76th over: England 515-5 (Brook 102, Livingstone 0) The barmy army are still half way through Jerusalem when Ben Stokes steps and hollers Naseem Shah’s second ball for six – up, up and away. The commentators are still talking about whether Stokes could beat Botham to England’s fastest fifty when he’s done by a clever bit of bowling by Naseem Shah.
Morning session – WICKET! Ben Stokes b Naseem Shah 41 (England 515-5)
A slower ball, off-cutter, which clips the top of middle stump as Stokes backs away!
On Sky, they’ve just run highlights of the last day of Old Trafford 2001, followed by highlights of yesterday. Crazy days.
Just to recap yesterday’s numbers:
Most runs scored on the first day of a Test.
First team to pass 500 on the first day of a Test.
First team to score four hundreds on day one of a Test
Most runs in the opening session of a Test.
Fastest double century opening partnership in Test cricket.
“The pitch is not much different,” reports Michael Atherton at the ground. “It is hard and baked and it is just not hot enough for the cracks to open. It will be very hard to get into Pakistan’s line-up. There will be small windows of opportunity when the ball starts to reverse and the spinners will have to do a holding job, but it will be very hard work.”
“Will you have eggs with your chips madam?” Yes please, plus mayonnaise, caviar, chocolate cake and trifle. And while I’m at it, please can you put the cricket on?
On gorged England at Rawalpindi yesterday, clocking up runs at six an over, locking up hundreds for Crawley, Duckett, Pope and Brook, cracking past 500, leaping over the all-time opening day record of 494 for six that had stood for 111 years, until bad light at last gave Pakistan from respite.
Will they aim for the perfect thousand? On this track, flatter than a peppermint cream, against this inexperienced Pakistan Test attack, they probably could. They probably won’t. But whatever they do, it will be worth watching. Play starts at 5am GMT.