Southampton: Pakistan slumped to 126-5 before a third stoppage for rain led to an end to play on the first day of the second Test against England at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.
Abid Ali struck 60 — after being dropped twice early in his 111-ball innings — and was comfortably Pakistan’s top scorer on a tough day for the tourists in changing weather.
James Anderson was retained for the match, despite struggling in England’s three-wicket win in the first Test in Manchester last week, and the paceman repaid that faith by removing Shan Masood (1) in the third over and captain Azhar Ali (20) after lunch. It gave England's record wicket-taker figures of 2-35 and he is up to 592 in Tests.
After the toss — won by Pakistan — was made under sunny skies, Pakistan began batting in overcast conditions and a shower brought up an early lunch. More rain came midway through the second session, which the tourists finished on 85-2.
And only about an hour was possible after tea, when Pakistan lost three wickets — including Abid, who edged recalled seamer Sam Curran to Rory Burns at second slip. Burns had been the second slip fielder to drop Abid before lunch, the right-handed opener having already been given a life on 0 by Dom Sibley’s drop diving to his left at third slip.
As with Burns, Sibley made amends by taking a smart catch low down to remove Asad Shafiq (5) to give Stuart Broad his first wicket.
That brought Fawad Alam to the crease for his first Test innings in 11 years after being recalled — and it last four balls, when the left-hander was trapped lbw by Chris Woakes for a duck. A not-out decision was given but England reviewed and Hawk-Eye showed the ball was hitting the top of middle stump.
Babar Azam was 25 not out when bad light eventually led to stumps being called. Mohammad Rizwan was on 4.
Pakistan trails 1-0 in the three-match series. Another victory for England will clinch a first Test series against Pakistan in 10 years, and a second series of this pandemic-affected summer, having already beaten the West Indies.
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Pakistan cricket chief Ramiz Raja said England had failed his nation's cricket team by pulling out of its tour next month.
Pakistan travelled to England last year at a time when Covid-19 infection rates in Britain were among the highest in the world for a three-match Test and T20 series that saved the ECB millions in television rights deals.
Kohli's team has been riding a fearless ride through the challenging terrains and after Australia, now they have the chance to conquer England as well.