Pakistan 181 for 0 (Imam-ul-Haq 90*, Shafique 89*) trail England 657 (Brook 153, Crawley 122, Pope 108, Duckett 107) by 476 runs
With a mountain to climb, Pakistan openers Imam-ul-Haq
and Abdullah Shafique
harnessed up and shinnied towards England’s monster first-innings total on the second day of their contest in Rawalpindi.
After Harry Brook
pressed on from his overnight 101 to reach 153 off just 116 balls
as England were bowled out for 657 at better than a run a ball shortly before lunch, the home duo negotiated more than two sessions unscathed. On a pitch that remained a road throughout both days, to the disgust of PCB chairman Ramiz Raja
, they staged an opening partnership approaching the 200-mark with Imam 90 not out at stumps and Shafique on 89.
The pair faced up to a spin attack comprising Jack Leach, Will Jacks and Joe Root with class through a middle session, which contrasted with England’s fireworks of the previous four, but still contained flashes of excitement.
Imam launched Leach over the rope at deep midwicket to break a run of 11 dot balls from England’s only frontline spinner and Shafique advanced down the pitch to dispatch Jacks over long-on to bring up Pakistan’s fifty.
Shafique raised his half-century with a glorious drive to the cover boundary off Jacks, his seventh four of the innings, and Imam followed suit a short time later, pushing a Root delivery towards cover for a single.
England served up 21 consecutive overs of slow bowling as captain Ben Stokes set attacking fields. Jacks fulfilled the part-timer role which helped secure him a Test debut when Ben Foakes failed to recover from the sickness bug which swept through the touring camp on match eve and Root reprised one he has played many times before with Liam Livingstone, England’s other debutant and sometime spinner, suffering a jarred knee that kept him off the field for much of the afternoon and evening.
It was all a precursor to James Anderson returning to try and extract some reverse swing. There wasn’t much on offer from the limited evidence of the one over he sent down before tea, nor was there any more than a hint after the break, although there was a chance.
With the fifth ball of the evening session, Anderson fired one into Shafique’s ribs which kissed the glove before sailing down the leg side to Ollie Pope, standing in for regular keeper Foakes. Diving to his left, Pope made an excellent take but the on-field umpires deferred to their TV counterpart, Marais Erasmus, and replays showed that the ball had gone to ground a fraction before meeting Pope’s glove.
Searching for a breakthrough after Leach conceded 12 off the 41st over, Shafique hitting a six down the ground and Imam clearing mid-off for four, Stokes entered the attack to no avail as the hosts stood firm.
Pakistan managed to prise out England’s remaining six wickets by lunch, but not before England had added a further 151 runs, having already amassed 506 for 4, the most runs ever scored on the opening day of a Test match.
Stokes, who had taken England past that milestone with a brutal six over long-on off Mohammad Ali in the dying light on Thursday, unleashed another back over bowler Naseem Shah’s head off the second ball on Friday en route to 41 off 18 deliveries. He was out four balls later when Naseem took the pace off and took out the top of middle stump.
Naseem’s fellow quick, Haris Rauf, sat in the dressing room with his right quad wrapped in an ice pack after rolling over the ball while fielding the previous day. Meanwhile, legspinner Zahid Mahmood
suffered agony of another kind, his four wickets coming at an eye-watering cost of 235 runs in 33 overs – the most-expensive analysis by a Test debutant.
Livingstone lofted Zahid for six down the ground on the seventh ball he faced in Tests, but he faced just three more before holing out to deep square leg off Naseem.