The three-match Test series between England and Pakistan got down to business on Wednesday (August 05) at the Old Trafford in Manchester. The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first on Day 1 of the series opener. England resumed the red-ball assignment with the same team which played in the third Test against West Indies.
However, this time around, England bowlers failed to impress the fans as Pakistan batsmen showed immense determination in their first-ever international project post the coronavirus pandemic.
James Anderson and Stuart Broad started the proceedings for the hosts but couldn’t provide the initial breakthrough as opening pair of Shan Masood and Abid Ali survived the first hour successfully. However, then England skipper brought pacer Jofra Archer into the attack, who didn’t disappoint his captain. Archer broke the opening partnership of 36-runs by shattering the stumps of Abid in the 16th over of Pakistan’s first innings.
An absolute beauty from @JofraArcher! 🔥
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 5, 2020
Soon, all-rounder, Chris Woakes joined the party and sent Pakistan captain Azhar Ali back for a duck. Opener Masood and vice-captain Babar Azam then steadied the tourists’ ship. The pair added 78-run stand before rain stopped play and the tea break was declared as well.
After the stoppage of three hours, extra time was added to the end of the day’s play, with Babar and Masood resuming the innings from 121/2. However, due to low light, England were not allowed to use the seamers. Few overs later, bad lights forced stumps and at stumps, Pakistan reached 139/2, with Babar (69 not out) and Masood (46 not out) giving the tourists’ an early advantage. The duo added an unbeaten 96-run stand for the third wicket on Day 1.
Babar completed his Test career’s 14th half-century in the post-lunch session. Now, the 25-year old is just 81 runs away to reach the 2000-run milestone in the longest format of the game.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) August 5, 2020
For England, Archer and Woakes picked one wicket each, while both Anderson and Broad went wicketless on the opening day.
🏴 STUMPS 🇵🇰
— ICC (@ICC) August 5, 2020