June 2, 2018 / 4:06 PM / 20 days ago

CRICKET-England edge ahead of Pakistan after early rain

LEEDS, June 2 (Reuters) - England batted steadily to establish a first-innings lead of 25 over Pakistan at tea on the second day of the second test at Headingley after the morning session was lost to rain.

The only wicket to fall was captain Joe Root, who edged a ball aimed across him by Mohammad Amir. Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed collected a regulation catch to give Pakistan initial hope of forcing their way back into a match which has seldom gone their way.

But nightwatchman Dominic Bess (40 not out) and Dawid Malan (27 not out) saw out the session to take England to 199 for three in reply to Pakistan’s first-innings total of 174.

Root had looked in fine form after a frustrating morning when persistent rain prevented play until 2.45pm.

Resuming on 106 for two, England showed their aggressive intentions by taking off in the first three overs, a flow of runs helped by some sloppy fielding from the visitors.

But the captain departed on 45, having added just 16 to his overnight score. While batting was seldom easy in overcast conditions, the pitch had few terrors and England, still smarting from their nine-wicket first test defeat, looked set to build a big lead in their bid to square the two-test series.

After a quiet start, Bess began to show more adventure, flashing one excellent square drive to the boundary off Faheem Ashraf to the boundary.

The 20-year-old had already excelled with the bat in his first test at Lord’s with a gutsy 57 and, after coming in just before the close on Friday, continued to show his potential as he steered England past Pakistan’s first-innings total. (Reporting by Neil Robinson Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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