England pile on the runs in Pakistan on extraordinary opening day


England’s attacking approach reached new heights as four players smacked centuries on an extraordinary day of Test cricket that saw the tourists rack up 506 for four against Pakistan in Rawalpindi.

Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Harry Brook all made three figures as England, who had players struggling with a viral infection leading into their first five-day match in Pakistan since 2005, made the highest run total on day one of a Test.

It was also the first time four batters had scored tons on the opening day, with Crawley hitting the fastest by an England opener and Duckett and Brook compiling their first in Tests.

Crawley dispatched the first five balls for 14 runs to set the tone for the rest of the day and, alongside Duckett, put on 233 – the fastest double-century stand in Test history.

The 24-year-old only needed 86 balls to bring up his hundred, which came shortly after lunch, after England had piled up a record 174 in the opening session.

Duckett followed up with his maiden Test century from 108 balls on his recall to the side after a six-year absence.

Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett
Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett piled on the runs (Anjum Naveed/AP)

The duo fell in successive overs, with Duckett trapped lbw by Zahid Mahmood for 107 and Crawley bowled through the gate by Haris Rauf the following over for 122.

Former captain Joe Root failed to match those heights, out lbw to Mahmood for 23.

But despite the introduction of new batters, England showed no signs of slowing down with Pope and Brook at the crease.

Pope played some elegant strokes during a chanceless century, from 90 deliveries, before he also fell lbw, with Mohammad Ali taking his first Test wicket.

Harry Brook
Harry Brook hit six fours in an over (Anjum Naveed/AP)

Brook briefly threatened to score the fastest-ever century by an Englishman in Test cricket with an entertaining knock, including a memorable over where he struck Saud Shakeel for six successive fours in an over.

But the Yorkshireman had to settle for an 80-ball ton, the third fastest for his country, and finished the day unbeaten on 101 alongside captain Ben Stokes.

Stokes enjoyed the final few overs of the day, hitting 34 off 15 balls at a strike rate of 226 to cap off an outstanding batting performance from England.