Dropped chances hurt England as Hafeez, Malik make merry on day one
Pakistan 286-4 (Malik 124no) v England
First Test, Abu Dhabi, day one
Shoaib Malik crafted a sublime century on his comeback while Mohammad Hafeez hit 98 as the duo made England pay a heavy price for shelling wicket-taking opportunities on day one of the first Test in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first on a flat track. Yasir Shah was ruled out of the game with a back injury and was replaced by Imran Khan.
England drew first blood very early as a short one from James Anderson (2-29) hit the helmet of Shan Masood (2) and crashed into the stumps.
Anderson should have had Hafeez (98) caught at slip in the seventh over but Ian Bell made a mess of a straightforward chance. Hafeez was batting on seven at that time.
Malik (124 not out) teamed up with Hafeez and the duo made a good effort to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Hafeez went past 3,000 Test runs with a lovely boundary played past point off the back foot. At lunch, Pakistan were well placed at 82 for one.
After lunch, the runs flowed at a slower pace and Hafeez completed his half-century in 99 balls.
Malik edged one to gully off Stuart Broad (1-30), but to England’s agony Broad had over-stepped. The partnership between Hafeez and Malik went past a century in the 37th over.
Midway through the second session, Pakistan reached 123 for one; Malik also got a fifty of his own in 117 balls.
The nervous nineties proved to be a bane for Hafeez as he was trapped in front by Ben Stokes (1-35) on 98 at the stroke of tea. Pakistan were 173 for two at that stage and Hafeez and Malik had added 168 runs for the second wicket.
In the third session, Younis Khan (38) and Malik started off the session with quick runs.
Khan became Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in Test matches by going past Javed Miandad with a flamboyant six off Moeen Ali (0-73).
Malik went past the three-figure mark for the first time since 2009 in the 69th over, registering his first Test century against England.
Cook’s move to position himself at short mid-on paid dividends as Khan popped a catch to him off Broad, leaving Pakistan at 247 for three.
Just after Pakistan went past 250, England immediately got rid of Misbah-ul-Haq (3). The initial call for the caught behind appeal was not out, but after a review, the onfield call was overturned.
It was a tough pill to swallow for Misbah as there was no conclusive evidence that he had edged the ball.
England took the new ball in the 85th over. Anderson produced a lovely out-swinger to induce an edge off Asad Shafiq (11 not out) but Bell dropped a sitter at slip for the second time in the day.
At stumps, Pakistan managed 286 runs at the cost of four wickets from the 87 overs that were bowled.
Anderson was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Broad and Stokes took a wicket apiece. Adil Rashid (0-76) was slightly expensive on his debut with an economy of 4.47 although got things back on track after going at more than five runs per over early on.
© Cricket World 2015