England under Ben Stokes play their first Test on Pakistani soil in 17 years. There was some uncertainty about the start date of the game, knowing that 14 of the England players, including captain Stokes, had an unknown virus. ECB and PCB kept a close eye on the matter and a late decision was made to start the match on schedule after the players recovered in time. England won the toss at Rawalpindi opting to bat first and in the first session of the innings in this historic match, the visitors posted a record.
Also read | Pakistan vs England 1st Test: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett give Babar Azam’s taste of BAZBALL
England openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett scored 174/0 in the first session, which is now a record for most runs ever scored in the opening session of a Test. They have India’s four-year-old record of 158 recorded in 27 overs against Afghanistan. England reached the same point in just 23.3 overs.
Crawley even had the chance to become the first ever England cricketer to hit a barrel for lunch in an opening day test match. However, he returned on an unbeaten 91 at lunchtime. In Test cricket’s 145 years, only four Australians, a Pakistani and an Indian have achieved this record.
Pakistan debuted four cricketers in the first test match. They are Saud Shakeel, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Ali and Zahid Mehmood. What is interesting and a major concern for Babar Azam’s Pakistan is that they failed to pick up any wicket and allow the visitors to post such a huge batting record in the first session of the opening day of this historic Test.
Pakistan is definitely missing Shaheen Shah Afridi, who recently had knee surgery and is on his way to full fitness. However, no date is given for his return.