England arrived in Pakistan for a Test series after 17 years and the city of Rawalpindi got the opportunity to host the first game. However, the local fans hardly knew that the Babar Azam-led side will be mowed down by the visitors on the opening day of the first Test itself. Ben Stokes & Co posted 506/4 at stumps on day 1, setting the world record for the highest total registered on the first day of a Test match.
The Three Lions showed no mercy on the Pakistani bowling attack on a dead track. Neither there was a swing nor turn on offer and the visitors enjoyed every bit of it. The bowlers toiled for the entire day but couldn’t stop England batters from setting a bag full of Test records. Four English batters scored hundreds on the first day which is a huge feat but exposed the Rawalpindi pitch.
Former pacer and a native of the city, Shoaib Akhtar slammed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for not paying much heed to the making of the track despite having ample time before the Test series.
“I request my countrymen to write a letter to the Pakistan Cricket Board and request them, Agar ek din mein 500 karane the, to pehle bata dete (If they had already thought of giving away 500 runs on day 1, they would’ve told us earlier).
“You [PCB] had so much time. This isn’t the way of playing Test cricket. The track is so dead – no bounce or seam on offer. The management could’ve prepared the wicket as per their choice. It could’ve been a spin-friendly track or could’ve kept the surface hard to get enough bounce. You did nothing,” Shoaib said on his YouTube channel after the end of the first day’s play.
“Pakistan didn’t play up to their strength. England will make you toil hard again, put at least 700 runs on the board, make you bat twice, and will look to end this game in two-and-a-half days. So, there’s a lot to think about where Pakistan is standing in Test cricket,” he added.
Earlier, openers Zak Crawley (122) and Ben Duckett (107) stitched a solid opening stand of 233 runs to lay a strong foundation. Thereafter, the likes of Ollie Pope (108) and Harry Brook (101*) capitalised on the start with their partnership of 176 to put England in a commanding position
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(This report is auto-generated from other sources Kashmir Bulletin holds no responsibility for its content.)