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Pakistan vs England, 1st Test, Day 1: Record breaking start for England

On the opening day of the Test match, their first in Pakistan since 2005, England true to their word have made a bold statement by smashing 506-4, the first time this many runs have been accumulated on the opening day in the history of the longer format of the game.

Match Summary

Pakistan vs England, 1st Test, England tour of Pakistan

Pakistan

England *506/4 (75 ov)

Day Break: Day 1 England won the toss and elected to bat

Scorecard

Runs
The runs scored at such a lightening pace, with remarkably four of their batsmen reaching three figures, was a nightmare Pakistan bowlers would like to erase from their memories. Two of the hundreds now feature among the fastest six scored by England in their entire Test history. What a day.

Rawalpindi is a city not known for its casinos, though it seemed both camps were hell bent to call on their gambling instincts. The tourists carried on with the high tempo and expression of freedom, against a Pakistan attack, that to the surprise of all except the national selectors, featured three debutants.

The gamble has clearly put the home side on a back foot at the start of the series. England camp hit badly by tummy bug, managed to give the thumbs up to the local authorities around 7.00am for the game to start on schedule.

The lunch time score of 174-0 (27 overs) was a rude awakening for Pakistani supports in UK as after winning the toss England openers had helped themselves to easy pickings with positive intent. The bowling attack they faced lacked experience and very soon was seen struggling with their line and length. It was a blunder for which they paid a heavy price and without being too harsh, Babar Azam looked clueless to lead with the bowling resources at his command.

It just went horribly wrong and to concede run-a-ball in your home conditions for the whole duration of the day. The first run-free over was the 39th of the innings and that itself explains what Pakistan bowlers had been hit with. The PSL exposure to the younger members of the touring side too would have helped England batsmen to acclimatize much better than they have done on their previous visits.

The opening stand worth 233 in just 35.4 overs between Zak Crawley (122) and Ben Duckett (107) was built more on a white-ball format. At no stage they felt the need to be reckless with Crawley, having experienced a wretched summer and Duckett, returning to the Test side after six years.

The two went about their business in a fashion the present England management led by Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes has endorsed, from the day they paired together to rejig the affairs of the Test side. Ollie Pope, coming at No.3 and asked to keep wickets when Pakistan come in to bat, started his innings with two reverse-sweeps and would only needed 90 balls to reach his hundred with 14 fours.

Harry Brook chose Saud Shakeel’s left-arm spin to create yet another batting feat by dispatching six fours in an over, when Pakistan bowlers were already on their knees. They were all conventional strokes against ordinary bowling and helped him to jump from 60 to 84, and saw his side to continue to march along mercilessly. He reached a hundred with a very good looking cover drive to the fence off Naseem Shah. Only 80 balls faced and 14 fours and two sixes to his credit.

No other side previously has scored more than 417 runs in a day’s play on Pakistan ground previously but today England batsman overtook that mark in just 66 overs. There is some variable bounce already but Zahid Mahmood’s wrist spin did find bounce and it gave Pakistan some hope in the middle session.

The debutante could not keep control and was flayed to all parts of the ground, for 160 runs in his 23 overs. England raced to 500 in just 74.4 overs with Ben Stokes, with floodlights on took 18 runs off Mohammad Ali’s over. Light meters came to Pakistan’s rescue on a day of countless batting records – both individual and team.

Playing XI

PAKISTAN - Abdullah Shafique, Imam ul Haq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (C), Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Agha Salman, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Ali-II, Zahid Mahmood

ENGLAND - Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope (WK), Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (C), Liam Livingstone, Will Jacks, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, James Anderson

Match Details

Date - 2022-12-01 05:00 AM

Venue - Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi

Toss - England won the toss & elected to bat

Umpires - Ahsan Raza, Joel Wilson

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