39th over: Pakistan 146-3 (Shakeel 56, Rizwan 0) More stats, Robinson has the lowest Test bowling average over the last five years apart from Kyle Jamieson. Pat Cummins sits in third. Robinson making the ball nip both ways. Another immaculate over with just the single for Pakistan, who have become becalmed since Babar’s wicket.
38th over: Pakistan 145-3 (Shakeel 55, Rizwan 0) A second consecutive maiden, this time from Leach as Rizwan plays it out not entirely confidently.
37th over: Pakistan 145-3 (Shakeel 55, Rizwan 0) I catch the arse end of some stats which, I think, show that Robinson has the lowest bowling average since Frank Tyson. He’s an impressive chap – has pulled himself out of the mire after that early bruising encounter with the offensive historic social media tweets. Listened and learned. There’s a simplicity to what he does, and it has travelled well from Sussex to Multan. A maiden.
36th over: Pakistan 145-3 (Shakeel 55, Rizwan 0) Leach pulls off his cap and puts it on again, wheeling through six balls so quickly in between that one blurs into another. Five dots till Shakeel cuts the sixth, cut off from the boundary by a chasing Mark Wood.
Good morning Kamilia Shamsie, who has news about the empty stands: “Pakistan is not a nation for early starts under the best of circs. And if anyone was watching Argentina v Netherlands last night they won’t have gone to sleep until after 3 am. The sports fan’s life can be so exhausting. (Still sipping on my first cup of tea here at 10.06 am in Karachi)”“
Love the on the ground updates, thank you!
35th over: Pakistan 142-3 (Shakeel 52, Rizwan 0) Reverse-swing straight away for Robinson, and Rizwan nearly perishes in the same over, driving to a similar ball. An immaculate wicket maiden and Pakistan lose their main batter still 132 runs behind.
Going for the drive, misses and hears the death rattle. An in-swinging beauty from Robinson at a perfect length with his second ball of the match.
34th over: Pakistan 142-2 (Shakeel 52, Babar 75) Nine off Leach’s over, as Shakeel reaches his second Test fifty with a smartly-executed sweep.
33rd over: Pakistan 133-2 (Shakeel 47, Babar 71) Anderson’s over starts with a mix-up between Shakeel and Babar, Babar sends Shakeel back and, if Crawley had hit the stumps from square leg, Shakeel would have been on his way But he didn’t, slipping as he threw, and Shakeel remains to drive Anderson through extra-cover most beautifully.
32nd over: Pakistan 129-2 (Shakeel 43, Babar 71) Leach leaks a couple of fours, a sweep from Shakeel and a glorious wristy dispatch from Babar, but finishes the over passing Babar’s bat, and bamboozling as he props forward.
31st over: Pakistan 118-2 (Shakeel 38, Babar 65) An a la mode back foot punch brings four from Shakeel.
30th over: Pakistan 112-2 (Shakeel 33, Babar 64) The stands are not full, in fact they’re verging on lonely. Perhaps the punters were as surprised as everyone else by the early start. Leach wheels through an over with a dash of turn but no real fizz. I’m going to have to make a trolly dash to the kitchen for a cup of tea. Bowl slowly Jimmy.
29th over: Pakistan 107-2(Shakeel 32 Babar 63) There’s a haze to the Multan air but Jimmy Anderson has the ball regardless. Oh my tired eyes. Jimmy is straight to work, sewing an immaculate line across an immaculate coat. Babar pushes a couple through the covers on a dewy outfield.
Disappointed to report, that in the studio, Stuart Broad’s curate glasses have gone. He is in a brown jacket and trouser combo, Mark Butcher immaculate in navy. Oh ignore me, the players are walking on so play will start pretty much now.
Good morning! It’s cold outside but baby, it’s bubbling at Multan. Can Pakistan haul their way back into the series today after an enthralling first day? Abrar’s debut performance (7-114) was one for the ages, and Babar looked in ominous form as the night drew in. Play starts 5am GMT, don’t miss a ball!