Pakistan v England: Shoaib Malik 245 puts Pakistan in charge
|First Test, Abu Dhabi, day two|
|Pakistan 523-8 dec: Malik 245, Shafiq 107, Stokes 4-57|
|England 56-0: Cook 39*, Moeen 15*|
|England trail by 467 runs|
Shoaib Malik registered his maiden Test double century to put Pakistan in a commanding position on the second day of the first Test against England.
Malik, playing his first Test in five years, hit 245 and shared in a record fifth-wicket partnership of 248 with fellow centurion Asad Shafiq (107).
England toiled in the Abu Dhabi heat, failing to take a wicket until the final session of the day.
However, Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali saw the tourists to 56-0 at the close.
Cook, in particular, looked fluent as he reached 39 not out while Moeen (15 not out) was more watchful against a combination of intimidating pace from Wahab Riaz and wily spin from slow left-armer Zulfiqar Babar.
Captain Cook, who has now shared in half-century partnerships with Moeen in each of their four innings batting together, did have one momentary scare when he almost chopped on.
In the same motion, the left-hander appeared as though he might try and handle the ball but, luckily for England, he resisted and saw England to the close 467 runs in arrears.
While England close the day with all 20 of their wickets intact, they are still a long way behind Pakistan who patiently laid the foundations for a match-winning position.
Right-hander Malik continued where he left off overnight. However, unlike on the opening day when he was 'dismissed' by a Stuart Broad no-ball, he gave no chances to the exasperated England bowlers while slowly accumulating runs.
When he did open his shoulders, he smeared Adil Rashid for two straight sixes while Ben Stokes was also hit back over his head.
It seemed tiredness was the right-hander's only enemy - and so it proved when he pulled an off-cutter from Stokes into the hands of Ian Bell at short mid-wicket.
He was ably assisted by the more wristy Shafiq who compiled 107 before being dismissed after tea, lbw to Mark Wood, as the tourists looked to increase the tempo.
Problems in the spin department?
In particular, England will be concerned at the lack of control and potency given by their two spinners, Moeen and Rashid.
The pair recorded combined bowling figures of 64-2-284-0, with neither having an impact on a wicket which offered very little assistance to any of the bowlers.
Yorkshire leg-spinner Rashid's figures of 0-163 were the worst by any Test debutant, and only fast bowler Devon Malcolm has conceded more runs on debut for England. He went for 1-166 against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1989.
Former England spinner Graeme Swann says the England seamers, who resorted to off-cutters and a mixture of more skilful deliveries, bowled better than the slow bowlers but did defend Moeen and Rashid.
"I think Moeen bowled well," Swann said on BBC Test Match Special. "It's easy to jump to conclusions and look at mere stats on the board.
"I think the seamers have bowled better than the spinners, and I think Wood and Stokes were under-used, but Moeen did a good job and he kept things tight enough that the Pakistan batsmen were forced to go after him.
"Rashid is not a first-innings bowler, we know that. He is there to win games in the second innings."
The stats you may have missed
- Pakistan's Shoaib Malik and Asad Shafiq beat their country's record for fifth-wicket stands against England, overtaking the 197 added by Nasim-ul-Ghani and Javed Burki at Lord's in 1962.
- Malik's 245 is the highest score by a Pakistan batsman at Abu Dhabi, eclipsing Taufeeq Umar's 236 against Sri Lanka in 2011. Overall, he is second to AB de Villiers who made an unbeaten 278 for South Africa in 2010.
- Malik's double century is the fifth scored at Abu Dhabi in eight matches.
What they said
Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan, speaking on Test Match Special: "There hasn't been anything through the air - yet. The footholes are just starting to develop so as the match progresses there will be more action for the spinner and more reverse swing. It will just get lower - not uneven. It will be attritional stuff.
"For Alastair Cook to go out and play the way he did is a perfect example for the team. But Pakistan are well on top."
Ex-England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, also on TMS: "My mum would love to bat on there against those bowlers. My auntie Anne would have a bat too - after two port and lemons.
"There's nothing there to worry about - the only thing England can do is get themselves out. Just go and bat the rest of tomorrow."
England all-rounder Ben Stokes: "The last session where we picked up all the wickets came from all the hard work we put in before. We kept on plugging away, albeit a couple of slogs up in the air got us some wickets.
"There's nothing in the wicket which we weren't expecting. We knew it would be hard for the seamers. Maybe we thought it might spin more than it did but generally it's a nice batting wicket.
"Once we got a bat, Cookie and Mo showed that once you get in, you can score big like some of their batsmen did."