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Cricket: Misbah rues ‘below par’ Pakistan display

Misbah-ul-Haq labelled Pakistan’s performance in the second Test with England as ‘below average’ and called for quick improvements.

Pakistan were outplayed in all departments in the second Test and got what they deserved, according to skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.

Having taken the opening match of the series against England at Lord’s, Pakistan were a shadow of their former selves as Alastair Cook’s side hammered the tourists by a margin of 330 runs.

Pakistan struggled to contain England’s batsmen in the first innings and under the pressure of conceding 589 runs they wilted to be bowled out for just 198.

England added another 173 to set an unlikely winning target of 565, but Pakistan were never at the races as they crumbled again to be dismissed for 234 with one day to play.

“Cricket can just turn around like that,” Misbah told the post-match presentation.

“Cook and [Joe] Root took the game away from us, full credit to them, but we were nowhere near them.

“We were below average, and we need to improve in every department.”

Struggles with the bat were behind their trouble at Old Trafford and Misbah – the only Pakistan batsman to reach 50 in the match – knows things must improve quickly if they are to be competitive in the third Test at Edgbaston, which begins on August 3.

He added: “[Our top-order batting] is a worry because without scoring 300-plus runs its difficult to apply pressure and you can’t really win games.

“We are getting starts but not building on them.

“It’s the good and bad thing about our team, we can have a result like this after a good game but we can also bounce back from it. Mentally they are capable of coming back.”

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