ROOT CALLS ON ENG­LAND TO HAR­NESS ‘PO­TEN­TIAL’

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Wa­ters AT HEAD­IN­G­LEY Email: chris.wa­ters@ypn.co.uk Twit­ter: @CWater­sYPS­port

JOE ROOT is chal­leng­ing his Eng­land play­ers to show that their vic­tory at Head­in­g­ley was no one­off.

The Eng­land cap­tain wants them to de­liver such per­for­mances con­sis­tently af­ter they thrashed Pak­istan by an in­nings and 55 runs.

Eng­land were un­recog­nis­able from their nine-wicket de­feat in the first Test at Lord’s, and Root said: “It’s now about repli­cat­ing that more con­sis­tently. The chal­lenge now is to har­ness our po­ten­tial.

“It’s very im­por­tant that we don’t pa­per over the cracks and think that this is go­ing to be us mov­ing for­ward for­ever.

“We have to make sure that we don’t find our­selves in po­si­tions like we did last week.

“It was very tough last week for the group. We had to show a lot of char­ac­ter. I asked a lot of things from the group of play­ers, and every­thing I asked for was de­liv­ered on the field.

“Ul­ti­mately, you can’t ask for more as a cap­tain, and it’s a re­ally good step in the right di­rec­tion.”

Eng­land’s first win in nine Tests was achieved through a much bet­ter bat­ting per­for­mance and a col­lec­tively im­pres­sive ef­fort from the bowlers.

Root was thrilled as they lev­elled the two-match se­ries, stop- ping the rot af­ter a dif­fi­cult win­ter.

“I’ve def­i­nitely learned huge amounts through the last eight games or so,” he added, “and it’s re­ally im­por­tant now that we take this for­ward.

“As I say, we don’t want to use this to pa­per over the cracks. We know that we’re not the fin­ished ar­ti­cle. We’ve got to work re­ally hard to get to our goal.

“Ul­ti­mately, it’s the first step to­wards mak­ing that hap­pen. It was a re­ally pleas­ing week, and I’m thrilled to bits.”

Root’s joy was height­ened by the crit­i­cism that at­tended the set­back at Lord’s, with coach Trevor Bayliss in par­tic­u­lar com­ing un­der fire.

Root said that Bayliss is “the easy tar­get” when Eng­land lose and that the team used crit­i­cism as ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion.

“I asked the group to play with pride and pas­sion, and an el­e­ment of that comes out of crit­i­cism,” he said.

“You want to prove peo­ple wrong and, to play at this level, you have to have that within you.

“I also knew com­ing into this se­ries that Pak­istan are a very tal­ented team. We knew it was not go­ing to be a walk in the park, and that was proved at Lord’s.”

Pak­istan cap­tain Sar­fraz Ahmed, the for­mer York­shire player, de­fended his de­ci­sion to bat on win­ning the toss in­stead of choos­ing to ex­pose Eng­land’s strug­gling bats­men.

Pak­istan were dis­missed for 174 be­fore Eng­land scored 363 in re­ply, the tourists mak­ing 134 in their sec­ond in­nings.

“It was the right de­ci­sion to bat, but Eng­land’s bowlers per­formed very well in the first two hours on the first morn­ing,” said Sar­fraz.

“It meant we couldn’t cap­i­talise on a good bat­ting track.

“We weren’t as dis­ci­plined as we were at Lord’s, and our bat­ting wasn’t up to the mark. We have a very young side which is still learn­ing. I’m proud of my team and the way we played at Lord’s.”

Ben Stokes will miss Eng­land’s forth­com­ing one-day in­ter­na­tion­als due to the ham­string tear that kept him out of the Test.

The all-rounder will sit out the game against Scot­land in Ed­in­burgh on June 10 and what the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board have de­scribed as “the first part” of the five-match se­ries against Aus­tralia from June 13-24.

Stokes, who sus­tained the in­jury in prac­tice on Wed­nes­day, will re­turn to Durham to fol­low a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme.

Dawid Malan, the Mid­dle­sex bats­man, has been added to the squad for the Scot­land game, while Kent bats­man Sam Billings has been called into the squad for the Aus­tralia se­ries.

Mean­while, Stu­art Broad has de­fended his right to hit back at crit­i­cism from for­mer Eng­land cap­tain Michael Vaughan who had sug­gested in the build-up to the Test that it might be time to drop Broad or his pace part­ner James An­der­son to “ruf­fle some feath­ers”.

Broad re­vealed on Fri­day that he phoned Vaughan af­ter be­ing an­gered by “tar­geted” and “un­fair” com­ments.

Vaughan re­it­er­ated his views on the ra­dio on Satur­day, prompt­ing Broad to write in his news­pa­per col­umn yes­ter­day: “Ev­ery­one is en­ti­tled to their opin­ion, but surely that also means play­ers have the right to re­spond to com­ments made about them?”

We know that we’re not the fin­ished ar­ti­cle. We’ve got to work re­ally hard. Eng­land cap­tain Joe Root, on the long road ahead for Eng­land’s Test team

IT WAS a good day for the West Coun­try, and an even bet­ter one for Eng­land.

Jos But­tler, from Taun­ton, and Do­minic Bess, from Ex­eter, in­spired an in­nings tri­umph in the Head­in­g­ley Test.

First, But­tler struck an un­beaten 80 from 101 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes, as the hosts to­talled 363 to gain a first in­nings lead of 189.

Then Bess re­turned 3-33 – his first wick­ets at Test level – as Eng­land squared the two-match se­ries in em­phatic style.

Bess, 20, also contributed the sec­ond-high­est score of 49 in the Eng­land in­nings, made as a night­watch­man from No 4.

Hav­ing also struck 57 on de­but at Lord’s last week, where Eng­land lost the first Test by nine wick­ets and Bess went wick­et­less, some won­dered whether Eng­land had found a spin­ner who was more ef­fec­tive as a bats­man than the other way round.

That may still prove the case, not least be­cause Bess looks so com­pe­tent with the bat, but it was his off-breaks that did the dam­age yes­ter­day as Pak­istan im­ploded, Stu­art Broad also cap­tur­ing three wick­ets to fol­low the three he claimed in the first in­nings.

The 20-year-old Bess also showed prow­ess in the field, tak­ing a spec­tac­u­lar one-handed catch at mid-off, div­ing to his left, to re­move the No 3 Haris So­hail off James An­der­son.

It was a world-class grab from a man whom Eng­land hope will de­velop into a world-class player, a man who ex­udes con­fi­dence be­yond his ten­der years.

The only real ques­tion go­ing into day three was whether there would be a day four, with Eng­land in com­mand at 302-7 in re­ply to Pak­istan’s first in­nings 174.

Bat­ting had not been easy hith­erto, ev­i­denced by the fact there had been only one half-cen­tury on the first two days, and But­tler’s progress from 34 overnight to and be­yond the fifty mark spoiled what had threat­ened to be the high­est to­tal in Test cricket without a half-cen­tury – Eng­land’s 315 against the West Indies at Trinidad in 1986.

But in cloudy and clammy con­di­tions, But­tler looked im­pe­ri­ous from the out­set, cover-driv­ing the left-arm pace of Mo­ham­mad Amir to the boundary with a re­gal flour­ish.

At the other end, Sam Cur­ran, cel­e­brat­ing his 20th birthday, crashed fel­low pace bowler Mo­ham­mad Ab­bas to the cover boundary with sim­i­lar style.

Cur­ran, by the bye, was only the 10th Eng­land player to cel­e­brate a birthday dur­ing a Test de­but, a list which in­cludes two York­shire­men in the form of David Denton and David Bairstow.

Cur­ran had ad­vanced to 20 when he was the vic­tim of a su­perb catch low down at sec­ond slip by Asad Shafiq off Ab­bas, af­ter the ini­tial de­ci­sion – and soft sig­nal – had been not out.

Usu­ally, tele­vi­sion proves in- con­clu­sive in such cases, so credit to tele­vi­sion um­pire Paul Reif­fel for mak­ing the call.

But­tler then pro­ceeded to up the ante, cover driv­ing Ab­bas to the boundary and hook­ing him for six, reach­ing his fifty from 92 balls.

He pulled and off-drove suc­ces­sive fours off Hasan Ali, with no blade of grass seem­ingly safe from his flash­ing blade.

But­tler needed some­one to stay with him out in the mid­dle but Broad came and went, pulling Fa­heem Ashraf to long-leg, where Ab­bas took an­other fine catch, right at his heels.

The look on But­tler’s face as Broad walked off would not be print­able were one to put it into English, But­tler re­spond­ing by launch­ing Ashraf for a mighty straight six into the build­ing site at the Foot­ball Stand end.

Fi­nally, the fun and games ended when James An­der­son guided Hasan Ali to first slip, Eng­land hav­ing added 61 in 55 min­utes from the start of play, 46 of them to But­tler.

Pak­istan were soon in trou- ble in their sec­ond in­nings, los­ing three wick­ets be­fore lunch as Eng­land eyed the kill.

Azhar Ali was yorked by An­der­son, the mid­dle stump cartwheel­ing to­wards the Carnegie pavil­ion, be­fore Bess pulled off his ac­ro­batic catch to send back So­hail.

When re­plays showed that Shafiq had gloved Broad down the leg-side to wick­et­keeper Jonny Bairstow, Broad had his 415th Test scalp – tak­ing him past birthday boy Wasim Akram – and the vis­i­tors were reel­ing on 42-3.

They of­fered a smidgen of re­sis­tance af­ter the break through Imam-ul-Haq and Usman Salahud­din, but when Bess trapped Imam lbw with his sixth ball from the Rugby Stand end, it trig­gered a col­lapse from 84-3.

Sar­fraz Ahmed went lbw to Chris Woakes; Cur­ran had Shadab Khan caught at first slip, while Ashraf tried to slog Bess – now op­er­at­ing from the Kirk­stall Lane end – to leg and was caught at back­ward-point.

Salahud­din smeared Bess to mid-on, and Broad nipped in with the last two wick­ets, hav­ing Hasan Ali caught at first slip and Ab­bas held at third.

The fi­nal blow landed at 4.22pm, leav­ing But­tler and Bess not only the toast of the West Coun­try, but all of Eng­land too.

PIC­TURES: NIGEL FRENCH/PA & AL­LAN MCKEN­ZIE /SWPIX

LEAD­ING THE WAY: Eng­land’s Dom Bess im­pressed once again – this time with bat, ball and in the field – as seen by his spec­tac­u­lar catch at mid-off, top and above left, to dis­miss Pak­istan’s Haris So­hail. Jos But­tler, above right, led from the front for...

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