England’s first Test in Pakistan, the first in 17 years, started on a good note as four players made centuries each, allowing them to end the day at 506-4 against Pakistan. Zak Crawley (122), Ollie Pope (108), Ben Duckett (107), and Harry Brook (101) were the driving force behind England’s record-breaking victory, which has now put them on the right path to winning this Test series.
The match on Thursday was under doubt the day before due to an illness that had risen from England’s camp and was only given the go-ahead just two hours before it was scheduled to start. But the uncertainty before the match did not dampen England’s spirit as they rose to the occasion and posted a win that would go down in history as one of their best Test victories.
Crawley made his century from 86 balls, making it the fastest century from an England opener in Test crickets. Duckett made his 107 from 110 in his first appearance in Test cricket in over six years. By lunch, England already had 174 runs, which was an England record for the first day of a Test. They also became the first team in the history of Test cricket to reach 500 at such a short pace.
Pakistan was greatly affected by the absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi, one of their best bowlers, who just underwent surgery for appendicitis. Their attack on Thursday was largely comprised of inexperienced players, and it cost them a lot.
If England’s summer campaign is anything to go by, then their performance on Thursday, while astonishing, was not very surprising. The style they have adopted under head coach Brendon McCullum, with help from skipper Ben Stokes, has proven quite effective and continues to yield great results for them, like on Thursday.
Both teams would now have to prepare for the second day of the Test, which is on Friday.