Rain delays second day of England-Pakistan 2nd Test

14 Aug 2020

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England players warm-up with a football ahead of play on the second day of the second Test between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, southwest England on August 14. — AFP
England players warm-up with a football ahead of play on the second day of the second Test between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, southwest England on August 14. — AFP

Rain delayed the scheduled 11:00am local time start of the second day's play in the second Test between England and Pakistan at Southampton on Friday.

Although several England players warmed-up on the outfield playing 'headers and volleys' with a football, the pitch and square remained fully covered.

And even though the floodlights were piercing the grey skies over the Ageas Bowl, the umpires may well have decided the light was not good enough for red-ball cricket.

Pakistan, already 1-0 down in a three-match series being played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus, will resume in trouble on 126-5 after winning the toss.

The tourists will hope Babar Azam (25 not out) and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan (four not out) can bolster their total.

Pakistan lost three wickets for 18 runs in 6.1 overs on a rain-shortened first day where the humid conditions aided England's pacemen.

The tourists' plight might have been worse had not opener Abid Ali been dropped twice in the slips on the way to making 60.

Meanwhile left-hander Fawad Alam, whose extreme open stance was reminiscent of former England right-handed batsman Peter Willey, saw his near 11-year wait for a Test recall finish with a four-ball duck, his five-minute innings ending on Thursday when he was lbw on review to Chris Woakes.

Alam had replaced Shadab Khan, unlucky to be dropped after making 45 and running England ragged in a century stand with Shan Masood during Pakistan's three-wicket defeat in the first Test at Old Trafford last week.

England great James Anderson led the hosts' attack on Thursday with 2-35 from 15 overs as he moved to within eight wickets of becoming the first paceman to take 600 in Tests.

Victory in this match would see England secure their first series win over Pakistan since 2010.