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Pakistan Battle Again In Rawalpindi

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Revealed on 2 Dec 2022 6:03 pm (UK Time)

Pakistan fought again in Rawalpindi after England’s opening day onslaught on a extra standard day of Take a look at Cricket. Pakistan closed on 181-0, replying strongly to England’s mammoth 657 all out, their highest Take a look at rating in Asia.

The day started in something aside from a standard method, Ben Stokes nonchalantly pummelling the opening ball of the day for six, signifying there was no hangover from yesterday’s pyrotechnics. Stokes departed two balls later, looking for to offer himself room, foxed by Naseem Shah’s intelligent slower ball in a wicket resembling the closing overs of a white-ball recreation, not the primary over of a day of Take a look at cricket.

Liam Livingstone got here and went shortly in his maiden Take a look at innings, as England’s strategy was understandably extra cavalier than yesterday’s managed aggression. Harry Brook picked up the place he left off yesterday, taking Zahid Mahmood for 27 in an over, finally falling for a exceptional 153 from simply 116 balls, guaranteeing Jonny Bairstow’s absence wasn’t felt. Will Jacks made a promising 30, and Ollie Robinson weighed in with a useful 37 as England added 151 runs within the morning session.

Pakistan’s openers Imam ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique responded to their large process in a extra orthodox however no much less efficient method, as even James Anderson struggled to extract some motion from a dull pitch. Each illustrated self-discipline and persistence, undaunted by the large deficit they confronted. Shafique performed with attribute magnificence and composure belying his tender years, persevering with his emergence as certainly one of Take a look at cricket’s brightest younger prospects.

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There have been moments of fortune as England’s bowlers toiled away; Ollie Pope dropped Imam off Jack Leach, admittedly a troublesome likelihood however one which had England ruing Ben Foakes’s absence. Pope thought he had atoned for his mistake when Shafique strangled Anderson down the leg-side, diving full size to take an impressive one-handed catch. Nonetheless, evaluations confirmed the ball touched the bottom, and Pakistan’s openers began to exert better authority in the direction of the tip of a day which resulted in close to darkness.

England’s wicketless day poses inevitable questions in regards to the make-up of their assault, particularly the dearth of a real second spinner. Leach bowled tidily with out ever actually threatening; the Pope drop apart whereas Jacks was milked with relative ease. Livingstone couldn’t bowl, having jarred his knee within the area, whereas Ollie Robinson was ineffective in his solely spell. Livingstone and Jacks are monumental abilities, however they’ve solely 64 first-class wickets between them, with their bowling geared to the innovation required within the white-ball recreation somewhat than the mandatory guile in Take a look at cricket. Stokes might be aware of making an excessive amount of strain on Leach and maybe will utilise Joe Root extra tomorrow.

England stays within the ascendency, main by 476, albeit on a pitch the place taking 20 wickets seems like a gargantuan problem. Stokes faces his best problem as a captain, and tomorrow would require him to be at his modern and motivational finest as England attempt to make sure yesterday’s record-breaking carnage wasn’t in useless.

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