And it hits in the middle of the middle! It was the referee’s call at impact. Nauman, from the wicket, got a tight turn to trap Duckett on the back foot. It came out of nowhere for Pakistan.
Duckett Reviews after Nauman got it lbw…
13th above: England (Duckett 26, Pope 32) Fat Duckett! He runs down the track and smashes Abrar for a straight six. Beautiful, nice shot. The southpaw dabs offside for a single a few balls later, and Pope then recovers a boundary with a nice clip through the side of the leg. England is cruising.
12th over: England 47-1 (Duckett 19, Pope 28) Pope and Duckett advance comfortably against Nauman, the latter outstroke for a single.
11th over: England 42-1 (Duckett 17, Pope 25) Abrar polishes up and looks menacing, that low bounce giving him something to work with.
Here’s some love for Adam Collins, a regular on these pages. A big call at the wicket of Mitchell Starc’s 300th Test.
10th over: England 38-1 (Pope 22, Duckett 16) Rapids aren’t having much fun, so it turns both ways as Nauman Ali gets a bowl. Duckett moves away to the leg side and gets two after a miss from Abrar, who was ambitious trying the one-handed pickup.
9th over: England 33-1 (Pope 20, Duckett 13) Duckett asks his beloved to pick up a couple from Abrar.
8th over: England 30-1 (Pope 19, Duckett 11) Wasim receives the boot after two costly overs, with Faheem Ashraf called up in attack to replace him. He brings a little more control, only conceding a few.
7th over: England 28-1 (Duckett 10, Pope 18) Abrar gets one to keep low, which scares Pope a little.
“Hello Taha.” Hello Brian.
“I must confess I was almost distracted by the chaos available in Australia, but the lure of proper and calm Test cricket in your reassuring company was too strong. I’m sure Messrs Pope, Duckett and co will dig in and try to get things done until lunch…”
Thank you, Brian, you made the right decision.
6th over: England 26-1 (Pope 17, Duckett 9) On Wasim’s pads, and Pope flicks the leg side for four. The newbie is too straight again with his next delivery, and Pope picks up two with another whip. Duckett finishes the overhand with his own clip behind the square for four.
5th over: England 15-1 (Pope 10, Duckett 5) Abrar has the ball, and Mohammad Rizwan is pulling the strings for Pakistan – Babar Azam is not feeling well, Nasser says on comms. Maiden for the leggie.
4th plus: England 15-1 (Duckett 5, Pope 10) Pope throws his hands over there on a wide and, though not fully in control, finds four over the cordon. We are operational on the second day.
Ollie Pope and Ben Duckett are over there, and Mohammad Wasim has the ball.
Now look, I don’t want people to leave me here. But there is madness at the Gabba.
Scott Boland – that test average is still absolutely ridiculous.
It’s just all kinds of beautiful.
Hello friends ! Opening day in Karachi was historic, all thanks to a teenager with some very helpful tips. Rehan Ahmed became England’s youngest men’s cricket tester and, after a nervous start, found his rhythm on a flat to take an impressive two wickets. The first, by Saud Shakeel, was a nice setup: the googly followed by a leg-spinner that culminated in a terrific bat catch by Ollie Pope. The second was a magnificent faux’un, beating Faheem Ashraf’s forward press to have the southpaw left-handed. An 18 year old leggie in this wildly fun test side – you can’t help but get a little excited.
Rehan Ahmed helped England beat Pakistan for 304, and Zak Crawley fell in love with the twirling delights of Abraar Ahmed, leaving Stokes’ men on 7-1.
As always, feel free to slip into my DMs with any thoughts/questions/song requests. I will be back soon.