Lunch Pakistan 34 for 2 (Babar 10*, Azhar 3*, Seales 1-11) vs West Indies
These two sides aren't really known for being predictable, but everything about that first session went almost exactly as you might have guessed. Once Pakistan was put in to bat on a day when showers were forecast, they began stodgily as a potent new-ball pairing of Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales prowled. Openers Abid Ali and Imran Butt were viewed as the weak points of the visiting side's batting line-up, and both fell cheaply, leaving the rebuild to Pakistan's two best batters: Azhar Ali and Babar Azam. After they crawled to 34 in 17 overs, the rains, as predicted, arrived and the sides were forced into an early lunch.
West Indies will view that session as a clear tick in their column, and few could argue against it. Roach and Seales found prodigious movement with the new ball, which they were careful not to waste.
Captain Kraigg Brathwaite had said yesterday his side had planned against each Pakistan player, and the way they went about dismantling the openers' techniques suggested he was right. Both were discomfited by deliveries that seamed back in from a length, and when the change-up from Roach targeted Butt's stumps on the full, he was never in a position to play the expansive drive he attempted. He found his off stump uprooted, and it had been coming.
Abid had come off the back of an unbeaten double-hundred against Zimbabwe, but against sterner opposition, his record has been remarkably mediocre. He got off to a streaky start with a thick outside edge that evaded the slips, but ever since, scoring opportunities were rarer than a dry day this series. Seales set him up with short deliveries through the over before pitching one up, and he obliged by nicking it through to Joshua Da Silva.
Pakistan, though, might not have been terribly worried, keeping the bigger picture in mind. The openers have struggled for a while now, and it's come down to a high-achieving middle order to bail them out. Azam and Azhar appeared far more settled in the following overs even as dark clouds hovered and the West Indies bowlers threatened.
Both sides have most of their work ahead of them as this Test match takes shape.