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RAWALPINDI: Pakistan’s openers got among the runs on a placid pitch Friday as they took the home team to 181 without loss in reply to England’s mammoth 657 in the first Test in Rawalpindi.

At close on day two, Imam-ul-Haq (90) and Abdullah Shafique (89) were approaching hundreds when umpires called stumps with 17 overs remaining.

The home team still need 277 runs to avoid the follow-on.

The pitch was again unresponsive to bowlers as the England attack, led by James Anderson, toiled in the same manner as the home side.

Shafique was lucky to survive a confident caught behind appeal by Ollie Pope off a rising delivery. Although umpire Joel Wilson gave a soft signal for out, television official Marais Erasmus over-ruled it.

Haq, who scored a century in each innings on the same pitch in a Test against Australia in March, pushed spinner Jack Leach for two to complete 1,000 runs in his 17th Test.

Shafique, who also scored a hundred against Australia in the March test, cracked two boundaries to reach his fifth half-century in his eighth Test, highlighting his rapid progress.

Haq followed suit soon after, taking a single off Joe Root for his fifth half-century.

Record-breaking England put Pakistan to the sword in first Test

Earlier, resuming at 506-4, England added 151 runs in 125 minutes, with Harry Brook taking his overnight score of 101 to 153 – one of four centurions in the innings.

Skipper Ben Stokes (41), debutant Liam Livingstone (nine), and Brook were all dismissed by pacer Naseem Shah, who finished with 3-140.

Leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood conceded 235 for his four wickets – the most by a bowler on a Test debut.

Previously, Sri Lankan off-spinner Suraj Randiv conceded 222 against India in Colombo in 2010.

England’s total is their highest against Pakistan in all Tests, improving on their 589-9 at Manchester in 2016.

On Thursday England became the first team to score 500 runs on the opening day of a Test match, bettering Australia’s 112-year-old record of 494-6 against South Africa in Sydney.

Zak Crawley (122), Ollie Pope (108) and Ben Duckett (107) were the other centurions in the innings.

The three-match Test series is England’s first in Pakistan for 17 years, having declined to tour in the interim because of security fears.


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