Anderson was retained for the match, despite acknowledging that he struggled in England’s three-wicket win in the first test in Manchester last week, and the paceman repaid the selectors' faith by removing Shan Masood (1) in the third over and captain Azhar Ali (20) after lunch. It gave England’s record wicket-taker figures of 2-35 — he is up to 592 in tests — and dispelled any doubts that he was still up to the job at the highest level.
"He’s obviously a world-class bowler and anyone who doubts him isn’t very sensible,” fellow England seamer Sam Curran said. “He showed his class. I’m sure he’ll go on to get his five-for and then hopefully creep up to 600. I’m just enjoying having him around and learning from him. He was out there helping me through my spells and picking his brains is great for me. It helps having Jimmy out there.”
After the toss — won by Pakistan — was made under sunny skies, the tourists began batting in overcast conditions and a shower brought up an early lunch. More rain came midway through the second session, which the tourists finished on 85-2.
Only about an hour was possible after tea because of a further bout of rain and Pakistan lost three wickets in that period — including Abid, who edged recalled Curran to Rory Burns at second slip. Burns had been the second slip fielder to drop Abid before lunch, the right-handed opener having already been given a life on 0 by Dom Sibley’s drop diving to his left at third slip.
As with Burns, Sibley made amends by taking a smart catch low down to remove Asad Shafiq (5) to give Stuart Broad his first wicket. That brought Fawad Alam to the crease for his first test innings in 11 years after being recalled — and it last four balls, when the left-hander was trapped lbw by Chris Woakes for a duck. A not-out decision was given but England reviewed and Hawk-Eye showed the ball was hitting the top of middle stump.
Babar Azam was 25 not out when bad light eventually led to stumps being called. Mohammad Rizwan was on 4. Curran was selected ahead of England's new superstar bowler, Jofra Archer, who was rested. “I think it was a pretty late call, I found out this morning but Rooty (captain Joe Root) did come to see me last night and said there was a high chance I might be playing,” Curran said.
“It’s nice to be back in the side. It’s a tricky situation when you don’t play I guess. You don’t get to go and perform for your county; you don’t get selected and you’re back to your hotel room. Things like that are very difficult. But we’ve got such a great squad at the minute, we’re gelling together really nice and the boys are lifting the guys that are not playing and keeping them involved.”
Pakistan trails 1-0 in the three-match series. Another victory for England will clinch a first test series against Pakistan in 10 years, and a second series of this pandemic-affected summer having already beaten the West Indies.
More AP cricket: https://apnews.com/Cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports