Hasan Ali marked his return to Test cricket as Cook holds firm in first Test

Vastavam web: Hasan Ali marked his return to Test cricket with two early wickets before England great Alastair Cook kept Pakistan at a bay in a record-equalling appearance at Lord’s on Thursday.England were 72 for three at lunch on the first day of this two-match series.Cook was 46 not out in his 153rd consecutive Test, which drew him level with the all-time record of Australia’s Allan Border.England captain Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat first, despite the overcast conditions and a green-tinged pitch offering the promise of assistance for Pakistan’s pacemen.

Both England and Pakistan’s have concerns over their batting so it was a particularly bold decision by Root.It certainly looked a good toss for Pakistan to lose as three members of an England top-order that repeatedly failed during winless winter Test tours of Australia and New Zealand all fell for single-figure scores.Cook got into gear with a cover-driven four off Mohammad Amir — a team-mate at Essex when they won English cricket’s County Championship last season.

But he could only watch as Dawid Malan (six) became the second wicket of the morning for Hasan, with wicket-keeper Sarfraz again making no mistake with the catch.At that stage, England were 43 for three.Just before Malan’s dismissal, Faheem Ashraf rapped the pad of Cook, then on 23.His lbw appeal was rejected by Australian umpire Paul Reiffel, himself a former Test bowler, prompting a Pakistan review.