Manchester, August 5
Babar Azam reached a half-century simply earlier than rain introduced an early tea on the primary day of England’s opening Test towards Pakistan with the vacationers 121-2 on Wednesday.
After being invited to bowl first by visiting captain Azhar Ali, the hosts could have been proud of a lunch rating of 53-2 – Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes with a wicket apiece.
Woakes welcomed star batsman Babar to the crease with a beautiful supply which may simply have clipped both the surface edge or the off stump however the 25-year-old dominated proceedings within the afternoon session.
He hit 9 boundaries as he reached 52 not out in simply 71 balls, nearly each one among them imperious, as he set about proving all the reward he has garnered in current months is nicely positioned.
The gamers have been compelled off the sector by a bathe simply earlier than three pm and would have welcomed the possibility to regroup after Babar’s onslaught.
As nicely as stalling England’s progress his efforts additionally positioned Shan Masood within the shade, the opener having floor out a priceless 45 not out throughout greater than three hours.
England started by confirming an unchanged XI, Ben Stokes once more chosen as a specialist batsman as uncertainty over his nagging quad damage continued.
Pakistan started their innings below moody skies and with the floodlights on, however openers Masood and Abid Ali confirmed ample composure to barter the primary hour for 32 with out loss.
Both males have been crushed on the surface edge on a few events however caught admirably to the duty of seeing off the problem of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
In the top it was the first-change bowlers, retained right here forward of Sam Curran and Mark Wood, who obtained England again into the dialog.
Archer, who created extra headlines off the sector than on it towards the Windies, wanted simply seven deliveries to make his presence felt.
After pushing the batsmen again in his first over, he began the second with a fuller ball at Abid, jagging it in off the pitch and pegging again off stump.
He made his means again for 16, an exit made all of the extra irritating by a quick rain bathe which compelled the edges off after solely three extra deliveries.
It was solely a quick recess however inside 10 minutes of the restart Woakes despatched captain Azhar Ali for a extra everlasting journey to the pavilion.
Looking to get off the mark with a flick to leg he was undone by Woakes’ unflinching management of line and size, thumped on the entrance pad and on his means after an unwise referral.
That introduced Babar to the crease amid nice anticipation and, after a gradual begin, he resumed after lunch in higher contact.
Jos Buttler shelled the possibility to disclaim England a breakthrough earlier than the rain, however Babar reached his fifty simply in time with one other 4 off Archer. AP