Pakistan openers Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq finish the day with an unbeaten 181 partnership; Harry Brook's 153 helps England to 657 all out; watch day three of Pakistan vs England live on Sky Sports Cricket from 4.30am on Saturday (first ball 5am)
Saturday 3 December 2022 07:38, UK
Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq led the Pakistan fightback against England with an unbeaten century partnership on day two of the first Test in Rawalpindi after the tourists posted a first-innings total of 657 all out.
England were eventually dismissed late on the second morning, with Harry Brook leading the way on 153 from just 116 balls. Openers Shafique and Imam then saw out the remaining six overs as Pakistan reached lunch on 17 without loss.
Both were able to accelerate the run-rate in the afternoon session, albeit not to the extent England had done in their innings, and notched half-centuries during a partnership which took the home side to 109 at tea as the visiting team's bowlers struggled to make a breakthrough on a flat, lifeless wicket at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
Shafique survived a scare on 54 in the first over after the resumption of play when the third umpire decided he had not been caught behind by stand-in wicketkeeper Ollie Pope off James Anderson's bowling, and remained there on 89 with Imam (90) as Pakistan reached 181-0 at the close.
The differences in approaches with the bat from the two teams was notable. Whereas England had carried on the attacking approach which had yielded so much success at home this summer, the hosts preferred a more traditional Test batting style.
Even with the extremely favourable conditions though, that was perfectly understandable with Pakistan facing replying to a total of over 650 runs, and Shafique and Imam both judiciously saw out the period before lunch before opening up and playing a few more strokes as the afternoon went on.
In the field, England captain Ben Stokes was posed with the same problem as counterpart Babar Azam in how to manufacture wicket-taking opportunities on a surface which offered little for either seam or spin.
|CricViz expected runs||+8.2||+19.9|
Unsurprisingly, it was front-line left-arm spinner Jack Leach and newcomer Will Jacks with his right-arm off-break bowling who got through the lion's share of the overs, bowling 19 and 12 respectively. Joe Root chipped in with four overs at an economical 2.25 runs per over too.
Stokes and the opening bowling duo of Anderson and Ollie Robinson were rotated far more in the attack, with the visitors also trying a variety of different field settings in the hope of catching the Pakistani batsmen out.
Yet the closest they came to dislodging either was four balls after tea when Anderson cramped up Shafique and flicked his glove, only to be granted a reprieve by the third umpire when replays showed the ball had not carried all the way through to the diving Pope behind the stumps.
Earlier in the day, Stokes showed England's intent to stay on the offensive with the bat from the very first ball of the morning by smacking Naseem Shah back down the ground for six en route to an 18-ball 41 before the skipper was bowled by the Pakistan fast bowler five deliveries later.
Brook, England's fourth centurions of the match who resumed on 101 not out, showed no sign of slowing down either even with debutant Liam Livingstone making just nine before being caught off Naseem by Saud Shakeel shortly after bringing up a six.
The hard-hitting Yorkshire batter, who has already impressed in the T20 format at county and international level, showcased his devastating ability in the 83rd over particularly as he plundered 27 from the bowling of Zahid Mahmood.
That over included three sixes and two fours, although the 23-year-old was denied six boundaries in an over for the second time in the game after running three off the last ball. Nevertheless, that was still enough to ensure a record number of runs from an over for an England batter in Tests.
Brook eventually holed out in the deep to Shakeel to become Naseem's third victim soon after passing the 150 mark with England firmly in control on 576-7, with Jacks and Robinson then putting on a half-century stand to take the tourists past 600.
116: The number of balls Brook's 153 came in.
24: The number of boundaries scored by Brook (19 fours, five sixes) in his innings.
69.28: The percentage of runs in Brook's innings which came from boundaries.
131.89: Brook's strike rate during his innings.
+90.0: How far ahead Brook was in CricViz's expected runs statistic at the conclusion of his innings.
Their eighth-wicket stand was eventually broken when Jacks pulled Mohammad Ali to Naseem at midwicket after sprightly 30 from 29 balls on debut, followed by Zahid Mahmood wrapping up the innings by claiming the scalps of Robinson (37) and Anderson (six).
That ensured spinner Mahmood, one of four Pakistan players winning their first cap, ended the innings with four wickets to his name, albeit with the dubious honour of the 235 he conceded in 33 overs making him the most expensive debutant in Test history.
England Test debutant Will Jacks
"Playing Test cricket something that I might not have thought would have happened in recent years. It was a lovely surprise yesterday morning, it came around quickly.
"There is a little bit there [for the bowlers]. It's only day two, we're hoping the grip will increase over the next few days.
"I was going stump to stump but there wasn't a lot there. It's about being open to ideas, and [Ben] Stokes is very creative."
Pakistan bowler Naseem Shah
"England played good cricket and good shots as well. We bowled a bit off line at the start, but came back well today. I was so surprised in Test cricket - first ball and Ben Stokes hit me for six!
"[Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq] played really well today and hopefully we will play tomorrow again and bat well.
"I think last match against Australia, the pitch was a little bit better than this pitch. The pitch is so good, and we try our best."