England v Pakistan 1st Test: Pakistan have the edge on rain affected Day 1
Shan Masood speaks after Pakistan finishes rain-affected day one at 139-2
At the close of play on day one, Pakistan are 139 for 2 with Shan Masood 46* and Babar Azam 69* looking good at the crease.
The match is well poised (and the weather set fair) for the next 4 days.
Pakistan 139 - 2 wickets (49.0overs)
England Yet to bat
Close of Play - Pakistan are 139 for 2
Match Report - Salim Parvez
Return of the green helmets amid covid-19
The rain-hit opening day at Emirates Old Trafford, left both England and Pakistan frustrated at not getting enough play to set the tone for the three-Test series. In the end, the tourists, with only intra-squad matches to rely on in the last five months due to worldwide pandemic, could claim to have a slight edge with Shan Masood (46) and Babar Azam (69), still at the crease, when bad light curtailed it even further.
Winning the toss and batting first is likely to have met with unanimous approval in the tourists’ camp, for the pitch looked dry and bare of grass. Pakistan captain Azhar Ali looked happy with it, more so after somewhat surprisingly, opting to play two wrist spinners. A minute-silence observed by all present, to pay tribute to the deaths caused all around the world, by covid-19 pandemic, took the players to the 11am start.
First half an hour of play was nothing more than a tentative start with Pakistan openers – Shan and Abid Ali – steady and rotating the strike well and the score reaching 18-0 off 7 overs. James Anderson and Stuart Broad, collectively have 1090 Test wickets to their name and still remain a threat in English conditions. This morning the pair started off in cool overcast conditions, armed with Dukes ball but didn’t meet with immediate success. By the first hour after Jofra Archer’s opening over with two bouncers, the breakthrough had not come yet with Pakistan on 34-0 after 14 overs.
By lunch, the two change bowlers Archer and Chris Woakes had changed the tempo of the game by sending back Abid and Azhar for a sixth-ball duck off a fuller length. The Pakistan captain’s dismissal also led to a review lost and lunch was taken at 53-2 after 25 overs. The English bowling lacked something in the post-lunch session and both Shan and Babar were more than happy to take advantage of it. Loose balls were punished for boundaries and strike rotation remained impressive as hundred of the innings arrived after 37 overs.
Dom Bess’s off-spin was introduced in the 33rd over and there was bounce and turn for him and he had Shan missed behind the stumps by Buttler, when 45. Runs started to come freely and Babar’s fifty came off 70 balls with 9 boundaries, all within an hours’ time. He is a class act and continues to grow in stature as one of the premier batsmen in international cricket. The second weather break came at 121-2 off 41.1 overs. Shan’s watchful innings was the key in Pakistan feeling comfortable at this stage.
Tea was taken early when drizzle turned to shower and it was not until 5.45pm when play did resume but bad light came into play after 7.5 overs. Pakistan with Babar (69 off 100 balls, 11 fours), taking the centre stage progressed to 139-2 with 90-run stand with Shan (46 off 152 balls, 7 fours) who showed the value of leaving the right ball and holding one end up.
England - Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Root(c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler(wk), Chris Woakes, Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Pakistan - Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali(c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah
Start Time: 11:00
Toss: Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
Officials: Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Michael Gough, Steve O'Shaughnessy, Chris Broad
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