Shoaib Malik's double ton pummels England
Pakistan 523-8 dec. (Malik 245) v
England 56-0 (Cook 39no)
First Test, Abu Dhabi, day two
Shoaib Malik hit his first ever Test double hundred while Asad Shafiq notched a century of his own as Pakistan posted a mammoth total of 523 for eight to claim the honours on day two of the first Test against England in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan resumed their innings at 286 for four with Malik (245) and Shafiq (107) adopting a positive approach and boundaries were being scored at a good pace.
Malik went past his previous highest Test score with a boundary, also bringing up his 150. Shafiq then reached his half-century, taking 107 balls to get there.
England spinners Adil Rashid (0-163) and Moeen Ali (0-121) were largely ineffective and expensive. At lunch, Pakistan had reached 389 for four, having scored 103 runs in the session without losing a wicket.
The partnership between Malik and Shafiq continued to flourish after lunch, the duo not allowing the bowlers to settle by hitting regular boundaries while rotating the strike efficiently.
Records tumbled as the partnership edged past the 200-run mark. It was the highest fifth-wicket stand for Pakistan against England.
Malik brought up his maiden Test double century by nudging one to third man in the 135th over. It took him 367 balls and was his highest score in first-class cricket.
In the next over, Shafiq brought up his eighth Test hundred with a boundary off Rashid; Pakistan had no trouble whatsoever in negotiating whatever the jaded England bowlers had to offer.
Another wicketless session followed for England as Malik and Shafiq headed into tea with the total reading 499 for four.
However, fortunes changed for England in the third session as they crawled their way back into the game. They struck in the very first over of the final session, as Mark Wood (1-58) trapped Shafiq plumb in front.
Ben Stokes (4-57) dismissed Sarfraz Ahmed (2), who popped a catch to Ian Bell at mid-off. Malik, who was suffering from exhaustion due to his marathon innings, holed out to mid-wicket giving Stokes his third scalp and Bell another catch.
Pakistan declared at 523 for seven at the fall of Zulfiqar Babar’s (0) wicket.
Stokes was the best bowler on display for England with his four wickets. James Anderson (2-42) ended up with two, while Broad and Wood picked up a wicket apiece.
Rashid registered had the second most expensive figures on debut in England’s history.
With up to 24 overs still left in the day’s play, England openers Alastair Cook (39 not out) and Ali (15 not out) strode out to bat.
Cook encountered a nervous moment in the first over as he tried to prevent the ball from hitting the stumps with his hand but at the last moment withdrew, realising he may be given out handled the ball if he had continued.
Ali survived a close lbw appeal off Rahat Ali (0-12) in the fifth over of the innings. The ball was hitting marginally outside the line and Pakistan’s review bore no fruit as the onfield call of not out was upheld.
Cook was the one who played positively while Ali kept his end bottled up. The pair brought up the 50-run opening stand and were able to see through the day without losing a wicket.
At stumps, England reached 56 for no loss from the 21 overs they faced. Even though Pakistan did not fetch any wickets, they kept the scoring rate in check.
Babar (0-16) was the most economical bowler. England will go into day three with a deficit of 467 runs staring down at them.
© Cricket World 2015