Rain holds England up after five-wicket burts


Sports Desk

SOUTHAMPTON: Pakistan opener Abid Ali rode his luck as he closed in on a half-century with the tourists reaching 85 for two at tea on a rain-hit opening day of the second test at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.
Abid (49 not out) was dropped twice but is still at the crease with Babar Azam (7 not out) as Pakistan look to build a big first innings score after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Dom Sibley was the first to offer Abid a life when he shelled a simple chance off Stuart Broad with the batsman on one, before Rory Burns did likewise off Chris Woakes after he had added another 20 runs.
Both were fielding at second slip due to the absence of Ben Stokes, who has withdrawn from the rest of the series for personal reasons.
James Anderson (2-24) picked up the two wickets to fall so far, trapping first test century-maker Shan Masood leg before wicket for one.
He then removed struggling visiting captain Azhar Ali (20), with Burns finally holding onto a chance at second slip.
The teams managed only 10.1 overs in the afternoon session before heavy rain forced them off the field.
England selected left-arm seamer Sam Curran instead of the rested Jofra Archer, while batsman Zak Crawley replaced Stokes.
The tourists made one change to their side, lengthening their batting lineup with the inclusion of Fawad Alam, 34, for spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan.
Alam’s selection sees him play his first test for almost 11 years.
England won the first test by three wickets last week, their third victory in a row after consecutive wins over West Indies.