England fighting in 1st Test: Bairstow

David Clough
Pakistan's Babar Azam top-scored with 68 against England before having to retire hurt

Jonny Bairstow insists England are still in with a "real fighting chance" despite Pakistan's 166-run lead in the first Test at Lord's.

England's wicketkeeper appeared upset when asked about the five catches dropped by the hosts while Pakistan were racking up 300 runs on day two to close on 8-350, in reply to England's 184 all out.

England are clinging to the hope that forecast hot weather over the weekend may bake an already dry surface and leave the tourists a tough last-innings target.

Asked if he thinks they may yet turn the match around, Bairstow said: "Absolutely, we're still definitely in it.

"In the middle two innings, if we can gain parity with their score, then we've got an opportunity to bowl them out for 180 when it's potentially the worst to bat, in the last.

"There's no reason why we can't (do that)."

Bairstow concedes England "could have batted better" against some fine bowling in their first innings.

"(But) you don't want to be looking back - you want to be looking forward. Those last two wickets at the end have put us in with a real fighting chance.

"Days three and four are potentially the best time to bat on this wicket. By no means are we out of this game."

As for England's dropped catches, Bairstow said: "It's not from (lack of) practice, that's for sure. I'm sure you saw over the days leading in the amount of practice we've done.

"If you can put your finger on it, you're welcome to come and join us in practice. You see the hard graft the guys are putting in with the catching."

Ben Stokes was the pick of England's bowlers, and it was he who hit top-scorer Babar Azam just above the wrist with a hostile short ball - after which he retired hurt on 68.

It was later announced that Azam is out of the rest of the tour with a broken arm.

Pakistan opener Azhar Ali knows his side has the upper hand but is not taking victory for granted.

"Obviously we've got in a good position now - but there's a long way to go," said Azhar.

"A Test match win never comes that easy. We know we'll still have to play good cricket to win this one."