England banished their Lord’s woes with a comprehensive victory over Pakistan in the Second Investec Test at Old Trafford, as Joe Root’s double-century paved the way for the win.
It was the perfect riposte for Alastair Cook and his side after the disappointment of losing in the First Test.
Root, whose first innings 254 was the cornerstone of the the triumph, proved why he is one of the most highly-rated batsmen in world cricket. The Yorkshireman ensured England remained the dominant force from the moment Cook won the toss and elected to bat on Friday morning.
England racked up 589/8 declared before stunning Pakistan’s batsmen with a lethal display of seam bowling.
Again, it was allrounder Chris Woakes who was most effective, taking four frugal first innings wickets to add his useful 58 after coming in as nightwatchman. The Warwickshire man then took the final wicket of Mohammad Amir to seal a 331-run reverse and take his series tally to 18 wickets.
After declining to enforce the follow-on, Cook steered the England second innings to 173/1 declared on the fourth morning with a brisk 76, while Root added a rapid 71 to complete an immaculate Test match.
England’s bowlers then set about bowling out Pakistan for a second time under overcast skies in Manchester.
Shan Masood was the first to go, succumbing to James Anderson – on his home turf – for the sixth successive time in Tests. Anderson then trapped Azhar Ali for 8 to leave Pakistan with a mountain to climb.
Younus Khan (28) and Mohammad Hafeez (42) hung around for a time, but England’s bowlers were in no mood to let up and it was Moeen Ali who answered his critics with a double strike. The off-spinner removed Hafeez and Younus in quick succession, as Pakistan crumbled to 102/4.
Not even the best battling efforts of Misbah-ul-Haq could save the tourists and when the captain was dismissed by Woakes for 35, it was the beginning of the end.
Woakes then found the edge of Sarfraz Ahmed’s bat and Anderson pinned Shafiq for an attractive 39.
Pakistan could only hope to delay England’s rampant progress. And despite the best efforts of tail-enders Yasir (LBW Moeen for 10), Wahab – who fell to Man Of The Moment Root for 19 – and last man Amir, caught by Broad off Woakes for 29, the visitors were well beaten.
Root registered an astonishing match aggregate of 325 runs, plus four first innings catches and a second innings wicket, to take the Man of The Match award.
For Cook and Head Coach Trevor Bayliss, it was the perfect comeback after the body blow of losing the opener at Lord’s. England square the series at 1-1 going into the Third Investec Test at Edgbaston, which gets underway on August 3.