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England level series in style

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 25-07-2016 skysports.com
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England completed a swift and emphatic turnaround by squashing Pakistan by 330 runs to secure a series-levelling win on day four of the second Test, at Old Trafford. 

Eight days after suffering a 75-run defeat at Lord's, Alastair Cook's side bowled the tourists out for 234 in just 70.3 overs - Chris Woakes and James Anderson taking 3-41 apiece - after declaring their second-innings closed on 173-1.

Set a colossal 565 to win or needing to bat for 185 overs to avoid defeat, Pakistan fared little better than their first-innings 198 - the gulf in quality between the teams ensuring Cook's decision not to enforce the follow-on on Sunday despite a lead of 391 mattered not a jot.

The only blot was an injury to Ben Stokes - the all-rounder picking up a calf strain, the extent of which will be known after an MRI scan on Tuesday.

England, 98-1 and 489 ahead overnight, ran amok in the morning session to add 75 runs in nine overs as Cook (76no) and Joe Root (71no) improved their second-wicket stand to 105.

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Cook was quickly into his stride, driving his first ball of the morning from Rahat Ali for four to notch his fastest Test 50 off 55 balls - the 50th half-century of his career on the occasion of his 50th Test as England captain.

He couldn't compete with the strike-rate of Root, though, who reached his joint-fastest fifty off 38 balls - milking the attack and deploying the slog-sweep and switch-hit to damaging effect.

The 25-year-old's final match tally of 325 is the fifth-highest aggregate by any England batsman in a Test, albeit some way off Graham Gooch's record of 456 against India at Lord's in 1990.

The declaration, coming some 40 minutes into the day, left Pakistan the unenviable task of batting through almost five-and-a-half sessions to protect their 1-0 lead.

England broke through in the fifth over when Anderson dismissed Shan Masood for the sixth time in three Tests, the opener snicking to Cook at first slip with just a single to his name.

Anderson quickly doubled up by trapping Azhar Ali lbw in front of leg-stump as the batsman shuffled across and Pakistan should have been 32-3 only for Cook to shell a simple chance at slip after Younus Khan - on three at the time - edged Stokes' seventh ball.

Worse followed for Stokes, back in the side after missing the first Test due to a knee injury, limped out of the attack two balls into his sixth over; Moeen Ali was summoned to complete the over and was promptly despatched for six by Mohammad Hafeez (42) over long on.

The spinner was not to be deterred, though, and picked up the key wicket of Hafeez (42) - caught at short leg after inside-edging into his pad - and Younus (28), who holed out to long on attempting to hit large over midwicket.

Much as it did in the first innings, the task of gluing the innings fell to Misbah-ul-Haq (35) - the skipper finding an admirable foil in Asad Shafiq (39) to put on 43 for the fifth wicket.

The fight was there again until Woakes struck in the first over of a new spell for the fourth time in the series, Misbah dragging a wide delivery into his stumps from well outside off-stump.

The all-rounder was at it again in the first over after tea, striking with his third ball as Sarfraz Ahmed gloved a short ball down the leg-side to Jonny Bairstow - the batsman's review failing.

The third umpire was back in the action when Anderson rapped Shafiq on the front pad, England successfully appealing against the 'not out' decision with replays showing the ball hitting leg to make it 167-7.

There was no doubt about Yasir Shah's dismissal, trapped plumb in front by Moeen, and Root's supreme all-round Test continued when Wahab Riaz top-edged a slog.

Mohammad Amir (29) offered late resistance but fell one short of matching his career-best when he picked out Stuart Broad at mid-off - Woakes again striking in his first over back.

Watch highlights of day four on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm, then stay tuned for The Verdict at 9pm on the same channel.

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