England pacer James Anderson returned to form with bowling figures of 2-15 in 15 overs, as England reduced Pakistan to 126/5 at stumps, on a rain-curtailed opening day of the second Test at the Ageas Bowl, on Thursday.
Going into bat after winning the toss, Pakistan were left disappointed early in the game, as their last match centurion, Shan Masood got dismissed leg-before-wicket by Anderson after scoring just 1 of 5 deliveries.
It was a shaky start for the visitors as their opener Abid Ali survived twice, first on 1 when he edged one to third slip Stuart Broad, and then on 21 when Rory Burns missed a juggled catch.
Abid Ali and Azhar Ali steadied the ship for Pakistan as they put on a 72 run partnership, before Anderson got Azhar to edge one to Burns, dismissing the Pakistani skipper for 20, thus bringing an end to what looked a promising partnership, just after a rain driven early lunch.
Just as Babar Azam and Abid Ali looked to rebuild momentum after their skipper’s dismissal, the storm that was expected to end southern England’s week-long swelter duly arrived and play was held up for 80 minutes with Abid stranded on 49.
He brought up his half-century shortly after play resumed before he was dismissed by Sam Curran for 60.
Abid was soon followed by Asad Shafiq 5(13), falling prey to Broad caught by Sibley at third slip. Shafiq’s departure brought Fawad Alam to the crease for the first time in a Test since 2009, but his long-awaited return was very short lived, as he got dismissed for a four-ball duck, lbw to Chris Woakes.
The Pakistani innings never seemed settled in the day, as the English bowlers beat the outside edge of the Pakistani Batsmen on numerous occasions.
The collectivism of the English bowlers overshadowed the grittiness of the Pakistani batsmen completely as the visitors were left reeling for 126/5 at stumps of Day 1, when proceedings came to a premature end due to rain.
Day 1 SCORECARD
PAKISTAN – 126/5 (45.4 Overs, RR: 2.75)
Shan Masood lbw b Anderson 1
Abid Ali c Burns b Curran 60
Azhar Ali c Burns b Anderson 20
Babar Azam not out 25
Asad Shafiq c Sibley b Broad 5
Fawad Alam lbw b Woakes 0
Md Rizwan not out 4
Extras (b 4, lb 7) 11
TOTAL (45.4 Ov, RR: 2.75) 126/5
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Shan Masood, 2.2 ov), 2-78 (Azhar Ali, 30.5 ov), 3-102 (Abid Ali, 37.4 ov), 4-117 (Asad Shafiq, 42.3 ov), 5-120 (Fawad Alam, 43.5 ov)
BOWLING O M R W
JM Anderson 15 3 35 2
SCJ Broad 13 4 31 1
SM Curran 10 2 23 1
CR Woakes 7.4 1 26 1