ENG v PAK 2020

Can Azhar Ali open in 2nd Inning? MCC revealed the answer

Leading from the front, Pakistan Test skipper Azhar Ali was batting responsibly in a bid to take Pakistan out of crisis and help them avoid a follow-on against England, on the third day of the third and final Test.

In the process, he made a brilliant century, the 17th of his Test career, and before that also crossed an important milestone of 6,000 runs in Test cricket.

A magnificent unbeaten 141 by skipper Azhar Ali and a fine 50 by wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan went in vain as England enforced a follow-on against Pakistan

Needing 384 to avoid the follow-on, Pakistan were all out for 273 in the first innings before bad light stopped the play on the third day.

Pakistan was ready to bat in the 2nd inning but the umpires decided the fading light was unsafe for Pakistan to start their second innings even though the Ageas Bowl floodlights were on.

After England captain Joe Root had enforced the follow-on, Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali who was not-out in first inning promoted himself to open Pakistan’s second innings, but play was stopped before a ball was bowled due to bad light. Does he still have to open tomorrow?

The MCC gave the answer after people started asking.

“Law 25.2 states that the innings of the opening batsmen only start at the call of Play, which didn’t happen tonight. For other batsmen, it’s when they enter the field of play. So, by Law, Azhar Ali doesn’t have to open tomorrow as his innings hadn’t started,” MCC tweeted.

Azhar Ali remained not out on 141. He stayed at the crease for 406 minutes and faced 272 balls, hitting 21 fours.

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