Hello and welcome once again to the coverage of Pakistan’s tour of England as the visitors try to rally from a poor start on the rain-hit day at Southampton, with the hosts already leading the three-match series 1-0.
Rain and Fawad Alam made the most news on the opening day (Thursday), when the latter’s return to Test stage after a long wait ended with a duck, while the rain allowed only 45.4 overs to be bowled.
Here’s a wrap from Day 1:
England great James Anderson returned to form with two wickets, after Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat, that left the visitors wobbling at 126/5 at stumps as a combination of rain and bad light cut short play on the first day.
Anderson had taken 2-35 from 15 overs to move to within eight wickets of becoming the first paceman with 600 in Tests.
All of England’s four quicks enjoyed success, with only Pakistan opener Abid Ali — dropped twice in the slips — offering prolonged resistance during an innings of 60.
It was not long before England’s all-time leading wicket-taker struck after Pakistan captain Azhar Ali chose to bat.
In humid conditions conducive to Anderson’s bowling, he needed just eight balls to have Shan Masood, fresh from his Test-best 156, lbw for one with an in-swinger to the left-hander.
Then, Azhar, on 20, edged a full-length Anderson delivery and Burns held a good, low catch to leave Pakistan 78/2.
Abid completed a 99-ball fifty featuring six fours after tea.
But left-arm seamer Sam Curran, recalled in place of fast bowler Jofra Archer, had Abid taken in the slips by Burns with a ball that angled across the right-hander following a couple of inswingers.
Sibley, to his evident relief, held a slip catch off Broad as Asad Shafiq fell cheaply.
Alam, a prolific run-scorer in Pakistan domestic cricket, played the last of his three previous Tests, in which he averages over 41, against New Zealand in Dunedin in November 2009. The 34-year-old was the only change to the side after replacing leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan.
But Alam lasted just five minutes at the crease. Batting with an extremely open stance, Alam was lbw for a four-ball naught to in-form all-rounder Woakes.
Alam was initially given not out but an England review revealed the ball had pitched in line, with a squared-up Alam in front of his stumps.
England, as well as recalling Curran, made an expected change when batsman Zak Crawley returned in place of Ben Stokes.
Star all-rounder Stokes is missing the final two matches of this series for personal reasons after travelling to New Zealand to be with his ill father.


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