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Flashpoints: England v Pakistan, first Test, day 1

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Here’s the lowdown on the first day’s play of the first Test between Pakistan and England at Lord’s on Thursday May 24, 2018 – a day that belonged to the tourists.

England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat first in overcast conditions. Alastair Cook anchored partnerships with England’s middle order as the hosts went in to tea at 165-5, but during the third session the hosts lost their last five wickets for just 19 runs to be dismissed for 184.

In reply, Stuart Broad struck early to reduce Pakistan to 12/1 but Haris Sohail and Azhar Ali resisted as the tourists ended the day on 50/1, trailing England by 134 runs.

Ebbs & Flows: How day 1 unfolded

Sarfraz Ahmed and Joe Root shake hands after the toss on day one of the first Test between England and Pakistan

  • England opted to bat, but were dealt an early blow when Mohammad Abbas breached Mark Stoneman’s defences and gave Pakistan impetus in the fourth over. England 12-1.
  • Hasan Ali nabbed Joe Root, who drove at a wide delivery outside off-stump, before also finding the edge of Dawid Malan with a vicious out-swinger to leave England tottering at 43-3.
  • Cook, who struggled for runs for most of the winter, found form and took England to lunch without any further damage, at 72-3.
  • The England opener brought up his 56th half-century after lunch before Jonny Bairstow was bowled by Faheem Ashraf.
  • Cook and Ben Stokes added 47 for the fifth wicket, but just when they were starting to look settled, Mohammad Amir bowled a searing out-swinger to beat Cook’s outside edge. Jos Buttler and Stokes, England’s chief entertainers, survived until tea.

  • The third session proved hellish for the hosts, who lost their final five wickets for just 19 runs, as they were bundled out for just 184.
  • Both Abbas and Ali bowled beautifully for four wickets each, while only three England batsmen made more than 20.
  • Pakistan stuttered in their reply as Imam-ul-Haq was trapped lbw by Stuart Broad in the sixth over to reduce Pakistan to 12/1.
  • However, Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail took Pakistan to stumps without any further damage, at 50/1, ensuring the hosts had the better of day one of the first Test.

Moment of the day

Dom Bess received his Test cap before the start of play, in what the Somerset off-spinner will be hoping will be the first of many. England need an immediate impact from Bess with the ball on day two.

Man of the hour

Cook needed every ounce of his experience to overcome tricky conditions on day one at Lord’s.

Alastair Cook brought up his 56th Test half-century but will still be disappointed that he couldn’t usher England towards a more respectable total. It was a typical gutsy knock in tricky conditions. Oh, and he also broke yet another record when he strode out to the middle for his 153rd consecutive Test.

Day to forget

Mark Stoneman, who’s still very much in his England trial period, was dismissed early for four, which prompted a top-order collapse.

Tomorrow’s prospects

Pakistan did well to get to stumps just one-down, as Sohail and Azhar Ali kept the England fast bowlers at bay. Pakistan already have 50 runs on the board and will look to surpass England’s under-par total, but it won’t be straightforward given the bowler-friendly conditions. England will have to draw on home advantage and the spirit of local support to fire up their bowlers tomorrow morning. It will be a big session in this Test match.

Day 1 ratings

Pakistan: 8/10
Pakistan’s bowlers did exceptionally well to bowl out the hosts on the first day, comfortably winning both the first and third sessions.  They did lose a wicket in reply, but remained firmly in the driving seat at the end of the first day.

England: 4/10
The first day of the summer did not go according to plan for England, but the form of Cook bodes well for the rest of the series. The rest of the batting line-up had a day to forget.

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