In a spectacular display of aggressive batting in the first Test in Rawalpindi, four England batters scored tons against Pakistan on Thursday as the visitors piled up a record 506-4 on the opening day. Openers Zak Crawley (122) and Ben Duckett (107) set the tone with quick-fire tons against a hapless Pakistan bowling attack before Ollie Pope (108) and Harry Brook (101 not out) compounded their misery. Ben Stokes was also not out, on 34, when bad light stopped play, having helped England break a 112-year-old record for the most runs on the first day of a Test – beating Australia’s 494-6 against South Africa at Sydney.
England’s performance came after a day when a virus infection in their camp raised a possibility of the Test match to be postponed. Several players experienced vomiting and diarrhoea. However, they have recovered fully it seems.
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar trolled the Pakistan team after they conceded over 500 runs on the first day of the Test match.
“Kharab tabiyat pay hamara yeh haal kia hai England k players nay. Yeh theek hotay toh kya kertay (They did this when they were not fully fit. Had they been fit, I wonder what would have happenned),” Akhtar wrote in a tweet.
“Nothing against the fast bowlers. They are T20 fast bowlers. They will need time to become Test fast bowlers,” said Akhtar in a video uploaded alongside.
Kharab tabiyat pay hamara yeh haal kia hai England k players nay. Yeh theek hotay toh kya kertay. pic.twitter.com/rr8fUhBgzY— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) December 1, 2022
After winning the toss England went straight into “Bazball” mode, the brand of freewheeling, aggressive batting taken from the nickname of head coach Brendon McCullum.
England’s fiery batting — with 73 boundaries and three sixes — lifted the gloom over the start, which hung in the balance Wednesday after several of the tourists came down with a mystery virus.
As if the punishment from the top three wasn’t enough, Brook — playing only his second Test — cracked six consecutive boundaries off one over from debutant spinner Saud Shakeel.
He is only the fourth batsman to score six consecutive boundaries in a Test, following West Indians Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan, and Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya.