England and Pakistan Play Out Subdued Draw
As has been expected for some time now, day five of the second Test match between England and Pakistan closed with the teams bumping fists to salute a weather-affected draw at the Ageas Bowl.
Unlike the previous two days, which had been all but wiped out by the constant deluge, the final day did see some reasonably competitive cricket. Although more rain did prevent play from starting on time.
When the action got underway shortly after 3.00 pm, England reached 110-4 in reply to Pakistan’s 236 before the captains agreed on a draw. Joe Root effectively declared his side’s innings following one delivery of the 43rd over, bowled by Pakistan captain and lesser-seen bowler, Azhar Ali.
Zak Crawley Impresses
Earlier Zak Crawley made a positive 53 and opener Dom Sibley 32 before falling in consecutive Mohammad Abbas overs. Ollie Pope was also dismissed for nine. He was LBW to Yasir Shah shortly before the agreed close.
Crawley has played 7 test matches. He now has 314 runs at just under 29. Plus, he has scored 3 half-centuries. However, he has failed to go on and convert his scores. He will be hoping to make amends in the third test match.
Despite the weather and the draw, the only possible winners the final day’s action was watchable, and frankly, a break from the highlights viewers had endured over the previous hours.
Only 135.3 overs were possible across the five days – the shortest amount of play in a Test in England since 1987. This, given the often less than pleasant summer days that is a remarkable feat.
Despite there being no match to speak of, formalities being formalities – Pakistan wicketkeeper Mohammed Rizwan was named Man of the Match thanks to his 72 in tricky batting conditions in the Pakistan first innings. Stuart Broad was also in contention for his four wickets.
3rd Test Match Preview
All this means that England will take a 1-0 lead into the third and final Test, which begins on Friday at the same ground, hopefully in better conditions. Pakistan will require a win to level the series 1-1. Pakistan haven’t won a test series in England since 1996. They will have to wait longer, now, to do so. The loss in the first test match meant that it was always going to be difficult.
There is more weather forecast for next week. England will face Pakistan, knowing a draw will help them regain the trophy.
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