The first day of the opening Test match between England and Pakistan was severely interrupted by afternoon rain, despite the visitors making a sound start with the bat.
Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali won the toss and decided to bat first on an overcast day in Manchester but on a fairly dry Old Trafford pitch, which provided a lot of success for the English bowlers in their recent series against the West Indies.
The hosts named a unchanged lineup from the one that clinched the series against the Caribbean outfit last week, with Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes making an early impact with two quick wickets.
But opener Shan Masood and Babar Azam regrouped well and contributed an unbeaten 96-run partnership before the rain came and spoiled the two afternoon sessions.
The talented Azam notched an impressive half-century and looks in excellent knick to kick on towards a big score on Thursday, while Masood is four runs shy of what will also be a hard-fought 50.
Pakistan will start the second day’s play on 139-2 and with no rain predicted it could be a solid day for batting.
England: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Pakistan: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah.
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