LONDON: Jos Buttler and Dom Bess shared a spirited century stand to save England from a humiliating innings defeat by Pakistan in the first test at Lord´s on Saturday.
The pair came together with the hosts reeling at 110 for six, 69 runs behind the touring side and heading for their first loss in a May test at the home of cricket inside three days.
Buttler, recalled to the side, and debutant Bess calmly added 125 in the evening sunshine to take England to 235 for six and a narrow lead of 56 runs.
“We wanted to scrap hard and try and get ourselves back in the game,” Buttler said.
“With Dom Bess, it was like Joe Root walked back out, with his back foot punches and cover drives.
He´s got a great character and he really showed that.
“Pakistan, however, should still complete a deserved victory on Sunday.
They added 13 runs to their overnight 350 for eight to extend their lead to 179 and quickly started running through England´s brittle batting line-up.
Alastair Cook, who top-scored with 70 in the first innings, was trapped lbw by Mohammad Abbas for one and Mark Stoneman, under severe pressure for his place in the team, made a scratchy nine before he was bowled by leg-spinner Shadab Khan before England limped to lunch at 37 for two.
Captain Joe Root batted patiently, content to defend and take advantage of the rare loose balls served up by a disciplined Pakistan attack.
He reached his 50 before Mohammad Amir took centre stage with two wickets in one over.
But at least Buttler, who finished on 66 not out, and Bess (55 not out) justified their selections and gave their team a bit of confidence ahead of a potentially even more difficult five-test series against top-ranked India.
A lovely shot to end the day @DomBess99! 👌
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) 26 May 2018