Jofra Archer has acknowledged Shan Masood's glorious effort with the bat that saw him produce his career-best score and admitted bowling to the Pakistan opener proved to be a challenge.
Masood sculpted a potentially game-changing 156 infused with a perfect balance of control and patience. Similar to how the left-handed batsman negotiated the new ball in the first session on Wednesday, Masood diligently avoided playing extravagant strokes in the morning on day two.
His penchant for leaving all deliveries outside off-stump often frustrated the pace bowlers and Archer commented on how difficult it was to disturb Masood's rhythmic defensive play on the crease.
"Obviously, he’s a bit annoying to bowl at. He didn’t really look like missing too many balls. Hopefully, in the second innings, he does not have so much luck," the 25-year-old speedster said in a video conference.
Masood's supreme application and watchful approach allowed him to face a mammoth 319 balls, the most amount of deliveries played by an overseas opening batsman in England in the last five years.
Barring the rivalry on the field, Archer revealed that the two individuals boasted a bit of camaraderie between them since the Barbados-born cricketer made his first-class debut against Pakistan back in 2016.
Masood was part of the Pakistan team during that tour where he personally endured a torrid time. Following that first-class encounter, Archer said the two kept in touch and most recently interacted in Pakistan's tour of Australia last year.
"I know Shan pretty well, I actually made my first-class debut against Pakistan and since that game, we’ve kept in touch," he stated.
"I spoke to him briefly when he was touring Australia as well. It’s good to see that he has come a long way and I am glad to see that he is actually getting some runs and leading from the front."
Although England appear to be struggling at the moment, Archer sounded optimistic about his side's chances and felt they were only one session away from launching a fightback.
"These Tests are really long and not every session goes your way, you’re not going to be amazing every single time and take the charge out there.
"With that being said, who knows Pakistan can have a bad first session and our batsmen can run away with the momentum."