LONDON: England’s Chris Woakes took two wickets in quick succession as Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir waited to make his return to Test cricket at Lord’s — the scene of his spot-fixing crime.
Pakistan were 76 for two at two at lunch on Thursday’s first day of the first Test, with Woakes having taken two wickets for 18 runs in six overs.
Azhar Ali was seven not out and Younis Khan, looking in good touch, 18 not out after Woakes had removed openers Shan Masood and Mohammad Hafeez.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss on a sunny day, with the pitch at Lord’s a notoriously good surface for batsmen.
Stuart Broad started the match with a maiden that saw him beat Hafeez on the outside edge.
Broad’s Nottinghamshire colleague Jake Ball, given a debut in place of James Anderson after the selectors decided against risking England’s all-time leading wicket-taker following a shoulder injury, opened the bowling from the Pavilion End.
Ball’s second delivery saw him appeal for leg before against Masood.
Umpire Kumar Dharmasena said not out and and an unsuccessful England review confirmed the ball had pitched outside leg stump.
Hafeez struck two fours off Ball but he was lucky on 11 when an edge off Broad was dropped by third slip James Vince, who couldn’t hold a low chance to his left.
Right-hander Hafeez cashed in with well struck cover-drives for four off both Nottinghamshire bowlers.
But first-change Woakes made the breakthrough with just his seventh ball.
A rising delivery had left-hander Masood, playing away from his body, caught behind by Jonny Bairstow for seven.
The same combination then dismissed Hafeez for 40.
Hafeez’s 59-ball innings, including eight fours, ended when he tried to work to leg a short ball from the Warwickshire all-rounder that swung away a touch only to get a top edge, with Bairstow holding the skyed chance.
Woakes had taken two wickets for five runs in 16 balls and Pakistan were 51 for two.
But Younis showed his class with two well-struck straight driven fours off fast bowler Steven Finn, playing on his Middlesex home ground.
Earlier, as expected, left-arm quick Amir was selected for his first Test appearance since the infamous ‘spot-fixing’ clash against England at Lord’s in 2010.
That match saw Amir and Pakistan new-ball partner Mohammad Asif deliberately bowl no-balls on the instructions of then captain Salman Butt as part of a newspaper ‘sting’ operation.
All three received five-year bans from cricket and jail terms.-AFP