As it happened on Day 1
The second match of the highly anticipated series between England and Pakistan started at Southampton under cloudy conditions with a lot of showers being expected throughout the match. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first.
Opener Shan Masood who started off brilliantly in the previous game didn’t last too long as he was trapped right in front by a swinging James Anderson delivery. Anderson who was criticized and written off after the first match, came out with great energy to prove his critics wrong. At 38, he bowled with great consistency, constantly bowling over 85mph and throwing himself around in the field. There were catches put down early on in the slip cordon and few edges ran to the boundary, but Abid Ali was able to combat this period as he got to his 50. Unfortunately for Pakistan, Captain Azhar Ali didn’t look very comfortable at the crease once again as he failed to create an impact. Babar Azam who walked in after that looked good at times, but also played and missed deliveries outside the off stump.
There were a few rain interruptions along the way as Pakistan continued to lose wickets. Fawad Alam who was making a comeback after almost 11 years didn’t have a great start as he lost his wicket without scoring. Eventually play was called off with only 45.4 overs bowled in the day as Pakistan lost 5 wickets for 126 runs. James Anderson was the pick of the bowlers who kept the batsman in check throughout bowling a troubling length. Spinner Dom Bess did not get to bowl and he might not have much to do if the conditions remain the way it is with the pacers doing a great job.
Just Cricket’s Corner
Day 2 expectation
Once again rain is expected to play a part on Day 2 and hence the teams will not be able to play the full quota of overs. Babar Azam holds the key to take Pakistan to a total of around 250 which will be very respectable under these conditions with the bowling attack they have.
England will look at getting an early wicket which will expose Pakistans tail. Babar Azam will be the key wicket for England to get and if they do that, they should be looking to restrict Pakistan under 175.
Babar Azam has looked good playing his shots but has been vulnerable outside the off stump. He should be more careful outside the off stump with the ball moving around as it is in this test match to be successful and take Pakistan to a respectable first innings total.
England on the other hand, bowled well for most parts but they have strayed down the leg side too often. They should be looking to get their lines straighter and also hold on to their catches regularly.
Key to Success on Day 2
Pakistan – Babar Azam, Mohammad Abbas
England – Stuart Broad, Dom Sibley