Shafique and Imam give Pakistan strong start in reply to England's mammoth 657 all out

By Sports Desk December 02, 2022

Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq gave Pakistan a great start in their reply to England's record-breaking exploits with the bat on day two of the first Test.

Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Harry Brook scored centuries as the tourists piled on the runs on a historic first day in Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

After resuming on a staggering 506-4 in their first Test in Pakistan for almost 17 years, England posted 657 all out from 101 overs on Friday - Brook top scoring with 153 off 116 balls and taking a record 27 off an over.

Imam (90 not out) and Shafique (89no) then cashed in on a flat wicket, taking Pakistan to 181 without loss at the close on another gruelling day for the bowlers - trailing by 476 runs.

Ben Stokes hit the first ball of the day he faced from Naseem Shah (3-140) down the ground for six, but was cleaned up off the final delivery of an eventful opening over of the day.

Liam Livingstone fell cheaply, but Brook continued to show his class, brutally taking Zahid Mahmood (4-235) apart before he was removed by Naseem.

Ollie Robinson (37) and Will Jacks (30) also chipped in, but there was no joy for England with the ball as Imam and Shafique played superbly in control knocks.

Stand-in wicketkeeper Pope appeared to have put down a chance to dismiss Imam for 11 and caught Shafique when he had 54 to his name, but the opener was given a reprieve after a replay showed the ball bounced before lodging in his glove.

A concern for England would be the loss of Livingstone to an ankle injury that kept the all-rounder off the field and prevented him from bowling.

The brilliance of Brook

Making only his second Test appearance, Brook carried on where he left off on day one in a masterful knock as England made their second-highest Test score overseas.

He brutally took debutant Zahid apart to break a record of 24, which he shared with Ian Botham for less than a day after matching that on Thursday, for the most runs scored by an England batter in a Test over.

Brook struck Zahid for two sixes and three fours before scoring three off the final ball of that incredible over. He only faced 115 balls in the fastest 150 by an England player in the longest format and the fourth-quickest in Test history, hitting five sixes and 19 fours.

Shafique and Imam build strong foundations

After such a punishing time in the field, Shafique and Imam were able to enjoy themselves at the crease in a run-fest.

England had the odd half chance, but the openers looked comfortable as they saw off the new ball with apparent ease and were closing in on centuries at the close.

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