Bad light denies stunning England 1st Test win over lucky Pakistan
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | October 17, 2015
Pakistan (523-8d and 173) v England (598-9d and 74-4)
Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Pakistan and England draw despite thrilling final day
A draw (2/1 with Coral to happen again in the second Test) will be shown in the record books after this first match of the series between Pakistan and England, but the hosts will have felt it was like a victory after bad light saved their blushes.
Following a rather dull but high scoring first four days on as flat a wicket you’ll ever see, Pakistan collapsed to 173 all out in their second innings, thanks to the efforts of leg spinner Adil Rashid, to give England hope of claiming a stunning win.
With just 99 runs needed for the visitors, Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler were sent in to open in a bid to snatch a 1-0 lead in this three-match series. However, they came 25 short as in the end bad light saved Pakistan’s blushes with only 11 overs able to be played.
England showed excellent determination
The theme for England during this first Test was certainly about bouncing back. Their spirits were surely knocked after a terrific first batting innings by Pakistan, yet Alastair Cook led his team to a lead.
Then, Rashid, who took 0 dismissals in the first innings with the worst ever figures for a Test-bowling debutant, did fantastically well to then come back and claim a five-wicket haul.
So, England now need to apply that same mentality and not be too disheartened for the second Test, which they are now 12/5 to win with Coral.
Records and controversy rife
Although pundits, punters and just fans will argue that the pitch made for dreadful game, there was certainly plenty to talk about after the match, as records and controversy were present at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Besides Rashid’s outstanding second innings effort, there were two double hundreds scored in the first, as England captain Cook (263) and Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik (245) achieved that feat.
Cook’s in particular stood out as it was the third longest Test innings in the history of the game, and the best for an Englishman.
On top of that, veteran Younis Khan become Pakistan’s highest ever Test runscorer, after getting the 19 needed in his first innings. The 37-year-old finished on 38 and managed 45 in the second.
England’s highest ever wicket-taker James Anderson, meanwhile, got himself into the top 10 all-time Test dismissals list, when he got Shan Khan out early on day one.
Can second Test live up to final day at Sheikh Zayed Stadium?
In terms of controversy, Misba-ul-Haq Niazi was given out caught by the umpire in hsi second innings; however, following a review by the hosts, hawkeye technology adjudged that it in fact should’ve been an LBW dismissal. Therefore, the veteran captain survived and went on to get a potentially match-saving 51.
Cook will also have been annoyed that his record-breaking knock came to a premature end, as replays showed he shouldn’t have actually been given out.
But ultimately, we were treated to a thrilling finale, which hopefully suggests the last two matches will produce even more.
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Coral’s top tip: Despite coming so close to an unlikely win, England will be encouraged by their final day performance and are well-priced @ 12/5 to claim the second Test