Babar Azam shines between showers as Pakistan make solid start in first Test | The Guardian

First Test, day one: Pakistan 139-2Tourists dig in after early wickets on rain-affected dayThere was not much play at Old Trafford but there was enough to alarm, delight and tantalise – when Babar Azam was on strike. He may have alarmed the English bowlers with the crispness of his stroke play, which, in turn, delighted those in his dressing room and for the rest of us looking on there is the tantalising prospect of witnessing a batsman, who is on the cusp of turning the fab four of Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Joe Root into a quintet.Babar came to the crease before lunch when Pakistan were hellbent on survival. After 24 balls he had two runs. Given another hour’s batting after the break he had 52 from 71 deliveries and he had peppered the boundaries against all the English bowlers. By then Root may well have been glad of an interruption to allow himself, his bowlers and the brains trust to gather their thoughts. They came back almost three hours later for 7.5 overs, during which time Babar advanced to 69 not out and Pakistan to 139 for two. It was their day. Continue reading…

There was not much play at Old Trafford but there was enough to alarm, delight and tantalise – when Babar Azam was on strike. He may have alarmed the English bowlers with the crispness of his stroke play, which, in turn, delighted those in his dressing room and for the rest of us looking on there is the tantalising prospect of witnessing a batsman, who is on the cusp of turning the fab four of Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Joe Root into a quintet.

Babar came to the crease before lunch when Pakistan were hellbent on survival. After 24 balls he had two runs. Given another hour’s batting after the break he had 52 from 71 deliveries and he had peppered the boundaries against all the English bowlers. By then Root may well have been glad of an interruption to allow himself, his bowlers and the brains trust to gather their thoughts. They came back almost three hours later for 7.5 overs, during which time Babar advanced to 69 not out and Pakistan to 139 for two. It was their day.

Continue reading…


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