Babar Azam struck a fluent unbeaten half-century as Pakistan closed a rain-shorted first day of the primary Test towards England on 139 for 2 at a dark and moist Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Babar (69 not out) confirmed all his ability and sophistication to climate an early storm from the England bowlers, and wrestle away the initiative together with the extra sedate opener Shan Masood (46 not out).
England has been very good earlier than lunch, heading into the interval with Pakistan on 53 for 2, however wayward and tepid after the break because the vacationers piled on 68 runs in 16.1 overs earlier than rain introduced an early tea.
The gamers got here again late within the day for 7.5 overs, however dangerous mild meant England needed to bowl spinners Dom Bess and Joe Root, and Pakistan have been in a position to see off their risk.
The closest the house aspect got here to a wicket was a stumping probability for Jos Buttler towards Shan off Bess, however, the bounce of the ball eluded the wicketkeeper and the left-hander survived.
Fast bowler Jofra Archer took the primary wicket within the innings, bowling Abid Ali (16) with a supply that nipped again and burst by way of the hole between bat and pad after a tentative prod from the batsman.
Seamer Chris Woakes then claimed the massive scalp of touring captain Azhar Ali, trapped leg earlier than wicket for a duck, which left the guests teetering at 43 for 2 because the ball whistled about within the gloom.
Yet they have been unable to hammer dwelling that benefits, as a substitute dropping their line, size and depth in a limp post-lunch session as Babar and Shan added an unbeaten 96 for the second wicket.
Pakistan had gained the toss and elected to bat, with England captain Root admitting he would have finished the identical, hopeful of utilising a sporting wicket late within the sport that’s anticipated to take the flip.
It is for that cause they’ve chosen a pair of leg-spinners in Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah, however, will wish to give them one thing to bowl at by constructing a sizeable first innings complete.