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England, Pakistan tussle, but gripping Test ends in draw

Visiting side chases 99 for victory, after Rashid's five-for, but bad light has final say

England, Pakistan tussle, but gripping Test ends in draw - Cricket News
There were plenty of twists and turns, but bad light forced a draw in Abu Dhabi.

It was the perfect advertisement for Test cricket. The first Test between Pakistan and England looked as if it would end in a high-scoring draw, but Adil Rashid proved to be the unlikely hero, turning the game on its head to give the visiting side a sniff at victory on the fifth and final day. 

There were plenty of twists and turns, but bad light forced a draw in Abu Dhabi on Saturday (October 17), with England ending 25 runs short of a remarkable win. 

Rashid, who had registered the worst bowling figures on debut in the first innings with 0 for 163, snapped up 5 for 64 in the second dig as Pakistan was bowled out for 173. That left England needed 99 runs in a maximum of 19 overs to seal a win. However, light was fading fast and the umpires had little choice but to call off play after 11 overs into the innings, with England on 74 for 4.

England threw caution to the wind and pursued the target with great gusto, Jos Buttler opening the innings alongside Moeen Ali. But Pakistan never let it off the hook, removing Buttler (4), Moeen (11), Ben Stokes (2) and Jonny Bairstow (15).

Joe Root remained unbeaten on 33 as Zulfiqar Babar (2 for 27) and Shoaib Malik (2 for 25) ensured Pakistan didn't concede a lead in the three-match series. Nonetheless, few had expected such a thrilling ending when England, in reply to Pakistan's 523 for 8 declared, closed its first innings at 598 for 9.

The post-tea session proved to be the turning point as Pakistan lost its last five wickers for only 14 runs. While Root, Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan could hold their heads up high, the rest of the batsmen from both sides struggled as 15 wickets fell in the final day.

Pakistan had its hopes pinned on Younis (45) and Misbah (51) at 47 for 3, after Mohammad Hafeez was run out for 34. But Moeen (2 for 28) removed both to leave Pakistan in trouble. Rashid then mopped up the tail, removing Zulfiqar Babar (1), Sarfraz Ahmed (27) and Imran Khan in successive overs.

Before the spinners stole the show, it was James Anderson's (2 for 30) opening burst that put Pakistan on the back foot at 3 for 2, with Shan Masood (1) and Malik (0) perishing to the paceman. While Masood played on to the stumps, Malik, the first-innings hero who hit 245, found himself walking back to the dressing after failing to negotiate a bouncer from Anderson. 

Resuming at 569 for 8 at the start of the day, England lost Rashid (12) and decided to declare with Stuart Broad (17 not out) and Anderson (3 not out) at the crease. The pick of the bowlers for Pakistan was Wahab Riaz, who finished with figures of 3 for 125.  

The second Test will be in Dubai on October 22, and the third and final Test will be in Sharjah on November 1.

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