ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Opener Mohammad Hafeez fell two runs short of a century to the last ball before tea to blemish an afternoon session that Pakistan dominated to reach 173 for two on the opening day of the first test against England on Tuesday.
Hafeez looked set for his ninth test century until he tried to force Ben Stokes through the leg side. The leg before decision was reviewed by the opener but the umpire’s call was upheld.
Up until that point, it had been Pakistan making untroubled progress on a sedate pitch after opting to bat first and England doing their best to throw away any rare chance which came their way.
For the second session, a momentary lapse of judgement cost England a wicket as Stuart Broad’s overstepping in his first over back after lunch cost him the wicket of Shoaib Malik, who was unbeaten on 72 at the tea interval.
The no-ball call, after the Pakistani number three had edged to Joe Root at gully, was marginal and only came down after the third umpire spotted it after numerous looks on the slow-motion replay.
It was the second life given to a Pakistani batsman after Ian Bell at second slip had dropped a simple chance offered by Hafeez when the opener was on seven.
In hot conditions and on a pitch offering very little assistance to bowlers, England will urely rue not taking their chances as Pakistan can look towards building a dominant total.
Such sloppiness from the visitors should not take away from Hafeez, who otherwise batted with ease until his exit just before tea.
He had used his feet well against debutant spinner Adil Rashid, and scored all around the wicket in a partnership of 168 with Malik.
The pair had come together after a bizarre dismissal of Shan Masood, bowled off the side of his helmet after being surprised by a short ball from James Anderson after making just two.
(Reporting by David French; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)