SOUTHAMPTON: England fantastic James Anderson returned to form with two wickets versus Pakistan at Southampton on Thursday as Fawad Alams long wait for a Test recall ended with a duck. Pakistan were 126/5 at stumps after a combination of rain and bad light interrupted play on the very first day of the second Test. Anderson had taken 2-35 from 15 overs to relocate to within eight wickets of ending up being the very first paceman with 600 in Tests. All of Englands 4 quicks taken pleasure in success, with only Pakistan opener Abid Ali– dropped twice in the slips– providing extended resistance throughout an innings of 60. Anderson entered this match having taken just 6 wickets in three previous Tests this season, at a costly average of over 41. By his own admission, he had actually not been at his best with a match haul of 1-67 during Englands three-wicket win in the very first Test at his Old Trafford home ground recently. However the 38-year-old rejected rumours he was considering retirement, with England captain Joe Root stating on the eve of this match: “To question Jimmys capability and his record– do that at your own danger.” And it was shortly prior to Englands all-time leading wicket-taker struck after Pakistan captain Azhar Ali won the toss. In damp conditions favorable to Andersons bowling, he needed just eight balls to have Shan Masood, fresh from his Test-best 156, lbw for one with an inswinger to the left-hander. Masood was so plainly out, he did not trouble to review the decision. Pakistan must have been 7/2 however Abid, on one, was reprieved when 3rd slip Dom Sibley dropped an edge off Stuart Broad. Azhar, under pressure after a run of just one fifty in 10 innings since becoming skipper in November, was almost out for 7 when, playing defensively at in-form all-rounder Chris Woakes, the ball dripped onto his stumps without removing the bails. Woakes suffered once again when he had Abid, on 21, got dropped by 2nd slip Rory Burns. However Pakistans luck went out when Azhar, on 20, edged a full-length Anderson shipment and this time Burns held a good, low catch to leave Pakistan 78/2. The only bowlers to have actually taken more than Andersons 592 Test wickets are a trio of retired spinners. Sri Lankas Muttiah Muralitharan blazes a trail with 800, while Australias Shane Warne has 708 and Indias Anil Kumble 619. Abid finished a 99-ball fifty featuring six fours after tea. But left-arm seamer Sam Curran, remembered in place of quick bowler Jofra Archer, had actually Abid taken in the slips by Burns with a ball that angled throughout the right-hander following a number of inswingers. Sibley, to his apparent relief, held a slip catch off Broad as Asad Shafiq fell cheaply. Alam, a respected run-scorer in Pakistan domestic cricket, played the last of his 3 previous Tests, in which he averages over 41, against New Zealand in Dunedin in November 2009. The 34-year-old was the only change to the side after replacing leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan. Alam lasted just five minutes at the crease. Batting with an incredibly open position, Alam was lbw for a four-ball nought to in-form all-rounder Woakes. Alam was initially offered not out however an England evaluation exposed the ball had pitched in line, with a squared-up Alam in front of his stumps. England, in addition to remembering Curran, made a predicted change when batsman Zak Crawley returned in place of Ben Stokes. Star all-rounder Stokes is missing out on the last two matches of this series for personal factors after taking a trip to New Zealand to be with his ill father.

SOUTHAMPTON: England fantastic James Anderson returned to form with 2 wickets against Pakistan at Southampton on Thursday as Fawad Alams long wait for a Test recall ended with a duck. All of Englands 4 quicks taken pleasure in success, with just Pakistan opener Abid Ali– dropped two times in the slips– providing extended resistance during an innings of 60. Pakistans luck ran out when Azhar, on 20, edged a full-length Anderson shipment and this time Burns held a great, low catch to leave Pakistan 78/2. Alam, a prolific run-scorer in Pakistan domestic cricket, played the last of his three previous Tests, in which he averages over 41, against New Zealand in Dunedin in November 2009.

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