RAWALPINDI: The first Test could not have started any better notwithstanding the illness in the England squad as the hosts romped to 506/4 on Day 1 after having won the toss and electing to bat first. The game’s start was threatened by the fears that England wouldn’t be able to field in the team owing to illness.
However, all the fears were quashed when the game started and the visitors put on a show. Zak Crawley, who has hardly scored any runs against any other opposition, looked like he meant business from the get-go. Crawley was joined at the crease by Ben Duckett who was making his comeback into the Test side after six years.
However, the visitors did not only put the fears to rest but, perhaps, landed the knockout blow to Pakistan in the very first session of the match by scoring 174/0. Pakistan could not recover from the attack and looked clueless against the inform English batters.
Four wickets did come but England made sure that the run rate did not drop below 6 throughout the day. For England, four English batters – Crawley, Duckett, Ollie Pope and Harry Brook scored centuries with Ben Stokes playing a cameo of 34* off 15 towards the end of the day.
Pakistan went in with four Test debutants in the form of Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Ali, Haris Rauf and Zahid Mahmood. England will start the Day 2 aiming to out-bat Pakistan in the game.