Chasing a record 491, England reaches 130 for 3 at close on penultimate day
Pakistan picked up three wickets including the key scalp of Alastair Cook to close in on victory in the second Test against England after Younus Khan smashed a century in Dubai on Sunday (October 25).
Pakistan needs seven more wickets to snatch a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after Younus' brilliant 118 helped it set a daunting world record 491-run target for England.
At stumps, England was 130 for 3 with Joe Root on a fighting 59 and Jonny Bairstow on six. England needs 361 more for an unlikely victory, or will have to bat out the final day on a wearing Dubai Stadium pitch on Monday.
It will be a tough task for the England batsmen with the pitch offering turn, Yasir Shah, the legspinner, and Zulfiqar Babar, the left-arm spinner, posing a real threat.
Earlier, Pakistan declared 35 minutes after lunch, with Younus well supported by Misbah-ul-Haq’s 87 and Asad Shafiq’s 79.
England was in deep trouble at 45 for 2 at tea when Ian Bell (46) and Root defied the Pakistan bowling during a 102-run stand for the third wicket. But Babar broke the partnership when he sharply spun a delivery which Bell tried to leave but gloved to the slip, where Younus took an easy catch.
Pakistan reviewed the not out decision by Bruce Oxenford and was duly rewarded. Bell hit four boundaries during his 121-ball resistance-packed knock.
Root edged Shah through the slips to complete his 16th Test half-century, his 12th fifty-plus score in 2015 which is a new record for an England batsman, beating Keith Fletcher's 11 in 1973. He has so far hit five boundaries in his resolute 134-ball knock.
It was Imran Khan who provided Pakistan with an early wicket, forcing an edge off Moeen Ali to slip, where Younus took the catch.
Cook, who scored 65 in the first innings and an epic 263 in the first Test, failed to keep a sweep off Shah down and was smartly caught at deep square-leg by Wahab Riaz.
Earlier, it was Younus who set the tone for a big target. He punched Stuart Broad to the point boundary for his 11th four to reach three figures off 193 balls, his third hundred against England.
He was finally dismissed as he tried to pace the run-rate, skying a catch off Adil Rashid, the legspinner. In all, he hit 13 boundaries during his 354-minute knock.
Pakistan, resuming on 222 for 3, looked for quick runs. Misbah had scored a brilliant 102 in Pakistan's first innings of 378, but failed to add to his overnight 87.
He played an uppish shot to a slower delivery from James Anderson which landed in the hands of Cook at mid-off. Misbah hit eight boundaries and five sixes in his enterprising 147-ball innings.
England's bowlers toiled hard to check the flow of runs as Rashid conceded 107 runs before finally getting a wicket. Moeen trapped Shafiq leg-before wicket to finish with 1 for 60. Shafiq hit eight boundaries in his 112-ball knock. He added 113 runs for the fifth wicket with Younis.
Misbah declared the innings at the fall of Shafiq's wicket. Anderson with 2 for 22 and Mark Wood with 2 for 44 were the most successful English bowlers.
The first Test in Abu Dhabi had ended in a draw, and the third and final Test starts in Sharjah on November 1.
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