Pakistan dig in at Ageas Bowl against England's bowlers

Pakistan batsmen frustrate England bowlers to reach lunch without losing further wickets after rain-delayed start on day two at the Ageas Bowl

  • The first 90 minutes of play were delayed due to rain in Southampton on Friday
  • England failed to take a first wicket in the hour before a rescheduled lunch 
  • Babar Azam led Pakistan’s resistance as they reached 155 for five at the break 

England drew a blank in the first hour of play as Pakistan successfully stopped the rot on day two of the second Test.

A blast of three for 18 on the first evening had swung things firmly in the home side’s favour, leaving the batting side in a hole on 126 for five before rain, bad light and lightning combined to halt the charge.

Another 90 minutes were lost to morning showers at the Ageas Bowl but a 12.30pm start was eventually possible with Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan seeing their team to 155 for five at the rescheduled lunch break.

Babar Azam was key to Pakistan’s first hour as they avoided losing any further wickets

Jimmy Anderson (right) looked to be aggressive in what were perfect bowling conditions

Under dark skies and with the floodlights on from the beginning it was a thankless task for Babar and Rizwan to undertake but the pair knuckled down to add 29 to the total.

Babar, the last specialist batsman standing, is a born stroke-maker but judged the conditions astutely and frequently left the ball as England probed away outside his off stump, shelving temporarily his impressive array of drives.

Instead he moved his overnight score of 25 to 45 through low-risk nudges off his pads and a couple of well-timed boundaries, one clean pull off Chris Woakes and a straighter push off James Anderson.

Anderson and Woakes turned in a tidy opening spell, occasionally beating the outside edge but a wild swing from Rizwan off the latter was as close as they came to drawing a chance.

Joe Root turned to Stuart Broad and Sam Curran next and it was the left-armer who almost conjured the breakthrough, Babar defending on the back foot and seeing the ball bounce clear of the stumps after cannoning into the pitch on 40.

Pakistan managed to survive the first session and reached lunch on 155 for five

Rain delayed play with the covers forced into use at an overcast Ageas Bowl on Friday morning

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