Pakistan and England started off their historic Test series at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on Thursday (December 1). The series is a massive one for Pakistan cricket as this is the first time in 17 years that England are playing red-ball fixtures in the country.
The match came under a grey cloud with several players in the England team, including skipper Ben Stokes falling sick because of an unknown virus. However, the Three Lions were able to field a XI with only one change in the form of Will Jacks coming in place of Ben Foakes, who was ill.
Stokes won the toss and opted to bat first, which turned out to be a perfect decision as the track at Pindi stadium was nothing but a batting paradise. English batters enjoyed the time, with the opening pair of Zak Crawley (122) and Ben Duckett (107) putting up a record-breaking 233-run partnership, including their respective centuries.
As if this wasn’t enough, Ollie Pope and Harry Brook also smashed hundreds and punished Pakistan’s bowling attack. While Pope got dismissed at 108, Brook remained unbeaten at 101 alongside captain Stokes (34 not out) as the tourists managed to post a massive score of 506/4 at the stumps.
Cricket fans just couldn’t believe what happened, as it was complete mayhem for bowlers. The fans stormed with eye-catching memes taking a dig at Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the pitch preparation. Many admirers recalled that similar pitches were made in the three-match series against Australia in March, which the hosts had lost by 1-0.
Here is how netizens reacted:
Surprised to see that the PCB, whose team defeated a billion-dollar economy team twice in one year, still can’t prepare a Test match pitch. Three versus Australia, now this. #PAKvENG
— Jamie Alter 😷 🇮🇳 (@alter_jamie) December 1, 2022
make the pitch a bit longer, put a few turns in and Pakistan could host their first ever F1 Grand Prix#PAKvENG
— kεz (@_kezx) December 1, 2022
— Alan Wilkins (@alanwilkins22) December 1, 2022
— Himanshu Pareek (@Sports_Himanshu) December 1, 2022
— Avinash Aryan (@AvinashArya09) December 1, 2022
— نا چیز (@ShahSahb00) December 1, 2022
This pitch looks fire🔥 pic.twitter.com/pwSYJz5BUu
— The Shaheens Brigade (@ShaheensBrigade) December 1, 2022
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) December 1, 2022
England pre lunch 174-0 in 27 overs scoring at 6.44 RPO. Now 272-2 in 43 overs at 6.34 RPO. Is it the Baz approach? Or a flattest Rawalpindi pitch or pedestrian bowling with unimaginative field setting or combination of all? Let’s see how Pakistan will bounce back, if ever?
— Dr. Nauman Niaz (@DrNaumanNiaz) December 1, 2022
👀 The pitch for Rawalpindi Test has surprised everyone once again and has brought back the memories of the drawn test match against Australia. #PAKvENG
— Arfa Feroz Zake (@ArfaSays_) December 1, 2022
— Biswajit ବିଶୂଜୀତ 📚 🖊️ 👓 (@biswa_87) December 1, 2022
Nice photo of the Rawalpindi ground staff preparing the pitch pic.twitter.com/dzL713FjNF
— Alasdair 🇳🇦🇳🇿 (@kohli_fraud) December 1, 2022
At this point it seems easier to score a century on this pitch than getting out on a duck. #PAKvENG
— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) December 1, 2022
— 𝓢𝓮𝓱𝓻𝓲𝓼𝓱 🇵🇰 (@itsmeSehrish) December 1, 2022
Respect for Indian spinning pitches increased after watching this road. #PAKvEng
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) December 1, 2022
Senior journalist friend of mine contacted Ramiz Raja for his views on the “dead pitch”. Ramiz response was “Do you not want to see a Babar 100 against England in Pakistan?” #PAKvENG
— Sameer Jalal (@SameerJaIalTV) December 1, 2022
Pakistan in the last t20 against England 138 in 20 overs Now England against Pakistan in test 141 in 20 overs Desperately needs a little shame
for pitch makers(on making national highway),Team selecters(for selecting 3 debutants in 1st test)& Team management(for No DRS )#PAKvENG pic.twitter.com/ZnxT0TPP1S
— Farwa Malik💫 (@Farwa1318) December 1, 2022
— Comedy Tonic Telugu (@ComedyTonic) December 1, 2022
— Noor Hafeez Abbasi (@noor_babarian56) December 1, 2022
— Aena khan (@Aeena_khan) December 1, 2022
— Azan Ahmad (@azanahmad257) December 1, 2022
Why can’t we make pitches suiting our strengths? 3 road pitches against Australia and this against England. 🤦🏻♂️🤦🏻♂️🤦🏻♂️#PAKvENG
— Israr Ahmed Hashmi (@IamIsrarHashmi) December 1, 2022
— Elliot Alderson. (@rovvmut_) December 1, 2022