5th over: England 18-0 (Crawley 11, Duckett 5) Ooof, a touch of spin from Faheem as he sends down a cutter. Another snazzy on drive for four from Crawley.
4th over: England 14-0 (Crawley 11, Duckett 5) The drums beat out a rhythm in the stands. A good scattering for now, but they’re expecting more in later. Lots of excitement about 24 year old bespectacled mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed. Just three off Ali’s over.
3rd over: England 11-0 (Crawley 4, Duckett 5) This is the first time Faheem Ashraf has taken the new ball in 15 Tests. Crawley off the mark with a long-legged square drive in a top hat and tails.
“Good morning, Tanya,” hello John Starbuck!
“For once, I’m up before the larks (in both senses). I suppose one might say ‘before the bats have gone to bed’ except in this weather they should all be hibernating in their roosts. Before the owls turn in?” Too-whit, Too-who.
2nd over: England 6-0 (Crawley 0, Duckett 5) Duckett tickles Mohammad Ali behind and picks up a squeeze of a boundary. Some smart fielding in the ring cuts off another and all in all a much better start for Pakistan.
1st over: England 0-0 (Crawley 0, Duckett) Faheem Ashraf has the ball on a pitch cracked like a hard-boiled egg given a medium crack. And, against all the odds, he pulls out a maiden.
There’s a touch of fog in the air but they start on time!
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (capt), Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Zahid Mahmood, Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Ali
Three changes confirmed: the injured Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf plus Azhar Ali miss out, mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed makes his Test debut, joined by slow left armer Mohammad Nawaz and seam bowling allrounder Faheem Ashraf.
England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope (wk), Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (capt), Will Jacks, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, Mark Wood, James Anderson.
Just the one change, Wood for the injured Livingstone.
England win the toss and will bat
One definite issue is today’s air quality in Multan, rated as unhealthy. Polluted air is particularly detrimental to people doing exercise, as well as children, pregnant women and old people. Where is the ICC?
Greetings from a cold and frosty UK. The carols are playing and from here things look bright in Multan, one of the least high-profile cricket stadiums in the world. The ground only made its Test debut in 2001, today’s second Test between England and Pakistan will be its fifth bells and whistles Test cap.
What have we learned in the, er, three days since the totally amazeballs end to the last Test with all those men prowling close enough to pull the loose threads on Mohammad Ali’s shirt and the light dramatically drawing in? Well, Ben Stokes has stroked his beard and suggested he might go for some even more extreme tactics because of Multan’s early-morning fog and the late-afternoon dusk. At this stage, nothing would be surprising.
Team wise, Mark Wood replaces the injured Liam Livingstone, in a not-like-for-like swap; while Ollie Pope keeps the gloves over the recovered Ben Foakes – which is rotten luck, if understandable from an England point of view.
Pakistan look as if they will be without Naseem Shah after he hurt himself in the first Test, and are definitely without the injured Haris Rauf. Babar Azam is reported to have asked for a spinning pitch – but let’s wait and see.
Right , I must go to bed and get a few hours sleep. See you soon – play starts at 5am GMT.