Partnership between Misbah and Sarfraz holds the key for Pakistan
The honours were even at the end of first day’s play between Pakistan and England at the historic Lord’s cricket ground . Pakistan, having won the toss, amassed 282 runs for the loss of six wickets on a pitch which had no demons in it.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who is still unbeaten on 110, will resume play with his most likely new partner in the shape of wicket keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed. Pakistan lost two wickets towards the end of day’s play in the form of Asad Shafiq and night watchman Rahat Ali which gave a much needed boost to the English side and ensured that they kept the Men in Green under check on day 1.
The partnership between skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Sarfraz Ahmed will be of pivotal importance for Pakistan if they are to put up a substantial total on the board which should be somewhere in the 400 region considering that the pitch is decent for batting and will ease up more as play proceeds.
The pitches at Lord’s this season can be termed as batting paradise because all the matches of Middlesex’s County Championship season have ended in draws with average scores in first and second innings over 400.
Former Pakistan coach and fast bowler Waqar Younis also wants Pakistan to add at least 100 more runs to the total on the second day. He believes that this total will be a nightmare for England in the presence of Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah. The former Pakistani great tweeted his thoughts on social media website Twitter.
“Every run from here on is crucial, 100 more runs and England will have nightmares of Yasir Shah and Amir. This is a huge opportunity for Pakistan” said Waqar Younis.
England on the other hand would love to see the back of Misbah early on second day so that they can put breaks on Pakistan’s run scoring and dismiss the side cheaply. The English side would be hoping to restrict the green shirts to under 350 and take advantage of a good batting track at Lord’s.
England must now allow Pakistan’s tail to wag because the tails do tend to pose a problem especially on a pitch such as this. Chris Woakes, who is currently siting with four wickets, would be looking to clean up the remaining Pakistani batting line and hopefully inscribe his name on the Lord’s honours board.
Pakistan resume play on day 2 at 282/6 with Misbah-ul-Haq not out at 110.