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Masood masterclass, Abbas strikes help Pakistan take control of first Test
Day Two Report

Masood masterclass, Abbas strikes help Pakistan take control of first Test

England's top-order crumbled cheaply against a rampant Pakistan side after Shan Masood floored the hosts with an outstanding century in the first Test on Thursday.

Masood's epic 156 held his side's innings together helping them post 326 before England reached 92-4 after slumping to 12-3.

Ollie Pope looked in fine touch during his unbeaten 46 while Jos Buttler accompanies him at the crease with 15 not out.

England find themselves in a fragile position, still trailing Pakistan by 234 runs with no specialist batsman in the tank.

The home side's misery following Masood's terrific ton soon arrived when Shaheen Afridi trapped Rory Burns lbw in the first over.

Mohammad Abbas then viciously seamed in a gorgeous delivery to beat the bat of Dom Sibley as the umpire adjudged him lbw as well.

Abbas then produced perhaps the best ball of the summer when he bowled England superstar Ben Stokes, who was standing well out of his ground. Bamboozled by the dexterity of Abbas, Stokes was visibly baffled by how much the ball deviated off the surface to clip the top of off-stump.

The players on the field and the reserves watching from the hotel balcony all joined in on vocal support for the Pakistan team in the empty stadium as the tourists commanded the proceedings.

The last wicket to fall in the day was England captain Joe Root when he edged a cut shot to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan off veteran leg-spinner Yasir Shah.

In contrast to England's languishing position at the end of the day, things were looking bright for them in the first hour when the pacers combined to send three Pakistan batsmen back to the pavilion.

Babar Azam failed to add to his overnight score of 69 while Asad Shafiq and Rizwan also fell for paltry scores hinting at a prolonged collapse.

This danger of being dismissed for a sub-200 total was averted when all-rounder Shadab Khan joined Masood in the middle and the two looked increasingly fluent in their strokeplay.

The remarkable aspect of their partnership post-lunch was that both individuals rushed between the wickets at lightning speeds, tiring the opposition with quick singles to keep the scoreboard ticking along.

Shadab's excellent knock came to a tame end when he holed out off Bess with a mistimed slog to mid-on.

On the other end, Masood batted with stupendous poise and calmly navigated Pakistan towards a respectable score.

Two late-cut boundaries piercing the gap in the field saw him get to 96 before he completed a 251-ball century off a double.

Having received a couple of lives yesterday due to Jos Buttler's failure to grab the opportunities, 30-year-old Masood made the most of it to score his third successive Test ton - joining the league of Zaheer Abbas, Mudassar Nazar, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq in this tremendous feat.

He batted brilliantly with the tail by hoicking Bess for two sixes and shrewdly farming the strike. He eventually got out to Broad, having faced 319 balls for his 156.