No luck for England as Pakistan win 2nd Test on nervous final day
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | October 26, 2015
Pakistan (378 and 354-6) v England (242 and 312)
- Hosts win by 178 runs on final day with just 6.3 overs remaining
- Rashid puts up great fight but Shah eventually gets Yorkshireman out
- Pakistan 1-0 up in three-match series to ensure they stay undefeated in UAE
Shah finally breaks Rashid resistance
England really have had no luck this series with Pakistan so far, having come so close in the first Test before bad light prevented them from winning, and now they lose the second after getting bowled all out with just 6.3 overs to go.
Adil Rashid’s resistance, along with fellow tail-enders Stuart Broad and Mark Wood for a while, eventually broke with returning star spinner Yasir Shah taking the crucial wicket to spark wild celebrations by the hosts.
In claiming a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, Pakistan have ensured that they remain unbeaten in their adopted home the UAE in Tests, and are 11/10 favourites with Coral to win the finale.
All-rounder Rashid shows Yorkshire grit
Rashid dug deep in true Yorkshire style, alike to another former international from the famous cricketing county Geoffrey Boycott, as he played so well to reach a maiden half-century (61) off 172 deliveries.
After his five-wicket haul in the first Test, surely the all-rounder has shown enough ability to stay in the XI for series’ to come, and he can now kick on to make sure that his side come away from the final match with at least a draw. England are 9/4 to win in Sharjah, which starts on November 1st.
All eyes were on Shah ahead of this second Test, and the late bloomer certainly delivered as he took four wickets in each innings. The 29-year-old is 6/4 to be best Pakistan bowler in the 3rd Test first innings.
England top order must improve or change
Joe Root offered England’s only real hope further up the batting order in both innings’, hitting 88 and then 71, and you can back the world-ranked number two batsman at 5/2 in the England run market.
There were top order issues for England in the recent Ashes series too, and perhaps it is now time for a change, as the replacement of Moeen Ali for Adam Lyth as opener has not worked. Alex Hales has been waiting patiently for a chance this series, and could get his chance in the final Test.
Ian Bell’s time in the team is surely running out, meanwhile. He gets the odd decent score, such as 46 in the second innings, but his continuous inability to use his experience and save a match could see the veteran finally ousted.
Jos Buttler, too, perhaps needs dropping in order to give him a much-needed kick. The wicketkeeper has not managed a 50 in his last 12 innings, and England already have a replacement, Jonny Bairstow, in the side.
Additions of rising stars Hales and James Taylor, dropping Bell and Buttler and moving Ali back down the order for the final match could be a risk, but the visitors need some sort of spark after finding no luck in the first two Tests.
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Coral’s top tip: England will be disappointed with not winning the first Test and coming so close to drawing the second, so back them to make amends and win the third at 9/4