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Cricket news - Live cricket score: England vs Pakistan, 1st Test, Day 1, Manchester

Can Pakistan continue their good run in England?

Can Pakistan continue their good run in England?

Hello and welcome to our live blog for the first day's play in Manchester. Please refresh for new updates!

Finally the breakthrough!

Into the second over after drinks and Archer bowls Abid Ali. A couple of short balls in his previous over to Ali did the trick. Ali, as a consequence, wasn't quite forward and the ball snuck in through the bat-pad gap! Pakistan 36/1

Pakistan intact after an hour's play

It's been a good start for the visitors. They have sneaked in a few quick singles, and all that while keeping Anderson and Broad wicketless in their respective opening spells. Anderson bowler full, beat the edges multiple times but cut no mustard. Broad bowled fuller, even tried a short leg at one point in time, but Pakistan haven't budged.

It's not been all pretty though. The openers have had their outside edges beaten numerous times. On occasions, they have played a shot that wasn't quite on and edged behind...

Early impressions

This is a drier pitch compared to what we saw against the West Indies, but it has more carry. Buttler is taking some of the deliveries overhead from Anderson and Broad. There's seam movement available too, as Shan Masood's struggle against James Anderson should suggest, but both the openers are still there. It's not about runs at the moment.

A minute's silence...

Both teams have paid their respect to the COVID-19 victims with a minute's silence. No "taking the knee" this time but ECB have promised that the work of inclusion continues behind the scenes. "The one-minute silence is also our appreciation, gratitude and tribute to the front-line healthcare workers who have been working tirelessly and selflessly, and have even laid down their own lives in efforts to save others," PCB CEO Wasim Khan said.

Also, the third umpire is going to call the no-balls in this Test series. About time, you think?

TOSS & TEAMS:

Pakistan have won the toss and opted to bat first.

And yes, Azhar Ali is playing two spinners in Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah. Our statsman Deepu Narayanan reminds us that the last time a team fielded two specialist wristspinners in a Test in England was the duo of Shahid Afridi & Danish Kaneria by Pakistan against Australia at Lord's in 2010.

England have gone with the same combination from a couple of weeks ago, meaning Chris Woakes plays, Zak Crawley misses out and Ben Stokes won't bowl. Joe Root said he'd have batted first too but seemed happy with the "overhead conditions," giving him something to work with.

You can find the full Playing XIs here...

Build-up to Day 1...

If you were left craving live cricket a few weeks ago, here England are, playing a Test match within 12 hours of playing an ODI. Different outfits of course, but the team, and the spirit of cricket in the times of coronavirus, remains the same. On that note, hello and welcome to the first day of the first Test between England and Pakistan. Rest assured that this is going to be a cracker.

You must start with this preview from Rob Johnston, where he argues how Pakistan have been a "bogey team" for England of late and how batting might dictate the outcome of the series.

"Given the strengths of both bowling line-ups, the struggles of both side's batsmen could be a theme over the next three weeks"

What about team combinations?

For England, a lot depends on Stokes's fitness. If he's fit to bowl, then England might be back to playing three fast bowlers and a spinner. If not, then we'll see the team combination (ft. Chris Woakes who's just happy picking wickets) from the third Test against West Indies.

Pakistan are considering playing two spinners, given how the surface played in the last two Tests against the West Indies. Surely Azhar Ali will bowl first then? Anyway, he and Asad Shafiq are aware of their roles in an inexperienced batting unit.

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