Pakistan skipper Azhar says England series ‘not over yet’ after 1st Test loss 

England's Chris Woakes (R) plays a shot as Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan keeps wicket (L) during play on the fourth day of the first Test cricket match between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on August 8, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 09 August 2020

Pakistan skipper Azhar says England series ‘not over yet’ after 1st Test loss 

  • It was a particularly bitter defeat for Pakistan as they had been the better side for much of this Test 
  • Pakistan, who have not lost a series against England for 10 years, must regroup quickly 

Manchester, United Kingdom: Pakistan captain Azhar Ali insisted there was all to play for following a dramatic three-wicket loss to England in the first Test at Old Trafford, where his side were “one punch away” from victory.
England, chasing a target of 277 — only one higher total has been achieved to win in the fourth innings of a Test at the Manchester ground — were in trouble at 117-5.
But a sixth-wicket stand of 139 between player of the match Chris Woakes, who finished on 84 not out, and Jos Buttler (75) changed the course of the game during Saturday’s fourth day.
It was a particularly bitter defeat for Pakistan as they had been the better side for much of this Test.
But the loss of several wickets late on Friday during an eventual second innings of 169 cost them dear in a match where Shan Masood made a Test-best 156 in the first innings and leg-spinner Yasir Shah took eight wickets in all.
Pakistan, who have not lost a series against England for 10 years, must regroup quickly before the second Test in a three-match campaign starts at Southampton on Thursday.
“It’s disappointing but not over yet, there are still two Tests to go,” Azhar told reporters.
“There a lot of positives from this game, we outplayed England on most parts of this Test match.
“I wouldn’t say we lost the match in (our) second innings, but we missed a chance to knock England out of the game there.”
Pakistan, however, were still in command during an England top-order collapse on Saturday that saw four wickets lost for 31 runs.
“We were sure we’d wrap it up if one more wicket fell,” said Azhar.
“But they (Buttler and Woakes) attacked from the off and snatched the game away from us.
“Sometimes you just have to give credit to the opposition.”
“We were in control of the game; we were one punch away from finishing the game off, but they came and dominated us during that period.”
Azhar, a specialist batsman, managed just 18 runs in a match where he was out for a duck in the first innings.
But although he has now scored a mere 139 runs in his past 12 away Test innings, Azhar denied captaincy was affecting his batting.
“When I bat, I’m not thinking about the captaincy, whether or not I’m out of form,” he said. “And when I’m captain, I don’t think about my batting at all.” 


Calvert-Lewin hits hat trick as Everton thrash West Brom

Updated 20 September 2020

Calvert-Lewin hits hat trick as Everton thrash West Brom

  • Rodriguez stars as Ancelotti’s side extend their perfect start to the season

LONDON: Dominic Calvert-Lewin hit a hat trick and James Rodriguez bagged his first Premier League goal as Everton crushed 10-man West Bromwich Albion 5-2 to extend their perfect start to the season on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side fell behind to Grady Diangana’s early goal at Goodison Park.

But Calvert-Lewin equalized and James put them ahead before West Brom imploded.

Kieran Gibbs was dismissed for pushing James in the face in first half stoppage-time.

Then Albion boss Slaven Bilic was sent to the stands after storming onto the pitch for a furious rant at referee Mike Dean.

Matheus Pereira equalized for Albion after the interval, but Michael Keane restored Everton’s lead and Calvert-Lewin sealed the points with his second and third goals.

At 23, Calvert-Lewin is the youngest Englishman to score a Premier League hat trick for Everton.

After a summer spending spree, Ancelotti is under pressure to deliver a big improvement on last season’s 12th place finish and the early signs are promising.

Having beaten Tottenham in their opening game last weekend, Everton have started a Premier League season with consecutive victories for the first time since 2012-13.

Calvert-Lewin already has four goals and Colombia midfielder James, making his first home appearance since his £12 million from Real Madrid, looks a quality addition.

If West Brom are to avoid an immediate return to the Championship, they will have to improve their defense rapidly after shipping eight goals in successive defeats.

Diangana put West Brom ahead in the 10th minute when he advanced from inside his own half before drilling a long-range drive past Jordan Pickford.

Calvert-Lewin equalized in the 31st minute with a back-heel from virtually on the goal line after Albion defender Darnell Furlong inadvertently headed Seamus Coleman’s cross into his path.

The goal was initially disallowed for offside before a VAR review changed the decision in Everton’s favor.

James put Everton in front in the 45th minute when he took Richarlison’s pass and lashed a fine low finish into the far corner from 20 yards.

Gibbs added to West Brom’s woes when he was sent off for lashing out at James in retaliation for a challenge by the Colombian.

Bilic lost his cool as well moments later, angrily telling Dean that his decisions could “kill” his team.

Now watching from the stands after his dismissal, Bilic saw Pereira equalize with a superb free kick in the 47th minute.

But Keane poked Everton back in front after Richarlison’s header was pushed out by Sam Johnstone in the 54th minute.

Calvert-Lewin struck again in the 62nd minute, the striker sliding in to meet Richarlison’s cross with a close-range finish.

And Calvert-Lewin’s red-hot start to the season continued four minutes later when he completed his hat trick as the ball bounced off his back into the net.

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