While weather only allowed 45 overs of action on Day 1, a similar trend followed on the second day in Southampton. Pakistan still hang on to their first innings after two days of play as time wears out for them to make a comeback in the series.
Resuming after a late slump at 126-5, the early and entire onus was on Babar Azam to anchor the innings en route a commendable first innings tally. The signs did not look good right from the word go as the start was delayed due to drizzle which accompanied poor light.
It was Azam who took the early rights after seeing off Chris Woakes and James Anderson in their first spell. The side negotiated the fifteen overs of the shortened session comfortably without losing a wicket. Babar Azam, only two runs off his fifty, edged one to the keeper off Stuart Broad to leave the side 158-6.
Mohammad Rizwan was stranded at one end as England plucked away the tail-order one by one. Yasir Shah was removed by James Anderson, who picked his third wicket of the innings while Shaheen Afridi returned back to the pavilion after a run-out brought an end to his nineteen ball duck
The wicket-keeper batsman, however, frustrated the hosts with a gritty half-century which helped Pakistan reach the 200-run mark.
With the scoreboard reading 215-8, the clouds decided to engulf the Aegas Bowl. The umpires were left with no choice but to call off the players and bring a halt to the action, much like Day 1.
Mohammad Abbas was the ninth wicket to fall at 223 after play resumed. The resumption was short-lived as umpires once again deemed the light to be not satisfactory, and hence making the players walk-off the field yet again.
The break ended up being the final straw as the officials opted to call it a day with only 40.2 overs being bowled. Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten knock of 60 steered Pakistan to a respectable total considering the scenario and duration of the match left.
The weather forecast for the next three days seems bleak at Southampton with plenty of halts in play expected over the course of the next three days. Pakistan will have to bowl England out quickly to have a chance of winning the series which can be wagered right here.
Pakistan 223-9 (M..Rizwan 60*; J.Anderson 3-34)