Azhar’s duck in Pak’s shaky start | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 06, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 06, 2020

Azhar’s duck in Pak’s shaky start

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali was out for a duck as the first Test against England got under way at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

At lunch, the tourists were 53-2, with opener Shan Masood having batted through a tough session to be 27 not out and Babar Azam unbeaten on four.

With two leg-spinners in Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan in Pakistan's side, there was a logic in Azhar's decision to bat first after he won the toss, with his slow bowlers likely to be more effective on a wearing pitch.

Nevertheless, the overcast skies and piercing floodlights made life tough for opening batsmen with conditions favouring England's four-man pace attack, who had been involved in a recent 2-1 series win over the West Indies. In contrast, Pakistan's preparation for this three-match series amounted to just two intra-squad warm-up games.

Shan Masood and fellow opener Abid Ali did well to survive the first hour against an unchanged England.

James Anderson, closing in on his 600th Test wicket, took the new ball on his Lancashire home ground in the company of longstanding team-mate Stuart Broad, fresh from becoming just the seventh bowler to take 500 Test wickets.

But it was Jofra Archer who made the breakthrough as he cleverly bowled Abid Ali with a full-length delivery for 16.

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