England vs Pakistan 2020, 1st Test, Day 1 – Twitter Reactions
Babar Azam plays a cover drive. (Credits: Twitter)

Babar Azam’s artistry and Shan Masood’s doggedness and some poor bowling by England ensured that Pakistan got off to a brilliant start on a rain-curtailed first day of the three-match series in Manchester.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan captain Azhar Ali won the toss and unlike Jason Holder, he did not commit the cardinal mistake of deciding to bowl first.

On a cold, rainy day, Pakistan needed its openers in Abid Ali and Shan Masood to survive the initial burst by the English fast bowlers. Stuart Broad kept probing away, even as James Anderson wasn’t in the kind of rhythm which he was usually accustomed to from the great fast bowler.

England vs Pakistan 2020, 1st Test, Day 1 – Twitter Reactions
Shan Masood [Photo-Twitter]
Masood and Abid Adil saw off the first hour and the new-ball spell of James Anderson and Stuart Broad but as it looked like they were on course for a solid opening stand, England’s first change bowlers in Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes went bang, bang!

Firstly it was Archer, who shellacked Abid Ali’s stumps with a nip-backer before Chris Woakes joined the party by trapping skipper Azhar Ali LBW for a six-ball duck. This was Ali’s 8th single-digit score overseas since 2018.

Also Read- Watch: England Players’ Stunning Bin Challenge As Rain Plays Spoilsport In Manchester

Babar Azam sumptuous strokeplay and Shan Masood’s patience puts Pakistan in a good position against England

With Pakistan having squandered the initial advantage, it was left to Babar Azam to spearhead the ship, and boy oh boy, didn’t the 25-year-old did that disdain or what?

Azam saw off a tricky little spell before the lunch break but post the break, we saw the Pakistani talent in full flow. Anything that was bowled on his pads was flicked on the on-side, anything short was dispatched through the cover region courtesy delightful back-foot punches while anything full was either creamed through the covers with his trademark cover-drive or either driven straight past the bowler.

England vs Pakistan 2020, 1st Test, Day 1 – Twitter Reactions
Babar Azam [Photo-Twitter]
Since the start of 2018, Babar Azam has scored 1,427 Test runs at 67.95. Nobody in world cricket has scored more Test runs at a higher average than Babar at that time. And, the right-hander displayed today just why he is hailed so highly by one and all.

Babar’s counterattack in the post-lunch session helps Shan Masood go about his business in his usual way. The southpaw enjoyed a bit of luck as Jos Buttler dropped a sharp catch off the bowling Dom Bess and also missed a stumping later in the day. But his patience was really remarkable as he became the first overseas opener to face more than 100 balls in England since 2016.

Persistent rain and bad light meant only 49 overs were possible on the opening day with Pakistan comfortably placed at 2-139.

Also Read- Nasser Hussain Blasts English Bowlers For Going Horribly Wrong Against Pakistan Post-Lunch In The Ongoing Test

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the 1st day’s play between England and Pakistan-

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.