The most anticipated Pakistan-England series began at Old Trafford with the host coming in with a series win over West Indies. Luckily the toss happened on time and subsequently, the play also began on time. Pakistan captain Azhar Ali won the toss and elected to bat first unlike what Jason Holder did.
The visiting side went with the combination of three seamers and 2 spinners considering Manchester offers some assistance to the spinners. As a result, the veteran Fawad Alam had to miss out from the playing XI.
England-Pakistan share day 1 after rain delays proceedings
The Pakistani batsmen had a shaky start. Opener Abid Ali struggled to the seamers Stuart Broad and James Anderson. Shan Masood was the only one who looked comfortable faced the England duo. Soon Abid fell victim to Jofra Archer as the latter knocked his stumps. Archer bowled a full-pitch delivery after a barrage of short-pitch delivery to bamboozle the batsman.
England had their first man at 36 for one. In at 3 was Pakistan captain Azhar Ali, who was sent back to the pavilion by Chris Woakes for a duck after facing just six deliveries. The Pakistan captain did review thinking he edged it but the ball was crashing onto the stumps.
Pakistan’s young sensation, Babar Azam walked in at 4, who along with Shan Masood got things going after the fall of two quick wickets. Masood and Azam stitched a partnership of 78 runs until the rain god crashed the party. The rain caused a delay for over three hours.
The umpires extended the playing time as Masood and Azam took guard. Jofra Archer began proceedings with the ball after the rain delay. Both the batsmen held their ground as England skipper Joe Root introduced spin from both ends. This start didn’t last long as play was again stopped due to bad light. The officials in no hope of a restart called it stumps on Day 1.
Brief Score – Pakistan: 139/2 ( Masood: 46* Babar Azam: 69*; Woakes: 1/14, Archer: 1/23)