surface and leave the tourists a tough last-innings target.

To bring that into the equation, England will have to bat much better at the second attempt.

Asked if he thinks they may yet turn the match around, Bairstow said: "Absolutely, we're still definitely in it.

"In the middle two innings, if we can gain parity with their score, then we've got an opportunity to bowl them out for 180 when it's potentially the worst to bat, in the last.

"There's no reason why we can't (do that)."

Bairstow concedes England "could have batted better" against some fine bowling in their first-innings 184 all out.

But he added: "You don't want to be looking back - you want to be looking forward.

"Those last two wickets at the end (of the day) have put us in with a real fighting chance.

"Days three and four are potentially the best time to bat on this wicket. By no means are we out of this game."

As for England's dropped catches, Bairstow said: "It's not from (lack of) practice, that's for sure.

"If you can put your finger on it, you're welcome to come and join us in practice. You see the hard graft the guys are putting in with the catching."

Babar Azam, meanwhile, is set to miss the remainder of Pakistan's tour of England after an x-ray showed he suffered a fracture to his forearm when he was hit just above his left wrist by a short ball from Ben Stokes.