Sat, 04 Feb 2023

Rawalpindi [Pakistan], December 1 (ANI): England posted an all-time highest score of 506-4 in just 75 overs on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Openers Zak Crawly (122) and Ben Duckett (107) set the tone with swashbuckling tons before Ollie Pop (108) and Harry Brook (101) rubbed more salt to Pakistan wounds.

England surpassed the previous highest score in a single day of a Test match of 494/6 made by Australia against South Africa in 1910.

The Englishmen scored at a stunning run rate of 6.75 through the opening day of the first Test.

Earlier in the day, England skipper Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to bat first.

The openers justified the skipper's call at the toss, taking the Pakistan attack to the cleaners. The openers put up a stand of 233 in just 35.4 overs. They scored at a staggering strike rate of 6.58 runs per over.

It was the highest run rate in an opening partnership of over 200 runs in Test cricket.

Crawley made an early statement of intent, hitting three boundaries in the opening over of the game from Pakistani speedster Naseem Shah. He reached his half-century in just 38 balls.

The lanky opener smashed 21 boundaries on the way to a third career Test ton of just 111 balls.

Handed a debut Test cap earlier in the day, Pakistan slow left-armer Saud Shakeel had a forgettable outing with the ball, as he was spanked for six fours in an over by middle-order batter Harry Brook. It was the fifth time that a batsman had hit hit six fours in an over of a Test match.

England's fast and furious unfinished innings on the opening day at Pindi was studded with 73 boundaries and three maximums.

There was no respite for Pakistan bowlers as all toiled away with little rewards to show for their efforts in the wickets column. All of them conceded in excess of six runs an over.

Pakistan's main strike bowler, Naseem Shah, bled 96 runs in 15 overs. The only successful bowler for the hosts was debutant leg spinner Zahid Mahmood, with figures of 2-160.

With England on course for a mammoth first-innings total, Pakistan will have to come up with something special to save the game from here.

At the close of the day's play, England had their skipper Stokes unbeaten on 34. (ANI)

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