The pitch in Rawalpindi received a lot of criticism during the first Test match between England and Pakistan. Earlier this year, the pitch had been given a demerit point after a Test between Pakistan and Australia had ended in a stale draw. The surface at Rawalpindi is hardly assisting any bowlers, there is no help in movements for pacers and nothing for the spinners too.
England scored a mammoth 657 in the first innings in just 101 overs while Pakistan, in reply, are also motoring well without the loss of any wicket. Cricket fans from Pakistan have been left unimpressed with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja coming under fire for the pitch preparation. Raja addressed the situation admitting that it was indeed a very ‘dull pitch’.
“It was just brilliant batting. The only time Pakistan did not concede 30 runs in a 5-minute spell was one they were taking DRS. It was fabulous – the best advertisement for how to absolutely nail a dull pitch with exciting batting,” Raja told BBC Test Match Special.
England made full use of the dead pitch
Four England players scored centuries on the opening day of the match for the first time in history, after tons by Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, and Harry Brook, as Pakistan struggled to pick up wickets during the day.
Earlier, Ben Stokes had won the toss and opted to bat in Rawalpindi and England went off to a flier, with the opening duo of Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett constructing a 233-run partnership for the first wicket. While Crawley smashed 122 off 111 deliveries which includes 21 fours, Duckett scored 107 in 110 balls smashing 15 fours.
The explosive approach from England continued even after their dismissals, as wicketkeeper-batter Ollie Pope also put up a century scoring 108 runs off 104 deliveries with 14 fours. However, the world no.1 ranked batter and former England Captain Joe Root was dismissed on 23 runs. Coming at no.6 Harry Brook took the charge and played a sensational knock of 153 runs off 116 deliveries including 19 fours and 5 maximums.
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