Ruthless England score over 500 on opening day against Pakistan

England aren’t showing any mercy as they have so far amassed 381 runs for the loss of just three wickets in just 60.5 overs on day one of the Rawalpindi Test during the post-tea session Thursday.

After scoring 174 without any loss before lunch, they lost three wickets in the post-tea session but both the openers scored 100s before their departure. However, it didn’t affect their run rate which currently stands at 6.15.

Duckett – out LBW by Zahid Mahmood – was the first wicket for Pakistan. He scored 107. In the next over, Haris Rauf bowled Crawley but only after he piled up 122. However, Joe Root could only score 23 before Zahid took his wicket. He too was given out LBW.

Ollie Pope is batting on 82 and Harry Brook on 37.   

Earlier, England came out all guns blazing on the opening day of first Test against Pakistan as they posted 174 without losing any wicket in just 27 overs before lunch Thursday.

Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett were scoring at the rate of 6.44 runs per over. Crawley was batting on 91 from 79 balls and Duckett on 77 of 85.

In fact, they made their intentions clear from the very beginning when Crawley cracked three boundaries in the first over of the day bowled by Naseem Shah. 

With 28 boundaries already so far, it is looking white ball cricket with none of the Pakistani bowlers able to make any impact.

Earlier, Ben Stokes won the crucial toss and decided to bat first in his first Test as captain. They were forced to make just one change to the side they named on Tuesday, with Surrey all-rounder Will Jacks making his Test debut while replacing Ben Foakes who was still feeling unwell, and leaving Ollie Pope to take the wicket keeping glove.

On the other hand, Pakistan named four debutants — Saud Shakeel, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Ali and Zahid Mehmood — in their playing 11.

Illness scare

Earlier on Wednesday, several England touring squad fell ill after reaching Pakistan, which raised the possibility that the Rawalpindi Test may be delayed. However, it didn’t happen, much to the delight of millions of fans.

 “Several players and staff members, including England captain Ben Stokes, are feeling unwell and have been advised to stay at the hotel to rest up,” said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in a statement.

In this connection, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in tweet posted on Wednesday afternoon, said they were in touch with the ECB on the issue and monitoring the situation.

The BBC had reported that around 14 members of the party – about half of the players and coaches – were advised to rest at the hotel on Wednesday, rather than attend training in Rawalpindi.

It is England’s first Test in Pakistan for 17 years. That’s why Joe Root told BBC, “It’s not the worst thing if we have to wait to make sure the game isn’t cancelled.”

“It’s such a monumental tour and important series for so many reasons. We’ve waited 17 years to come to Pakistan to play a Test match. It means waiting another day, is that the worst thing in the world?”

“We’re all desperate to play this game and we know how important it is to the fans of Pakistan and their team as well.”

Separately, Root, at a press conference in Rawalpindi, dismissed the possibility of food poisoning. “I don’t think it is food poisoning or Covid or anything like that,” said Root in response to a query.

“As far as I’m aware, a few guys are not feeling 100 per cent,” Root said and added that there was no connection between food and illness.

He said, “The thing is we have been carrying a chef away for a couple of years. If you look at the international teams, especially England, they all have their own chefs. We optimise ourselves and we see it from a nutrition point of view as well.”

When asked about the current state of health of other players, Root said it was hard to say as he had not seen anyone this morning.

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