Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq dig deep after England post 657

Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq dig deep after England post 657

Tea Pakistan Trail 108 for 0 (Shafique 54*, Imam-ul-Haq 52*) England 657 (Brook 153, Crawley 122, Pope 108, Duckett 107) by 549 runs

Pakistani fly-half Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq held their ground against England’s towering first innings, squeezing their way to half-centuries unscathed on tea.

The duo faced a spinning attack including Jack Leach, Will Jacks and most recently Joe Root with class in a session that contrasted with the English fireworks of the previous four but still contained flashes of excitement.

Imam tossed Leach over the top rope in the middle of the deep wicket to break an 11-point run from the first English spinner and Shafique moved upfield to send Jacks in longer to bring up the Pakistani fifty.

Shafique elevated his half with a glorious run to the boundary of Jacks coverage, his seventh four of innings, and Imam followed suit soon after, pushing a Root delivery to coverage for a single.

Still trailing by 549 points, the home side would have been encouraged by the pair’s unbroken century-old standing after a torrid time on the pitch.

England, with just one frontline spinner, served 21 consecutive slow bowling overs in all as captain Ben Stokes established attacking fields. Jacks filled the part-time role that helped him make his Test debut when Ben Foakes failed to recover from the illness virus that swept through the tour camp the day before the game and Root took over the one he had played several times before with Liam Livingstone, the other English debutant. and at times spinner apparently struggling with a leg problem and kept out of the attack.

This was all a precursor to James Anderson returning to try and extract a reverse swing. There wasn’t much to offer based on the limited evidence of who he sent off before the break but, having dominated the game until lunch, England had still left the hosts a mountain to climb.

While Pakistan made gains on the second morning, England piled on more pain as newcomer Harry Brook topped a towering scoreboard.

England’s record innings ended on 657 with Brook scoring the highest of their four centurions. After taking over 101, he worked his way up to 153 in another stunning display from the visitors’ side.

The hosts managed to claim the remaining six wickets before lunch, but not before England had added a further 151 runs, having already amassed 506 for 4, the most runs ever scored on the opening day of a test match.

Stokes, who had taken England past that stage with a brutal six over Mohammad Ali in the dying light on Thursday, sparked another comeback on bowler Naseem Shah’s header from second ball on Friday en route to 41 from 18 deliveries . He was out four balls later when Naseem slowed down and took out the top of the center stump.

Naseem’s speedy comrade Haris Rauf sat in the locker room with his right quad wrapped in an ice pack after rolling over the ball while on the pitch the day before. Meanwhile, legpinner Zahid Mahmood suffered agony of a different kind, his four wickets costing a whopping 235 runs in 33 overs – the most expensive analysis of a rookie in the Test.

Zahid was lifted for six downfield and into the second tier by a Livingstone leaping off the seventh ball he faced in testing. But he only faced three more before tackling Naseem’s deep square leg.

Jacks missed Naseem’s yorker on the first ball he faced and was knocked to the pad. But pakistan exam for lbw failed when the ball was shown to come down the side of the leg.

Brook beat Zahid in a remarkable over, which lasted 27 runs. Playing just his second Test, Brook swept Zahid for six on extra coverage, swept the next ball for four and swept again for four more. He hadn’t finished yet either as he hammered the fourth ball for four and then threw six balls on the ground. Brook tried to go big once more on the last ball and as he mistook and sent an upper backhand over his own head the ball flowed for three more runs to compound Zahid’s misfortune .

Two four-in-three on Naseem’s follow, the second of which split the keeper and the first slip for four, lifted Brook to 150, although he launched a sweeping attempt past square-legged Saud Shakeel deep to be out for 153 on just 116 balls.

Ollie Robinson took England past 600 with a six from Zahid on the ground before Jacks picked Naseem in the middle of Mohammad Ali’s wicket after a 30-point appearance.

Robinson failed to undo his lbw dismissal of Zahid for 37 and Anderson missed Zahid’s wide open right to deep square-legged Imam-ul-Haq to be the last man out.

Valkerie Baynes is an editor at ESPNcricinfo

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