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PAK vs ENG 1st Test: Abdullah Shafique, Imam ul Haq ensure Pakistan’s strong start on Day 2 | Cricket news

Openers Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq set up an unbeaten opening score of 181 runs to lead Pakistan’s battle in reply to England’s 657 on the second day of the first Test, on Friday. Looking at ease and confident at the crease, Shafique (89 not out) and fellow opener Imam (90 not out) were marched to centuries on stumps on day 2 as the tourists toiled in the field in the afternoon and evening sessions after being thrown out for lunch.

England captain Ben Stokes tinkered the field constantly, keeping several players close to the bat, but his bowlers struggled to create many chances on a docile Rawalpindi pitch.

The visitors used six of their bowling opportunities, but could not find the breakthrough. Wicket-keeper Ollie Pope was given two half chances when he came on for Ben Foakes, who was still suffering from the after-effects of a viral infection that had spread to 13-14 members of the touring party in the run-up to the game.

Pope missed a difficult chance after the ball seemingly hit the edge of Imam’s bat. Soon after, he failed to get the ball cleanly after Jack Leach beat Shafique’s bat, which was balanced out of its crease. By the time Pope hit the bail off, the batter had his foot behind the line.

There was also a moment when England thought they had made a breakthrough with a score of 109, but the replay showed the ball had hit the ground before bouncing off James Anderson’s gloves. In the evening, Keaton Jennings had half a chance at short leg, when the ball was tagged to the substitute fielder, hitting him in the diaphragm.

Rather the morning session was the most entertaining of the day as England started with the same attacking intent that rewrote the record books on the first day as they put up an incredible 506/4 in just 75 overs.

England set a new record for their highest score in the subcontinent, narrowly surpassing their previous tally of 652 in Chennai in 1985, with an innings featuring 95 boundaries, nine of which were sixes.

Bringing up a first Test 150, Harry Brook drove Zahid Mahmood for 27 – setting a new record for most runs in a single over by an England batsman in Tests – after hitting six consecutive fours the previous day. The Pakistani bowlers had more chances than on the first day, but England could have scored more runs, with many wickets given away.

Stokes resumed the day on 34 off 15 balls and sent his first delivery over the head of Naseem Shah into the stands, but was later bowled by the young fast for 41, a potential missed opportunity to take advantage of the batsman friendly.

Liam Livingstone also left just after hitting a six in the top tier, picking out the man on the deep square leg boundary, while fellow debutant Will Jacks made 30 off 29 balls and Ollie Robinson contributed 37. Short Scores: England 657 (Harry Brook 153, Zak Crawley 122, Ollie Pope 108, Ben Duckett 107; Zahid Mahmood 4-235, Naseem Shah 3-140) lead Pakistan 181/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 90 not out, Abdullah Shafique 89 not out) with 476 runs.

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