Pakistan v/s England has begun at the Old Trafford stadium and it’s the battle between the English pace attack and the young guns of the Pakistan brigade. The much-anticipated battle of Anderson vs Babar vs Stuart Broad was in the limelight when the two Captains came out for the toss. Pakistan Captain Azhar Ali won the toss and decided to bat first on a good looking pitch under not-so English conditions. Fantasy cricket pandits were ready with their playing 11 and this is how the actual playing 11 of both teams looked like:
Pakistan Playing 11: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali(C), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi & Naseem Shah
England Playing 11: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Joe Root(C), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, James Anderson & Jofra Archer
1st Session Belongs to England
The first session of the test match looked very interesting as the Pakistan batsman Shan Masood gave a couple of edges past 3rd slip and gully for boundaries frustrating James Anderson. Broad, on the other hand was sharp but unable to get past any of the Pak batsmen’s edges. But it was Jofra Archer & Woakes that gave breakthroughs in the first session as they dismissed Abid Ali (16) & Azhar Ali(0) cheaply.
Solid Babar Azam Over Anderson
After a struggling 1st session, Babar Azam came on to his own, putting away the bad balls and taking on the likes of Anderson over the leg side. James Anderson looked very much off target as he kept on pitching it half volley onto his legs, not getting any movement that he usually gets under English conditions. Babar Azam hit cover drives, square cuts to the likes of Stuart Broad, Archer & Woakes and even he did not spare the spinner Dom Bess whom he took on for drives and stepped out to hit 2 huge sixes over mid-wicket.
Shan & Babar Close the Day with Ease
Shan Masood was fairly lucky when he came out to bat and lucky to survive the first session but he went on to hit some good shots and played in typical test cricket style. Azam on the other hand impressed everyone with a well made 69* and with Shan’s 46* they both built a strong partnership of an unbeaten 96 runs.
Bad Light & Rain Interrupts Play
Maybe the conditions were not as English as the weather was. Just like any other test match in England, play stopped due to bad light and rain at regular intervals. Only 49 overs were bowled on the 1st day and Pakistan dominated the day owing to some batting class shown by Babar Azam. The second day might see a big score coming in from Babar Azam and a substantial total for Pakistan if the English pacers do not get hold of the batsmen early on.
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