What started dreadfully for Pakistan against England on the first day in Southampton followed a bright period between Abid Ali and Azhar Ali. However, finally, it ended on a meek note for them as showers played spoilsport almost throughout the day. The visitors’ mainstay and keeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan battled in the swinging conditions as they found themselves five down with 126 on the board as rains returned to stay.
Pakistan carried out one change while England made two ahead of a crucial game for both sides. The tourists ended a long wait for Fawad Alam by handing him a Test cap after 11 years while Sam Curran and Zak Crawley were included for Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes.
In the very third over, Shan Masood missed a straight one that was unequivocally hitting the stumps. Dom Sibley dropped Abid Ali at third slip in the very next over after which Rory Burns gave him a reprieve as well. Azhar Ali played some confident strokes; however, his vigil of 85 deliveries ended with edging to slip off Anderson as Burns took a low catch. It also ended a partnership of 72 between the duo.
Sam Curran produces a vital breakthrough for England:
After a two-hour break from showers, Abid Ali reached his half-century with a streaky couple of runs that he got after edging to slips. Ali got a boundary off the first delivery of the 38th over but edged to Burns off Sam Curran two balls later for 60. Asad Shafiq’s 13-ball finished as Sibley covered for a dropped catch earlier to grab a low take at slip, giving Broad his first success.
Alam’s first Test innings in 11 years for Pakistan lasted only four deliveries as he failed to get the bat in line in time, striking him on the pads, departing for a duck. All the four pacers were amongst the wickets now with Chris Woakes snapping the latest one. Only 45.4 overs were possible in the day, but England came out on top despite missing fluffing catches.