Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Broad Boost as Stokes Is Ruled out of Crucial Test; Left-Armer Sam Given Licence to Spice Up Bowling Attack after Stokes Injury Blow

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Broad Boost as Stokes Is Ruled out of Crucial Test; Left-Armer Sam Given Licence to Spice Up Bowling Attack after Stokes Injury Blow

Article excerpt

Byline: CRICKET Will Macpherson at Headingley

STUART BROAD struck with two quick wickets here this morning in England's must-win Test against Pakistan.

The early breakthroughs were crucial for England after the disappointment of losing all-rounder Ben Stokes with a hamstring injury. His absence meant Surrey's 19-year-old Sam Curran was handed a debut.

Stokes batted in the nets but today's fitness test deemed him unable to play a full part in the match. He will be assessed over the next few days.

Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first, with Broad instantly justifying his retention as James Anderson's new-ball partner dismissed both of Pakistan's openers cheaply.

With the last ball of his first over, Broad had Imam-ul-Haq who had already overturned an lbw decision caught at third slip by Joe Root for a duck.

Given the poverty of England's catching at Lord's, this was a sharp chance from a flashing drive.

Pakistan took 27 balls to score a run as Anderson and Broad found movement. In his fifth over, Broad trapped Azhar Ali plumb lbw for two. Haris Sohail found life uncomfortable, too, and twice was lucky to evade the slips with edged boundaries.

England made two other changes Continued on Page 62 Continued from Back Page for the match, with Chris Woakes replacing Mark Wood in part to bolster the batting in Stokes's absence and Keaton Jennings returning to open with Alastair Cook, who is playing his 154th successive Test match, surpassing Allan Border's record.

Jonny Bairstow, with a heavily strapped left knee, also had a fitness test but was cleared to play.

It now seems highly likely that Stokes will join Jos Buttler in resting for next weekend's ODI trip to Scotland, and may cast into doubt his participation in the five-match series against Australia that follows. He has missed 11 of England's past 29 Test matches through a combination of injury and suspension.

Curran turns 20 on Sunday and is the first left-arm swing bowler to play for England since Ryan Sidebottom who has been coaching him at Surrey eight years ago. England hope his angle can provide much-needed variation in an attack that seemed monotonous for much of the winter. …

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