Pakistan led a charmed life on the first morning of the second Test against England at the Ageas Bowl, with their biggest slice of luck coming when Azhar Ali failed to stop the ball hitting his stumps, but was reprieved as the bails stayed put.
The fortuitous moment occurred during the 12th over of the game. Chris Woakes was bowling and beat Azhar’s bat, hitting him on the pads. The ball dropped to the floor and trickled towards the stumps, albeit with enough momentum to hit the timber with some force.
Woakes into the attack and he hits the stumps second ball – but the bails stay on!
Azhar Ali survives and Pakistan are 30-1. 🏴🇵🇰🏏
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) August 13, 2020
Nevertheless, the bails stayed in place, and Pakistan’s captain continued his innings.
Abid Ali was the recipient of the other two lives offered by England, dropped in the slips both times. The opener was put down by Dominic Sibley at third slip, who dived across Rory Burns at second slip after Abid edged a ball from Stuart Broad in the fourth over of the innings. Michael Atherton, on Sky Sports Cricket commentary, commented, as he had done in the first Test, that England’s slips appeared to be too close together.
There was no such explanation for Abid’s second life, with Burns shelling a chance in the 14th over which came straight to him at a catchable height. The ball before, he was nearly strangled down the leg-side, with a ball evading the diving Jos Buttler.
Pakistan went to an early lunch on 62-1, with the only wicket taken that of Shan Masood, dismissed lbw by James Anderson.