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Zak Crawley did brilliantly for someone whose output has not been that great, says Anderson

Manchester, Aug 26 (IANS) England pace bowler James Anderson appreciated opening batter Zak Crawley’s patient unbeaten innings of 17, where he negotiated the fearsome South African pace attack to stitch together a half-century partnership with Jonny Bairstow in the second Test at Old Trafford on Thursday.

England, after suffering an innings loss in the opening Test at Lord’s, demolished South Africa for 151 on Day 1 of the second Test at Old Trafford, but were themselves struggling at 43/3 in the post-tea session.

Their batting looked vulnerable yet again before Bairstow pulled things back in the company of Crawley who played 77 deliveries for his unbeaten 17. The unbeaten 68-run stand came off 88 balls and helped England reduce the deficit to just 40 by stumps. At close, England were 111/3.

“I thought Zak did brilliantly for someone whose output has not been as good as he’d want it to be,” said Anderson. “He read the situation and played exactly how we needed him to play,” Anderson was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

Crawley has been going through a prolonged form slump at the top, with the 24-year-old opener managing just nine and 13 against the Proteas in the opening Test at Lord’s, which England lost by an innings and 12 runs inside three days. The right-handed batter is yet to score a half-century for his country from 10 innings this summer.

“It was very tricky against that new ball. It started reversing as well after about 15 overs, and the way he (Crawley) played allowed Jonny (Bairstow) to play his natural game. I thought that was a brilliantly intelligent innings from him,” added Anderson.

Earlier, Anderson took 3/32 on his home ground, becoming the first player in history to play 100 Tests in his own country.

–IANS

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