England on top despite Abid Ali half century for Pakistan
SOUTHAMPTON: Pakistan opener Abid Ali scored a half-century but England’s seam bowlers used the muggy conditions to their advantage to restrict the tourists to 126 for five at the close of a rain-hit opening day of the second test at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.
The tourists chose to bat first and were fortunate not to lose more wickets as the bounce, movement off the seam and swing through the air in hot, overcast conditions was perfectly suited to England’s experienced seam attack.
Babar Azam (25 not out) and Mohammad Rizwan (4 not out) will resume on the second morning, seeking to rescue the innings in their bid to rebound from a three-wicket loss in the first test.
Abid (60) was twice dropped at second slip as he rode his luck, before finally being snatched by Rory Burns in that position off the bowling of left-arm seamer Sam Curran, who came into the England side in the place of Jofra Archer.
Burns also caught visiting captain Azhar Ali (20) from the bowling of James Anderson (2-35), who had earlier trapped centurion from the first test, Shan Masood (1), leg before wicket.
The slip-catching practice continued as Asad Shafiq (5) was well taken low down by Dom Sibley off Stuart Broad.
Batsman Fawad Alam (0) had waited almost 11 years since his previous test innings, but lasted only four balls before Chris Woakes made it a return to forget with another lbw decision that was given on review by the television umpire.
Pakistan were saved further loss of wickets with the conditions firmly in favour of the bowlers when the players left the field after more rain with only 45.4 overs bowled in the day.
This time it was for good as lightening lit up the gloomy evening sky.
England had earlier recalled batsman Zac Crawley for all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has withdrawn from the remainder of the three-match series for personal reasons.