England v Pakistan 2nd Test Day 1: England in control at the Ageas Bowl
Sam Curran spoke to the media after day 1 of the #raisethebat second Test v Pakistan
England had the better of the first day of the second Test match, at the Ageas Bowl, today, despite the interruptions due to rain, they had reduced Pakistan to 126 for 5 at the close of play.
Pakistan 126 - 5 (45.4overs)
England – still to bat
Close of Play – Pakistan are 126 for 5
Salim Parvez – Match Report - Stop-start day at Southampton
The opening day of the second Test between England and Pakistan at Ageas Bowl, Southampton was hit by the thunderstorm, rain and bad light, following a week or so of baking heat in the south east. Only time will tell, if Pakistan’s below-par score of 126-5, mostly in bowling conditions, can keep the tourists in the game?
Winning the toss and batting first was the route taken by Azhar Ali, on a sunny cloudless morning that soon turned into a grey overcast one, when play started at 11am. As per normal service, the old firm of ‘Jimmy’ Anderson and Stuart Broad, with both swing and seam movement on offer and a good carry, made it a very testing opening session for the Pakistan batsmen.
Shan Masood’s dismissal, trapped plumb leg-before by Anderson in the third over, brought in Azhar to face the music. Unless one had a good idea of one’s off stump, survival in these very English conditions, are near impossible. Pakistan captain of late has been so short of runs and with his head falling over towards the off stump, he continues to lose his balance and composure, to become a prime candidate for leg-before.
Pakistan score of 41-1 after first hour could have easily been a lot deal worse had Abid Ali, not been dropped twice in the slips, off Broad and Chris Woakes, respectively. On 24, he was floored by a delivery after a knock, just below the waist, causing laughter all around, including in the Sky commentary box. With a compact technique, Abid fought on and remained unbeaten on 33 with his side on 62-1, after an early lunch was taken at 12.47, due to a light shower.
Heavy showers meant another break in the middle session and Pakistan, shortly after losing their captain Azhar, who battled hard for his 20 runs off 85 balls, were 85-2 when early tea was taken and play finally resumed at 4pm. In tough batting conditions, Abid will cherish his fifty that required 99 balls and included six fours. It was Curran’s left-arm angle and a touch extra bounce that had him caught for 60 and Pakistan asked to rebuild at 102-3.
Left-handed Fawad Alam, now 34, finally making it into the final eleven, in his first Test for Pakistan since 2009. After toiling so hard for more than a decade at domestic level and having a great deal of sympathy and backing, all around the country and not just in his home city of Karachi. Naturally elated at his selection after such a long time, he was carrying extra pressure into this game.
As luck would have it, Fawad walked in at 117-4 with the ball still darting around and four balls later was walking out. A marginal leg-before verdict in England’s favour, after a review and Pakistan had lost three wickets for 18 runs in the space of 37 deliveries. Poor Fawad was back in pavilion after facing four deliveries. The third spell of showers, frustratingly brought the players off the field and never to return, with the score standing at 126-5 (45.4 overs) and the tourists, struggling to get a decent first innings total.
It will be interesting to see if Pakistan can take advantage of Ben Stokes’ absence, who had to fly out to New Zealand, for personal reasons and is set to miss the rest of the series now. His slot has been taken by Zak Crawley with the second change resulting in Jofra Archer sitting out to allow Sam Curran, to come in and add variety to the England attack with left-arm seam.
England - Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root(c), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler(wk), Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Pakistan - Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali(c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah
Start Time: 11:00
Toss: Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Officials: Michael Gough, Richard Kettleborough, Richard Illingworth, Martin Saggers, Chris Broad
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