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Kia Oval Test: Day Two

Shafiq and Younis make fine centuries at the Kia Oval to put Pakistan in the lead

Pakistan batted through the day on the second day of the 4th test match at the Kia Oval. Both Asad Shafiq and Younis hit fine centuries. By the close Pakistan led by 12 runs with four wickets in hand.

Pakistan began Day 2 of the 4th and final Investec Test Match on 3-1 in reply to England’s first innings score of 328. Azhar and Yasir were at the crease as the contest resumed.

Yasir and Azhar survived the first half hour but there were scares for Yasir with fiery short bowling from Broad and a caught behind appeal and a run out chance. With the score on 47 Hales dropped a straightforward chance off the edge of Yasir from the bowling of Woakes. 

By the first hour Yasir and Azhar had almost brought up the fifty partnership but Yasir’s luck ran out when he was caught by Root at the second attempt from Finn. The score now 52-2 and Yasir had made a handy 26 as nightwatchman.

Another chance was spilled from the bowling of Woakes when Anderson dropped Asad Shafiq when he was on 7.

There was concern when Azhar was struck on the wrist by Finn. After treatment he carried on.

Yet another chance was dropped as Finn spilled a caught and bowled chance from Azhar who was on 35.

At lunch Pakistan had progressed to 97-2 with Azhar on 36 and Asad Shafiq on 24. It was Pakistan’s morning and England would regret their three dropped catches.

Azhar and Shafiq resumed after lunch. They moved the score along seamlessly  but England enjoyed good fortune when an LBW appeal against Azhar was turned down. England reviewed the decision and on review the third umpire decided the ball had actually touched Azhar’s glove and so he was caught by Bairstow from Moeen for 49. England had secured the third wicket with the total at 127-3 and the wicket ended a 75 run partnership.

Shafiq now went on to complete his half century - a fine effort after his pair at Edgbaston. 

Yet another chance went begging as Shafiq slashed through the slips to bring up the Pakistan 150. 

Younis and Shafiq now made a health partnership and brought up the fifty between them before tea. An inside edge from Shafiq then beat Bairstow’s despairing dive but was signalled as byes. 

By tea Pakistan had progressed to 196-3 with Shafiq on 79 and Younis on 26. Another session clearly won by Pakistan. 

After tea England’s anxiety was clearly increasing as Younis and Shafiq continued to produce runs. 

One by one milestones were passed. First the century partnership, then Younis’ fifty and then after a nervous wait on 99 Asad Shafiq completed a marvellous century - his 9th in test cricket. Along the way Younis and Shafiq hit big sixes from Moeen. There was also a bizarre review from England for LBW when replays showed the ball had come off the middle of the bat.

Next up came the 150 partnership but the ball afterwards Stuart Broad pulled off a spectacular catch to finally dismiss Asad Shafiq from the bowling of Finn for a fine 109. At this stage Pakistan were 277-4 and still trailing England by 51 runs.

England took the new ball and hoped for a change in fortune.

They did get a wicket when Woakes had Misbah caught by Hales for 15. Pakistan now 316-5.

Woakes now had the record for the most test wickets in a series against Pakistan with 24. And he soon added to that tally as Iftikhar skied a catch from Woakes to Moeen and was out for 4.

Younis then completed a fine century.

Younis and Sarfraz saw Pakistan through to the close when the total was 340-6 which gave Pakistan a lead of 12 runs with four wickets in hand.