MANCHESTER – England lost opener Rory Burns before lunch as they set about their 277-run chase for victory on day four of the first test against Pakistan at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The hosts will need the second-highest successful fourth innings run chase at the Manchester ground to snatch victory, and appear reasonably placed at 55 for one at lunch.
Pakistan had added 32 damaging runs to their overnight 137-8, piling the pressure on England’s openers.
Burns and Dom Sibley looked secure as they negotiated the opening burst from Abbas and Shaheen Afridi. But Burns was struck on the back pad as Abbas nipped one back.
The England opener reviewed the decision but the ball was shown to be clipping the top of the stumps.
England skipper Joe Root had a close call when he missed an attempted cut off spinner Yasir Shah and was relieved not to get an edge behind to Mohammad Rizwan.
Root reached lunch on 18 with Sibley on 26.
England’s bowlers had dragged their side back into contention on Friday after Pakistan secured a 107-run first-innings lead, but the pendulum swung back Pakistan’s way in a bizarre opening to the fourth day.
Pakistan faced only 16 balls on Saturday morning, but it was long enough for Yasir Shah to smash 21 runs, including one audacious six off a fuming Stuart Broad.
Shah’s attack was ended when he edged Broad behind for 33 — the highest score in Pakistan’s 169 all out.
Even 17-year-old Naseem Shah got in on the act as he thumped his first ball from Broad past the bowler’s head for four.
Jofra Archer splattered Shah’s stumps soon after to wrap up the Pakistan innings.