Pakistan Tour of England 2020, Second Test between England and Pakistan at Ageas Bowl, Day 5: England 110 for 4 declared (Crawley 53, Abbas 2-28) drew with Pakistan 236 (Rizwan 72, Abid 60, Broad 4-56)
There wasn’t much joy or interest left in the second Test when the players strode out to the Ageas Bowl on Day 5. After four days of intermittent play and frustrating sessions lost to wet weather or bad light, it was, perhaps, fitting that the match should end on a tame note. However, with so much riding on this Test, especially for Pakistan who are trailing 0-1 in the series, the result was far from satisfactory.
And, from the evidence of the final day’s play, which, too, seemed unlikely as the morning session was lost because of rain, one dares say that both England and Pakistan will head into the final Test at honours even. However, the best that Pakistan can hope for going into the third Test, which, incidentally, will also be hosted at the Ageas Bowl, is to draw the series level at 1-1.
There was a sense that had the game afforded more playing hours, Pakistan, with 236 on the board on a seaming surface, could well have put Joe Root’s men under the cosh and entertained hopes of an outright win.
However, as it turned out in the two sessions of play in Southampton on Day 5, Pakistan could only take three more wickets as England agreed on a stalemate at 110/4.
Having England at 7/1 overnight after a truncated fourth day, Pakistan would have hoped to roll them over for 150 or less on a surface affording exaggerated seam and swing. However, with the sun breaking through on the final day, the Pakistani opening bowlers couldn’t work the same magic as they did on Day 4.
Zak Crawley, England’s No. 3, stroked a fine 53 off 99 balls as Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Abbas, who bowled splendidly on Day 4, failed to make early inroads into the English batting line-up. It wasn’t until England had moved to 91 when Crawley fell leg before to Abbas. However, Crawley’s scalp bought two more wickets for Pakistan as opener Dom Sibley and Ollie Pope fell within a few runs of each other to Abbas and Yasir Shah.
Skipper Root and wicket-keeper Jos Buttler then got together and took England to 110 before the two teams shook hands.
Though a dull draw it was eventually, this Test held enough promise of another thrilling finish after the opening match at the Emirates Old Trafford, but weather and bad light intervened with frustrating consequences.
Let’s hope the final Test at the Ageas Bowl will afford fifteen uninterrupted sessions under bright sunshine.