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England Take Control of Headingley Test

LEEDS: England have taken control of the Headingley Test with a lead of 128 runs against Pakistan as they finish rain-hit day 2 on 302/7.

Pakistan could only take five wickets in the day, at least two less than expected. However, it was English batsmen who showed true colours and made Pakistan toil for the most part of day 2. Thus far, no batsman has scored less than 15 runs in the ongoing England innings. 

Another interesting fact is all seven wickets fallen so far were caught, five of them by Sarfraz behind the wicket. 

Resuming overnight on 106/2, skipper Joe Root and nightwatchman Dom Bess took the score 138. That was when Root (45) edged one of Mohammad Amir's sharp swinging ball to Sarfraz Ahmed. 

Bess continued to reduce the first innings deficit with newcomer David Malan and added 37 more runs for the fourth wicket before Malan (26) edged Fahim Ashraf to Sarfraz. The nightwatchman continued. 

Bess, just one run shy of his second Test fifty in his second appearance, was caught in slips on Shadab's ball. England were 212/5.

Johnny Bairstow and Jos Buttler accelerated the scoring rate in an attempt to gather as many runs as possible before the new ball could be taken. In the process, after smashing four 4s, Bairstow nicked one of Fahim's reverse-swinging deliveries. He scored 21 and England were 260/6.

Despite the wicket of Bairstow, Buttler did not stop scoring runs and the lead stretched to 91 at the time new ball was taken.

Chris Woakes, the man who was brought in in place of Mark Wood, played a beautiful on drive on the first ball Mohammad Abbas bowled with the new ball. He announced himself in style.

Woakes scored 17 runs with three lovely boundaries before he was caught behind by Sarfraz Ahmed, his fifth scalp in the innings. England were 285/7. 

Sam Curren, another debutant from England, walked in and assisted Jos Buttler to see off the new ball scare. No further wicket fell and England were 302/7 until the stumps as the lead swelled to 128.

Fahim Ashraf (43/2) and Mohammad Amir (64/2) were the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan. Shadab Khan, Mohammad Abbas and Hassan Ali also chipped in with a wicket apiece. 

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