Misbah century helps Pakistan seize advantage

Misbah-ul-Haq celebrating his century against England on day one of the second Test in Dubai
Misbah-ul-Haq celebrating his century against England on day one of the second Test in Dubai
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan 282-4 (Misbah 102no) v England
Second Test, Dubai, day one

Riding on the back of a splendid unbeaten century from Misbah-ul-Haq and fifties from Younis Khan and Shan Masood, Pakistan seized the advantage on the first day of the second Test match against England in Dubai.

Having won a crucial toss, Pakistan opted to bat first on what seemed to be batting track.

Pakistan replaced Rahat Ali with Yasir Shah, who returned from a back injury. England named an unchanged side following the draw in Abu Dhabi.

James Anderson (1-33) started the proceedings with a maiden. A couple of tidy overs later, Masood (54) and Mohammad Hafeez (19) upped the ante by hitting three boundaries each.

The duo managed to post 47 for naught in the first hour. Right after the partnership went past 50, Moeen Ali (1-82) induced an edge off Hafeez which was taken by Jonny Bairstow at short leg.

A couple of overs later, Bairstow displayed tremendous reflexes as he pulled off a spectacular catch to dismiss Shoaib Malik (2) who was trying to negotiate a short ball from Ben Stokes (1-43).

Pakistan were reduced to 58 for two at that stage. Masood, who got through the early jitters, played positively to bring up his second Test fifty in 81 balls.

Younis (56) went past Graham Gooch’s tally of 8,900 Test runs just before the lunch break and Pakistan ended the first session at 85 for two.

Masood was sent back from the first ball of the second session, edging one to Jos Buttler off Anderson. Masood went reviewed the decision but it went in vain.

With the wicket, Anderson went past Harbhajan Singh to claim ninth spot in the list of top 10 wicket-takers in Test cricket.

Misbah (102 not out) joined Younis and the pair began to consolidate the innings by building a partnership. Younis brought up his 30th Test fifty in the 50th over.

The 93-run stand between Misbah and Younis helped Pakistan go into the tea break with the score at 178 for three.

At the start of the the final session, England put pressure on Pakistan with consecutive maiden overs which eventually got the better of Younis, who gloved one down the leg side to the keeper off Mark Wood .

Misbah arrived at his half-century by reverse sweeping Ali to the third man boundary. Asad Shafiq (46) survived a phase of play where Stokes was getting the ball to reverse ever so slightly.

Misbah and Shafiq did not take many risks in the initial stages of their partnership. However, as the final hour approached, Misbah hit a couple of sixes off Adil Rashid (0-60) in the 75th over.

In the 80th over, Shafiq missed a flick off Stuart Broad (0-36) and was rapped on the pads. The lbw appeal was turned down and England opted for a review.

The umpire’s call was vindicated as the ball tracking replays showed the ball to be missing the leg stump.

England took the new ball in the 84th over and Misbah promptly dispatched Wood for a couple of boundaries. Towards the end of the day, both batsmen dropped anchor and played for time.

However, off the final over of the day, Misbah took the opposition by surprise as he smashed Ali for a couple of sixes before going on to complete his ninth Test ton.

It was the seventh hundred for Misbah as the captain of Pakistan, making him joint highest along with Inzamam-ul-Haq.

By the end of the day’s play, Pakistan had posted 282 for four from 90 overs.

Wood was the best bowler for England, with a wicket and an economy rate of 1.85. Anderson, Stokes and Ali also picked up a wicket apiece.

© Cricket World 2015