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First Test Report Card | Marks out of Ten

Mohammad Hafeez

His solid 40 in the first innings gave Pakistan a much needed start after winning the toss. He is generally a safe pair of hands but his drop of Cook off Amir could’ve proved costly. Thankfully it did not. However, he made up for it with a sharp catch to dismiss Alex Hales in the second innings. His duck in the second outing and the mode of dismissal left more question marks on his technique especially outside the subcontinent. With a ban on his bowling, he need to pull his weight through and provide consistent starts. Sami Aslam is already in England and performing well and may be called up if required.

Marks: 4/10

 

Shan Masood

Shan Masood might’ve been declared the fittest player in the army training camp conducted before the tour but it’s his run scoring abilities at the top that will get him the accolades. His fielding was generally top notch but he failed to make any productive contributions with the bat. He was too circumspect in the first innings and failed to capitalize on a start in the second. On both occasions he was troubled with the moving ball. Pakistan needs at least one of their openers to make a decent score to put some pressure on the opposition new ball bowlers. The team management might not tinker with a winning combination but another failure and he may find the axe fall on his head.

Marks: 3/10

 

Azhar Ali

Azhar would consider himself unlucky on both dismissals. Each time the ball was just clipping the leg stump and had the on field umpire not given a decision in favour of the hosts, a reversal would not resulted on review. It was a quiet match for Pakistan’s otherwise consistent no. 3 so he would be dearly waiting for the next opportunity to make amends.

Marks: 5/10

 

Younis Khan

Younis failed to convert two starts into a sizeable score and he would be the first to recognize this. He seemed untroubled in the first innings and helped rebuild the innings. His second innings, however, was a bit peculiar as he was constantly jumping around and did not seem to get in a position to play any attaching stroke. As a young batsman, the first lesson one learns is to keep the head still. His fielding specially in the slips was top notch as always.

Marks: 5/10

 

Misbah ul Haq

Won the toss and made first use of the dry Lords turf. Rebuilt the innings first with Younis and then with Shafiq to take his team into a strong position at the end of the first day. All while notching up his 10th century in the process. He got a peach of a delivery from Broad in the first innings. At times his captaincy was very reactive. A few edges flew over vacant third slip and he was guilty of taking them out too soon. His second innings dismissal for a 2nd ball duck took some sheen off his earlier batting performance. Overall, his captaincy, field placing and bowling changes were top drawer and he rallied his troops efficiently. His post-match interview, the support he showed for Amir and dedicating the match to Abdul Sattar Edhi was a great gesture and won him many more fans. A near perfect display from Pakistan’s charismatic skipper.

Marks: 8/10

 

Asad Shafiq

The rock on which Pakistan’s lower order rests was again consistent as ever and in both innings was responsible for steering the team out of troubled waters. Loss of concentration towards the end of the first day cost him an entry on the Lords honours board while in the 2nd innings he got a peach of a delivery to fall one short of scoring two fifties at no. 6 at the home of cricket; a feat which has been very rarely achieved. Pakistan fans would hope that he carries on the momentum into the remainder of the series.

Marks: 8/10

 

Sarfraz Ahmed

When Sarfraz comes on to bat, one thing is certain; an increase in the scoring rate. He is a busy cricketer and always looks to attack. His first innings knock was brief but it came at a quick rate and extended the score beyond 300 while his second innings 45 was instrumental in Pakistan setting England a target of over 250. His keeping was generally effective apart from one life he gave to Cook. Overall, a pretty satisfactory show from the Pakistan keeper.

Marks: 7/10

 

Wahab Riaz

Wahab does not have much to show for in this match. Couple of wickets and a pair with the bat isn’t the kind of start to the series he would’ve hoped for. He did bowl his heart out during the second innings and missed the bat a number of times and may consider himself unlucky. His length was a bit short at times and gave away too many scoring opportunities. His line also kept varying from way outside off to just on the pads.

Marks: 5/10

 

Yasir Shah

First test at Lords and he gets his first 10-fer. What a player! Shah needed to show that he can trouble the opposition outside of the spin friendly UAE tracks and he did that in grand style. He was a constant threat from either end of the ground and took eight of his wicket either LBW or bowled. With 86 wickets after 13 test, there won’t be many betting against him to get to his century in record time. Oh and by the end of the match, he had displaced James Anderson at the top of the ICC bowers rankings.

Marks: 9/10

 

Muhammad Amir

The comeback kid showed some nerves in the first innings as he did not move the ball as much as expected. He line also erred early on and it was an average performance in the first innings. However, by the 4th day he had got some of his grove back and his dismissals of Broad and Ball reminded everyone of his capabilities six years ago. He is well and truly back and will only get better.

Marks: 6/10

 

Rahat Ali

The unsung hero of the 2nd innings who gave a perfect start by wiping out the top order in his initial spell. Rahat moved the ball consistently and it was his late movement that troubled the Englishmen. His dismissal of Hales in the first innings was a properly constructed wicket after troubling the batsmen with seam and movement earlier in the over. He seems to have improved his fielding but batting still leaves a lot of be desired. The unnecessary swish on the final ball of the first day must’ve earned him an earful from his captain. He isn’t a solid night watchman but it’s his bowling for which he is selected in the first place and Pakistan may consider another option for the night watchman role.

Marks: 7/10

 

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