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England Struggle on Day 1 in UAE

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Pakistan ended the day 286-4 after winning the toss and choosing to bat on day 1 of this first test against England in the UAE

In conditions and a surface made for batting it was a crucial toss to win and England’s bowlers struggled to find any penetration, claiming only 4 wickets in 3 sessions. Shoaib Malik ended the day 124* not out and Younus Khan became Pakistan’s record run scorer as England’s opponents put in a solid batting performance in the favourable conditions.

Play started at 7am UTC with Pakistan winning a crucial toss and selecting to bat. The was flat and dry and the sun was out in full force making for perfect batting conditions. Alistair Cook and his men stepped into the field for a long day in the circle.

England were hoping to bat before the day’s close and got off to a fantastic start when Jimmy Anderson took a bizarre wicket in the second over. Anderson bowled a short ball to Masood who was completely fooled and his dodge was too late as the ball struck him on the grill and ricocheted onto his stumps. He was dismissed for 2 leaving the hosts on 5-1. It was seemingly a brilliant start for England and could have much improved as Anderson was denied a second wicket in the 7th over. An absolute peach forced thick edge from Hafeez which went to Ian Bell at a simple height but the ball went to ground. Bell’s much improved catching in the Ashes seemed to have left him.

Hafeez made England’s men pay by putting on 168 with Malik. Shoaib Malik, playing his first test match in 5 years was batting with confidence in the perfect conditions. But it seemed England had finally made a break through when he was caught off the bowling of Stuart Broad for 40, only to have it then chalked off for a no ball. The sloppiness which cost England a number of wickets in the Ashes was resurfacing here. Hafeez looked destined for a century and reached 98 before Stokes finally got the breakthrough, pinning him LBW just before tea. The wicket left Pakistan on 173-2 at the break.

ian bell pakistan shoaib malik Younus Khan

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