England v Pakistan: Sohail Khan takes 5-96 to bowl hosts out for 297

By Justin GouldingBBC Sport
Third Test, Edgbaston, day one
England 297: Ballance 70, Moeen 63, Cook 45; Sohail 5-96
Pakistan: Yet to bat

Sohail Khan marked his first Test for five years with 5-96 as Pakistan bowled England out for 297 on the opening day of the third Test at Edgbaston.

Recalled after Pakistan's 330-run defeat at Old Trafford, Sohail, 32, justified the decision to bowl first in seamer-friendly conditions.

Gary Ballance made 70 and Moeen Ali 63 to help England recover from 158-5, Alastair Cook having fallen for 45.

Mohammad Amir took 2-53, Rahat Ali 2-83 and Sarfraz Ahmed five catches.

Pakistan - and captain Misbah-ul-Haq - could be pleased with their day's work, particularly given their thrashing inside four days in the second Test.

With the four-match series level at 1-1, much will rest on how England's seamers perform - and how an unpredictable Pakistan bat - on Thursday under what are expected to remain overcast skies.

All hail Sohail

Right-arm seamer Sohail, who boasted combined figures of 1-245 from his two previous Tests, in 2009 and 2011, was the unlikely architect of England's top-order collapse.

On a pitch that had spent the previous 24 hours under cover, he found sufficient lateral movement to claim four wickets in 15 overs courtesy of outside edges.

The out-of-form Alex Hales, defending on the back foot, was caught behind for 17 and Joe Root, who scored 325 runs in the second Test, edged to first slip for three when attempting to force through the off side.

Captain Alastair Cook, having batted fluently for 45 off 52 balls, was lbw pushing forward to Rahat Ali, but Ballance helped James Vince add 69 for the fourth wicket.

Sohail switched ends to have Vince, hesitant in leaving outside off stump, well taken low by Younus Khan at second slip for 39.

When Jonny Bairstow was caught behind off Sohail trying to cut one that was too close to his body, England were a precarious 158-5.

Ballance & Moeen give England hope

That they almost reached 300 owed much to Ballance, who combined watchful defence from the crease with clips off his pads and the occasional pushed drive to make his first Test half-century since last summer.

He and the unusually restrained Moeen put on 66 in 27 overs, the partnership broken only when Ballance tickled leg-spinner Yasir Shah down the leg side and keeper Sarfraz Ahmed took a splendid catch.

Moeen was persuaded to play with more aggression after Chris Woakes edged Rahat behind and Stuart Broad flashed the first delivery with the new ball high to third slip.

Moeen eventually fell to a flat-footed waft at Amir, while Sohail curtailed Steven Finn's late flurry by pinning last man James Anderson lbw.

A delighted Sohail reprised Pakistan's celebrations after winning the first Test by performing press-ups as he left the pitch.

Misbah's 'gamble' pays off - what they said

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott on BBC Test Match Special: "The decision by Misbah was a calculated gamble. It was partly negative because he was wary of Anderson. Secondly, he saw something in the pitch that most of us didn't.

"England all out for less than 300 - Misbah will be thinking he's done all right."

Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan: "It's been a fascinating day. England will know they could have got more - but they've got a score they can bowl at.

"If Pakistan are going to go big they've got to do it in the first innings. On a pitch like this, if they bat badly, you can see a team being bowled out for 150."

England batsman Gary Ballance: "It was tough the whole day. Pakistan were always in the game; it kept you honest.

"If we bowl well, this could be a par score. With a bit of cloud cover, we bowl well and get a second-innings lead, we will have a chance."

Pakistan's Sohail Khan on Sky Sports: "When I played my first two Test matches, the pitches were flat and it didn't swing for me.

"But I worked hard and it paid off. Good areas are good areas wherever you are - you can bowl against any batsman if you hit the right area."

The stats you may have missed

  • This was England's 500th home Test - and their 50th against Pakistan at any venue
  • Sohail Khan had taken 1-245 in his two previous Tests, in 2009 and 2011
  • Gary Ballance has now made a half-century in four of his six first-class innings at Edgbaston
  • Sarfraz Ahmed is only the second Pakistan wicketkeeper to take five catches in a Test innings in England, after Wasim Bari at Headingley in 1971
  • The team batting first have not won a Test at Edgbaston since 2005, when England beat Australia by two runs

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