Rawalpindi, Dec 1 (AP) Openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett powered virus-hit England to 332-3 at tea against Pakistan with blistering centuries here on Thursday.
Crawley, who was not affected by the viral infection in the England camp, survived an lbw television referral on 99 to make 122 off 111 balls with 21 boundaries.
Duckett made 107 off 110 balls and hit 15 fours to raise his maiden test hundred after being recalled into the test fold for the first time in six years.
Pakistan hit back with three wickets in the second session, but not before Crawley and Duckett combined in a better-than-run-a-ball 233 stand to underline coach Brendon McCullum's aggressive approach in Test cricket.
Ollie Pope carried on to be unbeaten on 48 off 51 balls and Harry Brook was not out on 22 at tea as England scored at a brisk pace of 6.14 an over.
The two Pakistan test debutants — legspinner Zahid Mahmood (2-127) and fast bowler Haris Rauf (1-61) — removed the openers in successive overs with the old ball.
Mahmood broke the stand when Duckett went for a reverse sweep against the legspinner and Pakistan successfully went for a TV referral against on-field umpire Joe Wilson's not out decision.
Rauf then swung in late and clattered Crawley's stumps in the next over. But England's intent to score at pace didn't subside after the dismissal of the two century-makers.
Joe Root was out lbw for 23 when he was struck on the back leg while attempting a sweep.
Crawley was on 99 when Naseem Shah trapped him on the backfoot, but Crawley successfully overturned the decision as video suggested the ball would have missed the leg stump.
Two balls later, Crawley achieved the fastest test century by an England opener off 86 balls with a cover-driven boundary, and Duckett reached his milestone by pulling Rauf to the legside for a four.
Crawley and Duckett earlier stormed England to 174-0 in the first session after the visitors felt comfortable they could field 11 fit players two hours before captain Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to bat.
Crawley missed an opportunity to become the first Englishman to smash a century before lunch in a test match when he reached 91, while Duckett dominated Mahmood's spin to make 77.
Both openers came hard at an inexperienced red-ball pace attack in the absence of the injured Shaheen Afridi.
Shah and another debutant, seamer Mohammad Ali, couldn't extract any movement from a grassless Pindi Cricket Stadium pitch as Crawley and Duckett cut loose from the outset.
Crawley was ruthless against Rauf's short-pitched deliveries and the gentle medium pace of Ali, too, to raise his half-century off only 38 balls with 11 fours. He hit another six boundaries in the session.
Duckett dominated the legspin of Mahmood with his trademark sweep shots and didn't hesitate to attack the spinner early with a reverse-swept boundary. He completed his maiden test half-century off 50 balls.
The start of the test was confirmed at only 7:30 a.m. local time after the Pakistan Cricket Board said England “informed (them) they are in a position to field an XI, and, as such, the first test will commence as per schedule today.”
England had to make a change in its playing XI at the last minute after wicketkeeper Ben Foakes couldn't recover from the viral infection. Foakes was replaced by Will Jacks, who will make his test debut, and Ollie Pope will be the wicketkeeper. Liam Livingstone will also debut. AP
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