By Matt Smith
DUBAI (Reuters) – Pakistan overcame the loss of two early wickets to reach 92 for three at tea on the third day of the second test on Saturday, 228 runs ahead of England after Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah had scythed through the tourists’ batting order before lunch.
It was a truly abject morning for England, who lost their final seven wickets for 36 runs to be 242 all out and all but wreck their chances of becoming the first team to defeat Pakistan in a test series in the UAE.
That collapse meant England realistically needed to bowl out Pakistan cheaply to stand any chance of achieving a remarkable comeback and Alastair Cook’s men got off to the best possible start after lunch.
Opener Shan Masood (one) had been fortunate as a diving Jos Buttler spilled his nick off Stuart Broad, but England’s wicketkeeper made amends, snaffling another Masood edge off James Anderson the following over.
Pakistan were one for one and number three Shoaib Malik (seven) lasted little longer, driving a full Mark Wood ball onto his stumps which reduced Pakistan to 16 for two.
Captain Cook rotated his attack, using seven bowlers for scant reward until Mohammad Hafeez (51) lazily edged Wood to Joe Root at slips.
The hosts then made it to tea with Younus Khan unbeaten on 30 and captain Misbah-ul-Haq three not out.
Stuart Broad had predicted Saturday’s first hour of play could decide the test and the all-rounder’s words proved prescient but in the opposite way that he would have hoped.
England started the day on 183 for three, Root and Jonny Bairstow on 76 and 27 respectively and seeking to extend their partnership of 55.
Pakistan began with the contrasting threat of Wahab’s scorching pace and Yasir’s canny leg-spin.
After three scoreless overs, England’s batsmen registered 24 runs in the next three and seemed at ease.
However, Wahab (4-66) then removed Root (88), Ben Stokes (four) and Buttler (nought), all caught by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, as the 30-year-old’s devastating four-over spell yielded three wickets for just one run.
Yasir (4-93) then dismissed Adil Rashid (nought), caught by Hafeez in the covers, and Bairstow (46) leg before wicket in the same over as England slumped to 223 for eight.
Wood (one) mounted little resistance as Yasir claimed another victim via Younus Khan at slips, while Anderson (four) was last out, looping a catch to Sarfraz off Imran Khan.
Abu Dhabi’s first test was drawn, while Sharjah will host the final test from Nov. 1.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford/Sudipto Ganguly)