Bright start ends in gloom as rain ruins Day 4

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Pakistan tour of England 2020, Second Test at Ageas Bowl Day 4: Pakistan bowled out for 236, Pakistan reduces England to 7/1 before rain wrecks play

Though Day 4 started on a brighter note, raising hopes of full day’s play, it wasn’t long before the covers were out again at the Ageas Bowl.

Only a handful of overs could be bowled on the day as the players retired to their dressing rooms and remained indoors as persistent showers dulled any hope they may have had of resumption in play. With the rain not letting up, play was eventually called off.

However, in the few overs that were bowled, the Pakistan innings folded for 236. The pitch, which was under cover for the entire third day, turned spiteful as Broad and Anderson extracted prodigious seam and swing out of the surface, making life difficult for the last Pakistani pair on the crease.

With little hope of No. 11 Naseem Shah holding out for too long as England’s opening bowlers literally made the ball talk, keeper Mohammad Rizwan, who was unbeaten on 60 at the end of play on Day 2, decided to hit out. 

The 28-year-old stumper, who showed exemplary grit while wickets fell around him on Day 2, got a few boundaries away through Point and Cover before he was out caught trying to hit Broad out of the park.

England copped a good bit of the grief that they gave to the Pakistani batters during their turn with the willow, as openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley found the going tough. 

Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Abbas ran in hard, making the most of helpful overhead conditions. With the surface playing all sorts of tricks under inky skies, the English openers struggled to put bat on ball. It wasn’t long before Afridi got one to straighten after pitching and take an edge off Burns. The catch was safely pouched by Asad Shafique in the slip cordon. 

There wasn’t much play thereafter as with the skies getting gloomier and the pitch offering exaggerated swing and seam, the umpires offered the light to the English openers. Five overs was all that they had to negotiate before the proceedings were brought to a halt.

With more bad weather predicted on the final day, expect the two captains to shake hands and agree on a stalemate without any further action.

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