Five reasons Pakistan lost to England at Old Trafford

Visitors were beaten by 330 runs in second Test by hosts

Abdul Majid July 26, 2016

KARACHI: After a 75-run victory at Lord’s, England rose back to their best against Pakistan at Old Trafford and defeated the visitors by 330 runs to level the four-match series 1-1.

With the next match scheduled to take place in Edgbaston, starting from August 3, Pakistan will be looking to iron out the faults which led to a loss in the second Test.

Here are five reasons that led to Pakistan’s rout against the hosts.

England roar back to level series against Pakistan

1. Opening woes

Pakistan’s opening pair — left-hand batsman Shan Masood (7, 24, 39 and 1 – average of 17.75) and veteran Mohammad Hafeez (40, 0, 18 and 42 – average of 25) — was able to muster up only 171 runs in four innings with the bat, a sign of problems at the top of the order.

Meanwhile, for England, Alastair Cook and Alex Hales combined to reap 326 runs for the hosts at the opening spots.

Shan’s position in the third Test might be under question after much scrutiny from the greats of the game.

A chance for another left-hand opener Sami Aslam might open up in the third Test where both teams will be looking to extend their lead in the series.

2. Irresponsible middle-order

Once again, at Old Trafford, the script was the same and Pakistan’s middle-order fell like a house of cards against England. Pakistan’s best operators with the bat in the middle-order (in the order of batting positions) Azhar Ali, Younus Khan and Sarfraz Ahmed were not able to inspire the team in the second Test.

Azhar produced scores of 1 and 8 at the all-important one-down position, while Younus, Pakistan’s highest run-getter in the five-day format, was also below average with the willow returning scores of 1 and 28. Sarfraz, meanwhile, came down in the order at the number seven position and looked like a spent force. He scored 26 and 7 in his two innings and never looked settled on the pitch.

Tall order: Well-Rooted England bat Pakistan into a corner

Meanwhile, the dismissals of these three batsmen in both innings were a result of the poor shot selection. Azhar, if not edged it to the slips, played with crossed bat and gave away his wicket when Pakistan needed him to stay.

Younus’ second innings dismissal was the most talked about event in Pakistan’s attempt to chase 565. With 102 on the board and three wickets already down, Pakistan needed the veteran to stand with captain Misbah till the end of day at least, but the right-hander charged forward on a flighted Moeen Ali delivery and was caught at long-on.

Sarfraz, as usual, was over-enthusiastic and gave away his wicket trying to throw his bat at everything that was sent his way.

3. England negotiated Yasir threat

Lord’s hero for Pakistan, leggie Yasir Shah, would want to forget his bowling figures at Old Trafford. One wicket in two innings for 266 runs in 63 overs is never too good for the number one Test bowler (now number five due to his Old Trafford performance).

Alastair Cook was very clear in the post-match ceremony when he said that his batsmen deciphered the Yasir code and prepared well to face him in the second Test.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s pacers were not equally bad with the ball but lacked the killer instinct to get 10 England wickets as the hosts went on to pile up 762/9 runs in two innings in comparison to visitors’ total of 432/20 in both innings.

Mohammad Amir was the most successful bowler for Pakistan with a total of three wickets (twice Alex Hales and once Cook) in both innings after bowling 40 overs with eight maidens to his name.

Yasir falls to fifth in ICC Test rankings

4. Failure to deal with extra bounce

The visible difference between both the teams when they came on the bat and bowl was how they adjusted and exploited the extra bounce in the Old Trafford pitch.

English bowlers seemed to bowl on a different track as compared to the Pakistan pacers. Out of the total 20 Pakistani wickets, 14 were taken by English pacers. Meanwhile, for Pakistan, out of the total nine English scalps eight went to the fast-bowlers.

And with the bat, England batsmen seemed to have coped with the bounce early in the match — the reason man-of-the-match Joe Root went on to score a double-ton on the otherwise flat pitch.

Conversely for Pakistan, once again captain Misbah was the most successful willow wielder with scores of 52 and 35 in both innings respectively.

5. Lack of contingency planning

Misbah had said before the start of the series that Pakistan can exploit England’s batting as a weakness but at Old Trafford, he forgot that.

With the toss lost, Pakistan were required to attack England’s in-form batsmen and then walk all over the hosts to bag another win but too much reliance on Yasir, who bowled a total of 63 overs throughout the match — more than all other operators with the ball, showed the lack of contingency planning from the visitors.

There are more reasons that can hold Pakistan accountable for the defeat at Old Trafford, but the main thing that Misbah and his men need to keep in mind is they cannot always bat first and win the Test. The team needs to formulate a strategy to bowl first and come out victorious too if they need to maintain their team ranking for the five-day format.


Shahid | 5 years ago | Reply Pakistani are used to play on slow rather dead tracks and they are pathetic while playing on bouncy tracks. Pakistan's last provincial tournament was held in Faisalabad which is probably is the slowest pitch in the world. If you want to groom players on such pitches you will get the same result. It is happening for decades and it will continue like that under the mafia of management and players who are only promoting parchi players.
Najaf | 5 years ago | Reply england lost the lord test because they played poorly, England won the old trafford test because they played better . Pakistan played as they always play, everyone is trying over analyze the loss the simple thing is Pakistani players can not play on bouncy wickets specially when ball swing also. Had been these matches bring played in UAE Pakistan will be favorite to win all matches but it looks like England is going to win remaining 2 test. Younis still thinks he is playing on UAE pitches that's why he continuesly shuffling his feet you can't do this on fast bouncy pitches. Pakistan got lucky a miracle happened now don't expect more miracles
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