England v Pakistan 2nd Test: Inclement weather prevents much play on Day 2
Inclement weather prevented much of the second day’s play, in the second Test match, at the Ageas Bowl, today.
Pakistan 223 - 9 (86 overs)
England – still to bat
Close of Play – Pakistan are 223-9
A gritty 60 not out by Mohammad Rizwan lifted Pakistan to 223 for nine on day two of the second ICC World Test Championship fixture against England at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Friday. The day’s play ended prematurely due to bad light. Only 86 overs were possible on the first two days of the Test due to rain interruptions and bad light.
Pakistan resumed their innings in a tricky position with the scorecard reading 126 for five but Rizwan’s Test career’s second half-century had the tourists improve their position considerably when bad light forced an early end to the day’s play.
The wicketkeeper-batsman along with Babar Azam (47) saw off a challenging morning session, the start of which was delayed by 90 minutes due to rain. The pair added 32 runs to Pakistan’s overnight score before Babar was dismissed by Stuart Broad.
Rizwan and Naseem Shah (one not out) will resume Pakistan’s innings on Saturday.
Salim Parvez Comment - Rizwan keeps Pakistan afloat at Southampton
Rain and poor light have taken the headlines in the first two days of the Test match at Ageas Bowl, Southampton, between England and Pakistan. The tourists’ first innings score stands at 223-9, with their wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan, still at the crease with a hard-fought 60 to his name,
Overnight rain had forced the covers to stay on at the ground and the weather had not picked up enough for an 11am start for the second day. Pakistan dressing room balcony today was adorned with the country’s national flag to mark its 73rd Independence Day.
Pakistan 126-5, resumed at 12.30 with all eyes on Babar Azam unbeaten on 25, to push his side to a decent first innings total. The seam movement in overcast conditions and extra bounce were set to make life very difficult for batsmen. Pakistan progressed to 155-5 at lunch taken at 1.30, in a revised schedule for the day.
Babar, so easy on the eye, in the mould of some of the great stylists of Pakistan cricket from the past, including Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Mohsin Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, to name a few, is certainly destined to break many batting records in his career. He was sixth out, caught behind, to a near perfect delivery from Stuart Broad, for 47. Pakistan needed a much bigger contribution from him though.
Babar’s exit left Rizwan, in the company of tail-enders, who were asked to hang around for support. Yet to get off the mark after 19 deliveries, Shaheen Afridi’s run-out was comical and certainly avoidable. Rizwan’s first boundary took 71 balls and that is how hard batting was. Now with eight wickets down, he opted to bring out his range of strokes and was also able to dominate the strike. The second new ball was taken immediately by Joe Root after 80 overs and Pakistan, fighting hard on 198-8.
Rizwan brought up his battling fifty off 104 balls and now having four boundaries to his credit, before bad light took the players off with the score on 215-8 (84.3 overs) and early tea taken. England didn’t bowl as well as they should have and allowed the 9th wicket to flourish in difficult batting conditions, which were very useful runs for Pakistan.
On resumption there was only a brief period of play before the players walked off again. England still remain a wicket away from bowling Pakistan out. The pace trio of Abbas, Shaheen and Naseem, would have loved to have a spell or two in theses overcast conditions with the wicket also helping the seam bowlers. When play was called off at 6.35, it was frustrating for both sides.
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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