41st over: Pakistan 132-3 (Shakeel 44, Rizwan 26) target 343 A flirt with Joe Root, Rizwan sweeps a bad ball going down leg for four. The express is building up steam.
40th over: Pakistan 127-3 (Shakeel 43, Rizwan 22) target 343 Shakeel dances down and drills Leach straight for four.
“Good morning Tanya,” I’ve been waiting John Starbuck.
It seems Dawn must have got stuck in Pakistan as there’s no appearance so far in GB. Still, she usually puts in a shift.”
Another hour or so? Still very black in Manchester.
39th over: Pakistan 122-3 (Shakeel 38, Rizwan 22) target 343 A long delay while the ball is changed. James Anderson turns his nose up immediately after viewing the new pill. Stokes intercedes with the umpire on Anderson’s behalf, but to no avail. Jacks continues and Rizwan has a swipe, and is beaten next ball going for the big one. I feel like Rizwan’s ego may get the better of him against Jacks – oh but here we go, he winds up and pings him for six.
38th over: Pakistan 115-3 (Shakeel 37, Rizwan 16) target 343 Pakistan return to the shell, a Leach maiden.
“On an early morning ferry between the two Danish islands of Lolland and Langeland… in pretty rough seas…” Richard Naylor, you have my sympathies. What time is dawn?
“Could I possibly impose on you to decode the picture from the 32nd over? What does that field setting say about what the bowler is likely to bowl, and what they’re hoping the batter will do?”
Field placings are not my specialist subject but I believe they were hoping to induce the drive.
37th over: Pakistan 115-3 (Shakeel 37, Rizwan 16) target 343 Pakistan suddenly looking for singles and searching for gaps. A nice flick from Shakeel brings a couple from the last ball of Jacks’ over.
36th over: Pakistan 111-3 (Shakeel 34, Rizwan 15) target 343 Leach, a beauty passes the bat, before Rizwan tucks into a long hop, sending it spinning through the covers. An sprawling piece of fielding on the rope cuts off another boundary.
35th over: Pakistan 104-3 (Shakeel 33, Rizwan 9) target 343 Rizwan’s previous record for being marooned on 0 was 13 balls. And, at last, to his 24th ball, he is off the mark with an ugly slog-sweep for four off Will Jacks, and then he advances down the pitch and screams the ball over midwicket. He goes for the third consecutive boundary, a sweep but gets in a hyperactive muddle. A captain’s whisper must have been served up with the drinks.
Good morning Becky Chantry!
“My early morning thought is that I wish I was still in Cyprus sipping champagne rather than preparing to get back to work!
“It’s a positive start for England this morning with both Anderson (as always) and Robinson keeping it tight. With the new way England are approaching test cricket I think I’d almost be more surprised if Rehan Ahmed doesn’t get his debut in the next Test”
It definitely has that vibe – though I guess Ben Foakes will return to take the gloves from Pope, so maybe England will rely on Root’s twirlers to go alongside Jacks.
34th over: Pakistan 93-3 (Shakeel 31, Rizwan 0) target 343 Pakistan have seen off Anderson for now, as Leach takes his turn. Rizwan dips to cut, but remains 0, off 23. A maiden and we take DRINKS.
33rd over: Pakistan 93-3 (Shakeel 31, Rizwan 0) target 343 A huge lbw shout from Robinson against Rizwan, who is hit on the back pad. He scampers a leg bye while the England brains trust consult. Robinson wants the review but Pope reckons it is legside – he’s right.
Sky flash up the world Test championship table, where England, incredibly, languish in seventh, Pakistan in fifth, and Australia stretch ahead at the top..
32nd over: Pakistan 92-3 (Shakeel 31, Rizwan 0) target 343 From slip, Root works on the ball, carefully, carefully, like a parent wiping a baby’s milky mouth. Anderson doing what Anderson does: 8-4-9-1,
If you’re in the mood, do send me your Monday morning thoughts.
31st over: Pakistan 92-3 (Shakeel 31, Rizwan 0) target 343 England crowding Shakeel for the drive, four catches on the off side. And drive he does, collected by Jack Leach. Rizwan has 0 off 12 balls. And, ooof! Shakeel pushes with concrete boots and an edge flies past Crawley and gully. This is superb by Robinson.
“Very relieved to see that in these changing times you can still enjoy an early morning cuppa without being compelled to promote the brand – unlike a certain former Sky commentator who is reduced to incongruously shilling for the local broadcaster …” Yet Brian, he does it so well…
30th over: Pakistan 91-3 (Shakeel 30, Rizwan 0) target 343 A run! Nothing flash, just a dart and a quick single which beats Keaton Jennings’ throw home.
“Morning Tanya, morning all (UK time),” Lovely to hear from you Em Jackson!
“When you’re just starting work and there’s still Day 5 cricket – luckily due to time zones I admit – it’s a great way to start the day, coffee in hand and bagel in the toaster.
“With regards to the cricket, for my 2 Pakistani Rupee, its 2 wickets and a collapse vs Pakistan getting the required runs. . . . . – but I’ve known to be wrong, very wrong.
“Also, thanks to you and the team for the text commentary along with TMS its made for an enjoyable weekend.”
29th over: Pakistan 90-3 (Shakeel 29, Rizwan 0) target 343 Stokes pulls in three close-ish catches on the off side, waiting for the Rizwan extravagance. He resists.
28th over: Pakistan 90-3 (Shakeel 29, Rizwan 0) target 343 Pakistan have ground to rather a halt here after Imam’s departure and in face of immaculate bowling. Will it get to them? Anderson continues to poke and probe.
A question – is chai the morning drink of choice in Pakistan?
27th over: Pakistan 90-3 (Shakeel 29, Rizwan 0) target 343 Rizwan does some gardening and flattens down an invisible blade of grass or two, and I am briefly lost with the pleasure of slurping my tea. A brisk pull brings Shakeel a run.
26th over: Pakistan 89-3 (Shakeel 28, Rizwan 0) target 343 Up in the shade of the Pakistan balcony, Azhar Ali collects his bat, but it is Rizwan who appears on the field. Another maiden, and the important wicket of Imam ul Haq, serial collector of second innings runs.
An email wings by. Good morning Brian Withington!
“Sad news for Liam Livingstone returning home, but perhaps not too surprising given the way he was hobbling at the crease yesterday. Let’s hope it’s nothing too serious.”
Yes, very unlucky, poor thing. I wonder if England will gamble on Rehan Ahmed in his absence.
A great catch by Pope, tumbling to his right, as Imam twists end edges down the leg side. Imam pulls off his helmet and trudges off.
25th over: Pakistan 89-2 (Shakeel 28, Imam ul Haq 48) target 343 Another maiden, another testing over from Robinson, as Jacks warms up in the deep.
Phil Morton asks about the TMS overseas link. I’m afraid there isn’t one for this Test Phil as the overseas link apparently only works from the UK. An overseas OBOer was following through the Pakistan website here, if that works for you.
24th over: Pakistan 89-2 (Shakeel 28, Imam ul Haq 48) target 343 A morning maiden from Jimmy.
Confirmation that poor Liam Livingstone, who twisted his knee in the field, has been ruled out of the rest of the Test series against Pakistan with a right knee injury.
Livingstone, who made his Test debut here at Rawalpindi, will return to the UK on Tuesday and commence rehab with the ECB and Lancashire medical teams.
At this stage, England have yet to make a decision to call up a replacement. Leicestershire’s teenage legspinner Rehan Ahmed lurks in the shadows.
23rd over: Pakistan 89-2 (Shakeel 28, Imam ul Haq 48) Robinson continues to press on a sun baked pitch. The short outfield grass is browny/green, as Robinson tries over and around the wicket.
22nd over: Pakistan 84-2 (Shakeel 24, Imam ul Haq 47) Some movement you say? Jimmy Anderson prepares, immaculate in white. Four screams through the covers, but otherwise another testing over.
21st over: Pakistan 84-2 (Shakeel 24, Imam ul Haq 47) An excellent over from Robinson. Ball immediately passes and Imam has a nibble.A four next ball from a push and an outside edge as Jerusalem rings round Pindi. A spruced up delivery has him all a twist. Then another one beats the bat. Crawley comes in to join Root in the slips and Imam finishes with an immaculate forward defensive.
Ollie Robinson has the ball in his giant paw….
Nasser speaks. He plumps for 40 per cent England, 30 per cent Pakistan, 30 per cent a draw.
It’s chilly and dark in my living room, but there is some good news for Pakistan – Azhar Ali is fit to play today. Quickly putting the kettle on, play starts in five!
Good morning! From the depths of the dullest of draws, England have found a spring and drawn hope. Thanks to a Sunday of fast-forward batting – from Joe “ambidextrous” Root, Harry “bright young thing” Brook and Will “what a debut” Jacks, and a swaggeringly bold declaration by Ben Stokes, we have a game on our hands.
Pakistan were set a generous 343 in four sessions. By stumps they had lost their talisman Babar Azam, foxed by some short stuff by Stokes, Azhar Ali, retired hurt, and Abdullah Shafique, done by Ollie Robinson. Pakistan will restart in the morning needing another 263 on a pitch in which the daemons are largely imaginary, but England’s aura lies heavy.
Play starts at 445am GMT. Set the alarm and join us on the sofa for the next chapter of Stokes’ crazy England adventure.