England v Pakistan: Asad Shafiq & Younis Khan centuries give tourists lead

By Justin GouldingBBC Sport
Fourth Test, Kia Oval, day two
England 328: Moeen 108, Bairstow 55; Sohail 5-68
Pakistan 340-6: Shafiq 109, Younus 101*
Pakistan lead by 12 runs

Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan centuries helped Pakistan open up a lead over England in the final Test at The Oval.

Dropped on seven, Shafiq made 109, while Younis emerged from his poor run of form to end the second day unbeaten on 101, his 32nd Test century.

Pakistan, for whom Azhar Ali made 49, closed on 340-6, leading by 12.

Chris Woakes took two wickets in an over late on but England, 2-1 up in the series, were undermined by three dropped catches.

Alex Hales, James Anderson and Steven Finn were responsible for spilling the chances that enabled Pakistan to lay the platform for a sizeable first-innings total on a reliable surface.

To cap a tough day for England, Hales was fined 15% of his match feeexternal-link for showing dissent at an umpire's decision on Thursday and making "inappropriate comments" when he visited the third umpire's room after being given out.

From ducks to delight

Shafiq, who made a pair at Edgbaston batting at number six, responded to being promoted up the order with an innings which could prove pivotal to the outcome of this Test.

Coming in at 52-2 after nightwatchman Yasir Shah edged Finn to Joe Root at second slip, Shafiq capitalised on occasional slices of fortune to make his ninth Test century.

On 57, he edged a drive just over first slip, and had made 75 when an inside edge flew past a diving wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow's left hand.

However, Shafiq was proficient in the arc between point and the keeper, showed disdain for Moeen Ali's off-spin by finding the stand at long-on, and demonstrated sufficient composure to spend 16 balls on 99.

He eventually fell to a splendid leaping catch by Stuart Broad at mid-wicket when pulling Finn, having added 150 for the fourth wicket with Younis.

Asad Shafiq wagon wheel
Asad Shafiq struck 12 fours and two sixes in his 109 off 179 balls

Younus finally finds his form

If Shafiq came into this game on the back of a miserable third Test, Younis had not passed 33 in six innings in the series.

Although not at his most fluent on Friday, the 38-year-old drove well through the off side when England's seamers overpitched, and combined power and deftness to score with freedom off Moeen and Root.

Noticeably less jumpy at the crease than he has been this summer, Younis brought up a 139-ball hundred, containing 15 fours, five overs before the close.

By that time he had seen Woakes remove Misbah-ul-Haq and Iftikhar Ahmed in the space of four balls, the captain edging to gully and the debutant well held by a scrambling Moeen at mid-on off a top-edged pull.

Although Woakes' late burst with the second new ball renewed England's hopes of limiting their first-innings deficit and repeating their victory at Edgbaston, the continued presence of Younis remains their most pressing concern.

Fielding errors prove catching

Pakistan's mistakes in the field on Thursday - three dropped catches and a catch off a no-ball - cost them 142 runs.

England's three errors allowed Pakistan to add 120, although they were arguably more crucial given the paucity of chances created by the bowlers thereafter.

Hales grassed a sitter at gully to reprieve nightwatchman Yasir on 21, while Finn failed to cling on to a pushed drive in his follow-through when Azhar had made 34.

Comfortably the most important drop was Shafiq's reprieve, Anderson spilling a sharp chance to his right at third slip off Woakes that would have left Pakistan 63-3.

Shafiq went on to score a further 102 runs and, by the time he was out, Pakistan's total was 277.

James Anderson drops Asad Shafiq
James Anderson drops Asad Shafiq on seven at second slip

'My money's still on England' - what they said

England assistant coach Paul Farbrace: "That's something that's frustrated us for quite a while, the catches that we've missed. We've openly talked about the fact that we've got work to do across all areas of the game.

"I know there's talk of number one [in the Test rankings], but we're thinking about getting our basics right and one of those is catching well. There's no personal blame, no one means to drop a catch, but it is frustrating when it happens."

Pakistan centurion Asad Shafiq on TMS: "I'm really thankful that I'm playing in this era with Younis. He is one of the best players Pakistan has ever produced.

"If we got a good partnership here and we get 150- or 125-run lead, that's very good for our bowling attack."

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott on TMS: "Yasir Shah is going to have to step up for Pakistan. But if England bat like they did at Old Trafford and cut out the mistakes, they can play him out of the game.

"They can still win this. My money's still on England."

The stats you may have missed

  • Asad Shafiq's first fifty, off 75 balls, was his fastest in Tests, beating his previous quickest of 77
  • Younus Khan's fourth four in his innings was his 1,000th in Test cricket
  • Shafiq's century was his first in Tests not made at number six, and only his second outside Asia
  • Shafiq is the 12th player - and the first Pakistani - to score a century after making a pair in the previous Test
  • Chris Woakes has 25 wickets in four Tests, the most for England in a series against Pakistan - beating James Anderson's record of 23
England v Pakistan - Test schedule
First Test: Pakistan won by 75 runs, Lord's
Second Test: England won by 330 runs, Old Trafford
Third Test: England won by 141 runs, Edgbaston
Fourth Test: 11-15 Aug, The Oval
Pakistan's full tour schedule

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