Mon | Jan 30, 2023

Astonishing display of power-hitting by England

Published:Friday | December 2, 2022 | 12:12 AM
England’s Zak Crawley celebrates after scoring his century during the first day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan yesterday.
England’s Zak Crawley celebrates after scoring his century during the first day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan yesterday.

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP):

Virus-hit England stamped their aggressive brand of Test cricket on its first match in Pakistan in 17 years by amassing a world record 506 for four with four batters smashing hundreds yesterday.

Zak Crawley hit 122 and Ben Duckett made 107 in a blistering opening stand of 233. Ollie Pope and Harry Brook blazed hundreds in the last session in an against an inexperienced Pakistan bowling attack.

And the Test almost didn’t start.

England confirmed it had a fit 11 and the match could go ahead only two hours before the toss. Then they destroyed a host of records in only 75 overs when play ended prematurely because of bad light.

The 506 for four was the highest on the first day of any Test, surpassing Australia’s 494 for six in 1910 against South Africa in Sydney. England also became the fastest team to score 500 runs. Four England batters scored centuries in one innings for the first time in 15 years.

“It’s unbelievable,” Crawley said. “I was pleased with how I played . . . I was annoyed when I got out because you always want more.”

Pope made 108 and Brook 101 not out.

Of the four centurions, Duckett was the slowest. He need 105 balls for his maiden ton. Brook took 80 balls, the third-fastest by an Englishman.

Captain Ben Stokes, who won the toss and elected to bat after recovering in time from the viral bug, was not out on 34 off 15 balls. England batters smashed 73 boundaries and three sixes in a white-ball fireworks display with the red ball.