Joe Root’s England answer critics on strong opening day at Headingley

Yorkshire and England's Joe Root. Picture: Jason O'Brien/PA
Yorkshire and England's Joe Root. Picture: Jason O'Brien/PA
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Joe Root’s England delivered a timely riposte to their critics from Lord’s, with a dominant display on the first day of the second Test against Pakistan at Headingley.

England, who need to win on Root’s home ground to level the two-Test series after losing emphatically at Lord’s, ended the day in the ascendancy on 106-2, after bowling out the visitors for 174 just before tea.

In fact it could have been much worse for Pakistan, who won the toss and elected to bat first before being reduced to 79-7.

Another half-century from Shadab Khan frustrated England and No.10 Hasan Ali held them up with a quick 24, but Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson and Chris Woakes all took three wickets apiece.

The returning Keaton Jennings, replacing Mark Stoneman at the top of the order for England, looked in good order and drove and cut well, before he nicked behind to Sarfraz Ahmed off the lively Faheem Ashraf.

Alastair Cook, England’s best performer with the bat at Lord’s, seemed in good touch until he gloved behind to Sarfraz off Ali, and Root received a raucous reception at his home ground before finishing the day unbeaten on 29.

Dom Bess, the Somerset spinner, entered the fray as nightwatchman and faced nine balls without being dismissed, earning him a hug from Root as they left the field.

Cook’s dismissal gave the tourists some encouragement overnight but this was no doubt England’s day.

There is still work to be done tomorrow - but the platform has been laid.

Broad – who came in for criticism after his performance in the first Test defeat – was pleased with the opening day performance with the ball in particular.

“We’re delighted,” he said.

“I don’t think any of us expected the ball to nip or swing like it did.

“We are delighted with the pressure we built. To take the number of wickets we did, we are delighted.

“I know within myself I’m bowling well, I’m creating chances. A wicket in your first over always helps.”