ABU DHABI (Web Desk) – Pakistan batting line collapsed at 173 during second innings on Saturday, the fifth day of first Test match, against England’s 598 at Sheikh Zaid Cricket Stadium of Abu Dhabi.
Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq, the grandees of Pakistan’s middle order, tried to stem their team’s jitters, as the first Test against England petered out towards the stalemate that had long been on the cards, despite James Anderson’s best efforts with new ball and old.
Younis, with 40 from 105 balls, and Misbah, 25 from 54, took the slow road to safety with an unbroken 55-run stand to carry Pakistan to 102 for 3 at tea, a lead of 27. That came after the loss of three prime top-order wickets to a fired-up England attack who seemed determined to finish the match in the same indomitable fashion that their captain, Alastair Cook, had displayed with the bat throughout his epic innings of 263.
Anderson was particularly impressive for the second innings in a row. Bowling with skill and hostility on a pitch that had previously served up 1,121 runs for 17 wickets across the first two innings of the series, he grabbed two wickets in five balls in his second over of the day, and might also have prised Misbah from the crease for 19 shortly before tea.
First to fall, in embarrassing circumstances for the second innings in a row, was Shan Masood, who had been bowled off the grille by Anderson on the first morning of the match and was now bowled again for 1 as he propped forward in a smothering forward-defensive, and watched in horror as the ball spun back off the crease and into his stumps.
Three balls later Shoaib Malik was bounced out by a superbly directed cross-seamer, no mean feat on a surface this unforgiving. Fresh (or not so fresh, as the case may be) from his first-innings 245, Malik was caught in two minds by a lifter that he might have been better off ducking. The ball kept climbing at Malik’s throat and he could do no more than fend limply to Jonny Bairstow under the helmet, who accepted the looping offering with glee.
Then, after tea, in the midst of a spell of cutters with Jos Buttler, the keeper, standing up to the stumps to pin both batsmen to the crease, Anderson appealed successfully for a catch at silly point against Misbah. On review, however, the ball was shown to have missed the bat but would have been trimming the bails instead. However, umpire Bruce Oxenford’s original verdict had not taken the lbw into account, so not out was the upshot.
In Friday’s game, England was lifted by a monumental double hundred by skipper Alastair Cook, who was finally dismissed for 263 after batting for 13 hours and six minutes, hitting 18 boundaries.
Joe Root scored 85 and Ben Stokes made 57 as England led Pakistan’s first innings total of 523-8 declared by 46 runs.
Paceman Wahab Riaz was the best Pakistani bowler with 3-116.