England tear into Pakistan’s bowling attack to plunder 506-4 on Day One of opening Test in Rawalpindi
England’s Zak Crawley celebrates reaching his century during the first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Four England batsmen scored hundreds Thursday as the visitors piled up a record 506-4 on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi.
Openers Zak Crawley (122) and Ben Duckett (107) set the tone with quick-fire tons against a hapless Pakistan bowling attack before Ollie Pope (108) and Harry Brook (101 not out) compounded the hosts’ misery.
First day runs record
Ben Stokes was also not out, on 34, when bad light stopped play, having helped England break a 112-year-old record for the most runs on the first day of a Test—beating Australia’s 494-6 against South Africa at Sydney.
It was also the first time four batters scored hundreds on day one of a Test. After winning the toss England went straight into “Bazball” mode, the brand of freewheeling, aggressive play taken from the nickname of head coach Brendon McCullum. England’s fiery batting—with 73 boundaries and three sixes—lifted the gloom over the start, which hung in the balance Wednesday after several of the tourists came down with a mystery virus.
As if the punishment from the top three wasn’t enough, Brook—playing only his second Test—cracked six consecutive boundaries off one over from debutant spinner Saud Shakeel.
He is only the fourth batsman to score six consecutive boundaries in a Test, following West Indians Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan, and Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya.
Brook scores maiden ton
Brook reached his maiden century off just 80 balls, capping a highly entertaining day for a crowd of 6,000 that included around 150 “Barmy Army” fans.
He added 176 for the fourth wicket with Pope, who fell to pacer Mohammad Ali. Pakistan fought back briefly in the second session when they dismissed Duckett, Crawley and Joe Root (23) in the space of 53 runs, but that was shortlived. England have set their sights on even more runs. “It was obviously a very good wicket to bat on,” said Crawley. “Hopefully, we can go on tomorrow and get more runs.”
Debutant leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood was the most successful Pakistan bowler with 2-160 on an unresponsive wicket.
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