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Pakistan vs England: Batters have a field day as visitors post highest total on opening day in Test history

Ollie Pope and Harry Brook

Rawalpindi, Dec 1: England batters made a grind of Pakistan bowlers to the hilt as the touring side posted a record 506 for the loss of four wickets on the opening day of the first Test here at Rawalpindi. The records tumbled as four English batters slammed centuries to post the highest total on the first day in the history of a Test match.

It looked like an ODI innings from the English batters as they lost just four wickets in the 75 overs of the play that was possible but ended up creating several records on the opening day of the three-match series. England - who are setting new benchmarks with the batting under the watchful eyes of their coach Brendon McCullum - have been setting up milestones with their aggressive brand of cricket dubbed as 'Bazball'.

England rewrite history

With this, England entered their name in the record books by breaking the 112-year-old record. The previous record for most runs on the opening day of a Test match was back in 1910 when 494 runs were scored in a game between Australia and South Africa.

Four Centuries on Day 1

Amongst their six batters - who stepped into the middle on a placid Rawalpindi track - only Joe Root failed to dominate after the run machine from Yorkshire was dismissed for 23. Captain Ben Stokes (batting at 34* off 15) is the only English batter who hasn't posted a ton. Had the play lasted for the entire 90 overs, Stokes would also have touched the triple-figure mark as the left-handed came out all guns blazing in the final session of play.

Zak Crawley and Ben Ducket give a superb start

Crawley and Ducket set the tone for tourists

Openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett gave the virus-hit England a fine start as they shared a stand of 233 runs for the first wicket. Crawley - the left-handed batter - survived an lbw television referral on 99 to make 122 off 111 balls with 21 boundaries. His hundred came off just 86 balls making it the fastest Test century for an England opener.

Duckett - who was recalled into the Test fold after a gap of six years - made 107 off 110 balls and hit 15 fours to raise his maiden Test century. Pakistan, though, hit back with three wickets in the second session, but not before Crawley and Duckett combined in a better-than-run-a-ball 233 stand to underline coach Brendon McCullum's aggressive approach in Test cricket.

Pope and Brook frustrate Pakistan bowlers

Later, Ollie Pope (108 off 104 balls) and Harry Brook (101* off 81 balls) shared a stand of 176 runs for the fourth wicket. Pope smashed 14 classical boundaries while Brook - who owns a reputation as a big-hitter - hit 14 fours and a couple of maximums in his unbeaten knock.

A missed sweep off Zahid Mahmood (2-160) ended Duckett's knock for 107 as he was trapped leg before. While Crawley (122) soon became debutant Haris Rauf's (1-78) first Test victim.

Root (23) fell cheaply after a swift half-century stand with Pope but that was Pakistan's only real spell on top as the latter piled on the runs with Brook. Pope went on to celebrate his third Test ton before falling leg-before for Mohammad Ali's (1-96) maiden Test scalp.

Brook, meanwhile, went on to make his first Test ton as England became the first team to make 500 runs on day one of a Test in what was a glorious display of batting which is being dubbed as 'Bazball'.

England - who are playing a Test match on Pakistani soil after a gap of 17 years - couldn't have asked for a better start. By the time the umpire's stopped the play 15 overs before the scheduled stoppage time due to bad light, the tourists had already posted 506 for 4 in 75 overs.

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Story first published: Thursday, December 1, 2022, 18:57 [IST]
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