Babar Azam.. Image Source: IANS News

Southampton, Aug 14 : Star batsman Babar Azam neared a half century as Pakistan reached 155/5 against England at Lunch on a rain-affected Day 2 of the second Test here on Friday.

At the break, Babar was batting on 45 with wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan on 12 as the overnight pair hung on managing 29 runs in the truncated first session.

Resuming at 126/5, Babar and Rizwan showed caution in their approach and steadied the ship after England's pacers brought them to their haunches on Day 1 which was also marred by intermittent rain.

Only 21 overs could be bowled in the second session of the first day at the Ageas Bowl. England's fast bowlers were all over the Pakistan batting lineup before the umpires took the players off the field after the dense clouds that had been hovering over the stadium opened up.

The session got off to a delayed start and through the course of it, Pakistan lost captain Azhar Ali, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq and Fawad Alam, who was making his comeback into Test cricket after an absence of 11 years.

Azhar fell to James Anderson when one of the many edges that he had got finally flew high enough for a fielder at slip to hold on to. A little under three overs later, the umpires called the players off as rain started pouring down on the stadium. Abid was the first to go after the restart, having scored a precarious 50. One of his many edges landed in the hands of Rory Burns at slips off the bowling of Sam Curran.

Asad Shafiq replaced him but did not last long, succumbing to Broad off the 13th ball that he faced as he reached out for a wide delivery and edged it to third slip.

Fawad Alam then made his entry into a cricket field in Test whites for Pakistan for the first time in over a decade and took guard with his unconventional stance. He lasted only four balls, with Chris Woakes hitting him on the pads. The umpire initially shook his head but England successfully reviewed the decision.

Brief scores: Pakistan 155/5 (Babar Azam 45 batting, M Rizwan 12 batting; James Anderson 2/40) vs England

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