LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - Pakistan’s fast bowlers skilfully exploited overcast conditions to leave England in trouble at 72 for three at lunch on the first day of the opening test at Lord’s on Thursday.
England captain Joe Root won the toss but Mark Stoneman, Root himself and Dawid Malan fell cheaply to the Pakistan seamers as the touring side started the two-match series strongly.
Alastair Cook survived to reach 46 not out at the interval with Jonny Bairstow on 10 and England, coming off a heavy Ashes defeat in Australia and a rare series loss to New Zealand, will need those two to push on if they are to post a good total.
Stoneman’s unconvincing international career continued when he was bowled by Mohammad Abbas for four, beaten as he tried to drive a full-length delivery which clipped the top of his off stump.
Root, who could have been run out before he had scored, played cautiously to get to four before driving rashly at a wide ball from Hasan Ali and nicking a catch to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
Malan was also caught by Sarfraz off Hasan for six, trapped half forward by a fine delivery which found the outside edge of his bat to leave England reeling at 43 for three.
Cook, needing a big score in his 155th test after a poor run of form, struck nine crisp fours all around the wicket but he was troubled several times by the disciplined Pakistan attack who bowled a tight line and length. (Reporting by Ed Osmond; Editing by Ken Ferris)