The second test match between England and Pakistan is likely to end in a draw as bad light and wet weather has disrupted the third day of play in the second test at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.
Pakistan still need to complete their first innings and remain on 223-9. Opener Abid Ali scored 60 for Pakistan as they raced to 78-1 in the early stages on day one.
Ali was dropped twice by England before he was eventually caught by Rory Burns from a Sam Curran delivery halfway through day one.
Wickets then began to fall quickly and soon Pakistan were 126-5 by the end of the play. Asad Shafiq and Fawad Alam’s wickets then fell quickly with five and 0 respectively. Broad took another wicket with Dominic Sibley catching Shafiq and Chris Woakes dismissed Alam for zero with an LBW.
At the start of day two, Pakistan number four Babar Azam enjoyed a good spell with the bat, scoring a number of controlled fours and reached 47 runs before edging a straight Stuart Broad delivery, which wicketkeeper Jos Butler caught with ease.
Pakistan wickets then started to fall with few runs in return. Butler took another catch as Yasir Shah edged a James Anderson delivery.
Shaheen Afridi was then run out cheaply for a duck following a mix up with batting partner Mohammed Rizwan. Shaheen had to sprint back towards his crease, but he couldn’t outpace and accurate Dominic Sibley throw which just clipped the bails to run him out.
Pakistan’s wicketkeeper Rizwan put together a strong innings of 60 not out to help Pakistan raise a decent total of 223. Rizwan played an entire textbook of shots off the England bowlers throughout the afternoon on day two, smashing one four deep towards the leg side boundary, delicately lifting the ball over Butler and the slips for another and racing to his second 50 in eight test matches.
He was supported by bowler Mohammad Abbas who lasted 56 balls for two runs. Abbas fell with just one over remaining in the day, playing an early shot to a full Stuart Broad deliver which saw him depart for LBW in the 85th over.
Bad light then stopped play early on the second day. England bowler Jimmy Anderson, who has taken three wickets for England so far, was disappointed not to bowl out Pakistan but was pleased with England’s position in the match.
Following day two, Anderson said: “We’re a little bit frustrated that we didn’t get a chance to finish them off. We did well throughout the day, stayed patient, tried to get the ball in the areas we wanted and that touch fuller to get the nicks.
“We’re pretty pleased with where we’re at. Obviously, we would have loved some more play today but it wasn’t to be”
Pakistan’s defiant batsman Mohammed Rizwan believes Pakistan are still in a good position, should the match continue on day four or day five.
After day two, Rizwan said: “It is good seaming conditions for fast bowlers. We have scored good runs and our fast bowlers are capable of taking wickets so they are keen to bowl.
Speaking about his impressive innings Rizwan said: “When Babar (Azam) is playing with me, I play compact cricket and when the tail-enders come in, I have to score runs so I have to change. In test cricket there are phrases and we have to play according to the phrase and with the tail-enders, I try to get more runs.
There has been little play over the first three days with just 86 overs bowled out of a possible 180 and England still need to begin their first innings.
With inconsistent weather over the next two days and lots of cricket to be played, a draw is probable. The result will even the three-match series 1-1 heading into the third and final test between the two sides, which begins on Friday, August 21.
England won the first test in Manchester by four wickets.