Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq dig in in Rawalpindi

Cricket, Pakistan v England: Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq dig in in Rawalpindi, sport

England’s record-breakers were shown just how hard it will be to win the first Test as Pakistan dug in on day two in Rawalpindi.

After racking up an astonishing 506-4 on day one, England pushed to 657 all out, their highest total against Pakistan and in a Test in Asia.

Harry Brook eventually fell for 153, at one stage taking an over from Zahid Mahmood for 27, also an England Test record.

On top of that, the 398 runs added in boundary fours and sixes was the most England have ever scored in a Test innings.


However, for as much as England’s batters enjoyed the flattest of pitches, their bowlers were repelled by Pakistan openers determined to make the most of the conditions.

Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq took the home side to 181-0, still a massive 476 behind.

Imam, unbeaten on 90, was dropped on 11, while Shafique was lucky not to be caught down the leg side off James Anderson on his way to 89 not out.

A back-breaking weekend for England lies ahead.

Pakistan close on 181-0 in reply to England’s 657 – how day two unfolded
‘No reason’ India and Pakistan cannot play – Raja
Victory task revealed to England

After the pyrotechnics of the first four sessions of this match, the majority of day two was played at the traditional pace of Test cricket.

England will have been well aware just how good the pitch is for batting, but their time in the field showed the effort needed to take 20 wickets required for victory.

Ben Stokes’ side tried everything, including a spell of bouncers from the captain himself. They may rue not selecting the pace of Jamie Overton ahead of spin-bowling all-rounders Will Jacks and Liam Livingstone – Livingstone jarred his knee in the field and did not bowl.

In the tourists’ favour is how quickly they scored their runs – there is plenty of time to force victory. Even if Pakistan bat all day on Saturday, they will still be some distance behind.

The Pakistan revival gave life to the home fans on a day when lunch was extended for Friday prayers. Not only was every run cheered with enthusiasm, but there were also chants of “welcome England” in their first Test in the country for 17 years.

Those chants gave way to “Pakistan will win”. Unlikely, but the benign conditions mean saving the match is not out of the question.

Shafique and Imam dig in
Whereas England bristled with intent, Shafique and Imam settled for discipline and patience, punctuated by the occasional show of aggression.

Shafique, 23, is an outstanding prospect, averaging 67 in seven previous Tests. He played beautiful cover drives, while the left-handed Imam was happier to muscle the ball through the leg side.

Both needed moments of fortune, which could prove to be crucial.

Imam’s faint edge off spinner Jack Leach was put down by Ollie Pope, standing in behind the stumps after regular keeper Ben Foakes was ruled out through illness.

Pope did well to gather a Shafique glove down the leg side off Anderson, but replays showed the ball to have bounced, then in the next over Shafique firmly turned Leach into the stomach of short-leg sub fielder Keaton Jennings, who had little chance of clinging on.

Both accelerated late in the day as England began to tire. With the light fading and the moon rising, the tourists would have been pleased for the chance to get off the field and regroup.

England push on for more records
Even if England failed to touch their first-day heights, they still scored 151 runs in 26 overs on Friday morning, albeit whilst losing six wickets.

Whereas Thursday’s batting was controlled aggression, Friday was often everything-must-go, an intent signalled when Stokes hit his first ball of the day back over Naseem Shah’s head for six.

Stokes was bowled two balls later for 41 from 18 balls and Livingstone hit a six before holing out for nine, leaving Brook to carry the attack.

In his 101 on day one, Brook took 24 from one Mahmood over. This time, two sixes, three fours and a three made it the joint-fifth most expensive over in Test history. The Brook assault contributed to leg-spinner Mahmood returning 4-235, the most costly figures ever by a Test debutant.

After Brook was caught at deep square leg off Naseem, a stand of 65 between Jacks and Ollie Robinson carried England past 600.

By the time last man Anderson top-edged a sweep off Mahmood, England had their fifth-highest total of all time.

‘Pakistan edge day two’ – analysis
by former England spinner Vic Marks on Test Match Special

“It’s Pakistan’s day. There was a bit of mayhem this morning but they did mop up six wickets for 153, albeit in one session.

“That was a bit of a result, curiously, as England had mentioned 750 was the goal.

“The cricket then become much more predictable, though it was a very competent display by the Pakistan opening pair.

“England bowled reasonably well. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. You have to take every half chance if you are to going take 20 wickets.”

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