Friday 27 April 2018

Rashid's heroics in vain as Pakistan leave it late

England's Adil Rashid walks off at the end of their clash with Pakistan
England's Adil Rashid walks off at the end of their clash with Pakistan Newsdesk Newsdesk

Adil Rashid's heroics proved agonisingly in vain as England's great escape faltered at the last against Pakistan in Dubai.

No 8 Rashid batted almost throughout the final two sessions of the second Test, but ultimately to no avail as the tourists were bowled out for 312 to lose by 178 runs deep into the evening session.

Their chances were barely existent when they descended to 187-6 at lunch, in notional pursuit of a world-record target of 491.

Rashid (61) resuscitated them with a maiden half-century, in only his second Test, and was valiantly assisted by Stuart Broad and Mark Wood in stands of 60 and 55 for the eighth and ninth wickets.

Then, though, came the cruellest blow when Rashid himself committed England's last mistake - surrounded by close fielders, his concentration wavered and he loosely drove legspinner Yasir Shah straight into the hands of cover with 6.3 overs left.

England must therefore contemplate the stark reality that they cannot win this series, and from 1-0 down will lose it in Sharjah next week unless they can pull off a first Test success away to Pakistan since 2000.

England resumed the final day on 130 -3, and their best bet Joe Root (71) was soon gone - along with overnight partner Jonny Bairstow and then Jos Buttler before lunch.

Yet Rashid, who came so close to bowling England to victory in last week's first Test but spoiled his card with a miserable shot in their damaging first-innings collapse of seven wickets for 36 runs here, would refuse to yield for 171 balls.

The Yorkshire all-rounder defied the efforts of a Pakistan attack led by spinners Yasir (4-87) and Zulfiqar Babar (3-53) - not to mention universal expectations, for almost four hours.

Irish Independent

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