Live Updates

  • 3:29 PM IST

    Right then! The rain has stopped and we are having a prompt start. The England players make their way out to the middle, followed by Shan Masood and Babar Azam. 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled in the day, weather permitting.

  • 2:59 PM IST

    Weather report – There is a slight drizzle going on in Manchester but there is still around 30 minutes to go for the scheduled start. The weather is forecasted to be better than Day 1. Let’s hope that the rain blows away and we have a prompt start.

  • 2:51 PM IST

    Welcome everyone! A shortened Day 1 belonged to Pakistan, with Babar Azam looking at his best. Shan Masood was given two lives by Jos Buttler but full credit should be given to the Pakistani batter for sticking it out in the middle. On Day 2, Pakistan would look to continue the good work and post a good score on the board. England, on the other hand, started well with the ball but went flat after Lunch to give Pakistan the advantage. They need to perform much better with the ball and pick up quick wickets to regain some control. Will Pakistan continue to impress or will England make a comeback?

  • 2:50 PM IST

    … Day 2, Session 1 …

  • 11:01 PM IST

    Pakistan will hope that they can bat long and set the base for them to score a big first innings total. England, on the other hand, were poor with the ball and they need to break this stand quickly. A big total by Pakistan in the first innings is not what they want as the visitors have two spinners and the hosts have to bat last on this wicket. An important first session awaits us on Day 2. Also, the weather is a lot better on Thursday. Do join us at 1100 Local (1000 GMT) for the second day’s play. Until then, cheers and take care.

  • 10:59 PM IST

    Pakistan’s day in the end! The stand between Masood and Azam has given them the advantage. They were in trouble when they lost both the Alis but a stand which is just 4 short of a ton has taken them to safer shores. Babar Azam and Shan Masood have played the bowlers with ease and are looking comfortable in the middle.

  • 10:52 PM IST

    So the inevitable has happened! It is STUMPS on Day 1! Just the 49 overs were manageable today but we got to witness some good Test match action in those overs.

  • 10:44 PM IST

    The umpires have checked for bad light and they deem the conditions unfit to play cricket. They are taking the players off. Root is having a discussion with the umpires but he has to go back. Probably that will be the end of the day.

  • 10:42 PM IST

    48.6 Dom Bess to Shan Masood, no run, Flatter one outside off, Masood cuts it to point.

  • 10:42 PM IST

    48.5 Dom Bess to Shan Masood, no run, Loopy ball on middle, Masood defends it back to the bowler.

  • 10:41 PM IST

    48.4 Dom Bess to Babar Azam, 1 run, Excellent batting! Short on middle, Babar tucks it to deep square leg for a single.

  • 10:41 PM IST

    48.3 Dom Bess to Babar Azam, FOUR, FOUR! Excellent use of the feet from Azam! Tossed up ball on middle, Azam dances down the track and lifts it over mid on and into the fence.

  • 10:40 PM IST

    48.2 Dom Bess to Babar Azam, no run, Quicker one on off, Azam defends it out onto the pitch.

  • 10:40 PM IST

    48.1 Dom Bess to Babar Azam, no run, Floated on middle, Azam flicks it to square leg.

  • 10:40 PM IST

    47.6 Joe Root to Babar Azam, 1 run, Floated delivery on middle, Azam flicks it through mid-wicket for a single.

  • 10:39 PM IST

    47.5 Joe Root to Babar Azam, FOUR, FOUR! Nicely swept! On middle, Azam sweeps it towards fine leg for a boundary.

  • 10:39 PM IST

    47.4 Joe Root to Shan Masood, 1 run, Full delivery on off, Masood drives it through mid off for a run.

  • 10:39 PM IST

    47.3 Joe Root to Shan Masood, no run, Loopy delivery on off, Masood defends it off the front foot.

  • 10:38 PM IST

    47.2 Joe Root to Babar Azam, 1 run, Tossed up delivery on middle, Azam flicks it through mid-wicket for a single.

  • 10:38 PM IST

    47.1 Joe Root to Babar Azam, no run, Floated delivery on leg, Azam flicks it to square leg.

  • 10:37 PM IST

    46.6 Dom Bess to Shan Masood, no run, Tossed up on off, Masood defends it to point.

  • 10:36 PM IST

    46.5 Dom Bess to Shan Masood, no run, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.

  • 10:36 PM IST

    46.4 Dom Bess to Shan Masood, no run, MISSED STUMPING! Masood gets another opportunity! He wwas dropped earlier in the game and now has been given another opportunity from Buttler. Poor keeping but it was probably the extra bounce that did Jos in. Floated ball outside off, Masood comes down the track and then looks to heave it away but misses. It bounces a little extra. It hits the shoulder of Buttler and goes to the off side. Masood is itching to get to his fifty it seems. There is no need to go for that shot after playing so well.

  • 10:36 PM IST

    46.3 Dom Bess to Babar Azam, 1 run, On middle, Azam comes down the track and flicks it through square leg for a single.

  • 10:35 PM IST

    46.2 Dom Bess to Babar Azam, no run, Loopy delivery on off, Azam defends it off the front foot.

  • 10:34 PM IST

    46.1 Dom Bess to Babar Azam, no run, Flighted delivery on middle, Azam flicks it towards short leg.

  • 10:34 PM IST

    Not sure why England are willing to continue at the moment! They are forced to bowl spin from both ends and that is something Pakistan won’t mind. They are probably just playing into the hands of the visitors.

  • 10:34 PM IST

    45.6 Joe Root to Babar Azam, 1 run, Tossed up ball on middle, Azam nudges it towards mid-wicket for a single.

  • 10:33 PM IST

    45.5 Joe Root to Babar Azam, no run, Floated on middle, Azam defends it out onto the pitch.

  • 10:33 PM IST

    45.4 Joe Root to Babar Azam, no run, Flatter one on the pads, Azam tucks it to square leg.

England vs Pakistan 2020, 1st Test, Manchester, Highlights: Babar Azam Fifty Headlines Rain-curtailed Day 1
Babar Azam reacts after reaching his fifty. (AFP)

Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of Day 1 of the opening Test between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford, Manchester.

PREVIEW 

England know another sluggish start to a Test campaign could prove costly as they go in search of a first series win over Pakistan in a decade.

Wednesday sees a three-match contest get underway with the first Test at Old Trafford.

And while England can point to recent series victories over most of their rivals, their last such success against Pakistan was back in 2010. That campaign, however, was overshadowed by a ‘spot-fixing’ scandal at Lord’s which led to bans and jail terms for then Pakistan captain Salman Butt as well as pacemen Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

England have lost the first Test in eight of their last 10 series — including during last month’s 2-1 win over the West Indies that marked international cricket’s return from the coronavirus lockdown.

It is a statistic they are all well aware of, with in-form England pacemen Chris Woakes admitting: “I’d love to be able to put my finger on it and I’m sure the management and the team would as well. It’s not coincidence but it’s almost, it is just a coincidence that we can keep losing that first Test match.

“But we want to put that right,” he added, with the eyes of the global cricket community set to turn to Manchester in the absence of any other major international fixtures outside of England amid the pandemic.

Both of Pakistan’s past two series in England — 2016 and 2018 — ended in draws, which should encourage the tourists this time even though they go into the first Test on the back of just a couple of intra-squad warm-up fixtures compared to their ‘match-hardened’ hosts.

‘Complete bowler’

“We’ve had good preparations and team bonding,” said Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq. “Still we feel there is always a slight nervousness when you just play Test cricket after a long, long time (away),” he added ahead of his side’s first Test in six months.

Misbah accepted that how his batsmen coped with James Anderson and Stuart Broad — who now both have more than 500 Test wickets each after Broad reached the landmark against the West Indies — would go a long way to determining the outcome of the series.

But the former Pakistan captain was also excited by a pace attack that includes the youthful promise of teenage rising star Naseem Shah as well as the accurate Mohammad Abbas, and towering left-armer Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Naseem has impressed Pakistan fast-bowling great turned bowling Waqar Younis and Misbah so much when they saw him in action in Lahore, the coach said they had no qualms about fast-tracking a “complete bowler” into Pakistan’s side in Australia last year.