Pakistan, in dire need of a win to stay alive in the series, won the toss and Skipper Azhar Ali decided to bat first.
At the toss he explained the pitch to have a fine layer of grass and dry underneath and expressed his desire to get through the new ball and bat well later on.
Pakistan’s Fawad Alam made a comeback in this match after 11 years.
Ben stokes, who had headed to New Zealand for personal reasons was not available for the match. Zak Crawley crawled into the side and so did Sam Curran in place of Jofra Archer.
Anderson and Broad took the new ball to start proceedings for England with Shan Masood and Abil Ali opening for Pakistan.
Anderson struck straight away by sending Masood, the centurion in the first test, on his way to a beautiful inswinger from over the wicket. This was Masood’s second failure on the trot as he was dismissed for a duck in the second innings of the 1st Test.
Broad also bowled a phenomenal spell but was unlucky to have reaped no reward for his efforts.
Curran and Woakes were the first and second change bowlers for England and it looked like they didn’t have much control at the beginning of their spells.
Azhar Ali, who is struggling with form took advantage and settled in the crease and so did Abid Ali, who got two lives, one each off Broad’s and Woakes’ bowling. The England’s slip cordon looked ordinary in the absence of Ben Stokes.
Pakistan were definitely the happier side at the end of the first session as they went to Lunch at 62/1 after rain stopped the play.
There wasn’t much that happened in this session except for the dismissal of Azhar Ali. He couldn’t manage to score any runs after lunch and eventually succumbed to an Anderson delivery, getting caught out at slip. His rough patch outside the subcontinent continued though he fought hard for his 85 balls 20.
Babar looked pretty comfortable at the crease before rain played spoilsport and the session was washed out with Pakistan at 85/2.
Neither England nor Pakistan had a say in the second session, it was rain that stole all the limelight.
Post- Tea Session:
The English bowlers ran riot in the third session as Pakistan slumped to 120/5 from 78/2.
Abid Ali picked up a couple of boundaries early on in the session to get to a crucial half century before falling off to one of Curran’s trademark deliveries that goes across to the right hander. He was safely caught at slip by Rory Burns.
Soon after that, Shafiq fell to Broad for a beautifully pitched up delivery that seamed away from the bat taking the outside edge. Sibley took the catch in the slips.
Comeback man Fawad Alam, with his unique stance, failed to trouble the scorers as he departed for a four ball duck leaving Babar Azam helpless at the other end. Alam had made his comeback to Test cricket after 3911 days. His unorthodox technique was breached by Chris Woakes who bowled a rather straighter ball from over the wicket that swung into the pads of Alam capturing him LBW.
Rizwan and Babar looked to be settling down before rain played spoil sport yet again. With lights fading, the Umpires stopped the match well ahead of its scheduled time.
ALSO READ: The Jofra Archer conundrum
Surely England will be the happier side at the end of a rain-effected Day 1.
Pakistan’s hopes rest on their last recognised pair of batsmen. They will look to get somewhere around 250 so that their bowlers can have something to bowl at.
However, if the ball continues to nibble off the deck, it will be another bad day in waiting for Pakistan.
Looking forward to Day-2 of this test match. Ciao!!