Malik-Shafiq Duo Demolishes England

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Shafiq helped Pakistan put on a record score against England for the fifth wicket

Scoreboard: England 56 for 0 (Cook 39*, Moeen 15*) trail Pakistan 523 for 8 dec (Malik 245, Shafiq 107, Stokes 4-57) 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).

Shafiq alongside him chipped in with a century of his own, and though both men survived notable moments of good fortune on the first day of the contest, neither offered another sniff of an opportunity.

It was until an improbable clatter of wickets after tea, when fatigue and the impending declaration enabled England’s toiling seamers to massage their stats, in particular Ben Stokes who emerged with the oddly respectable figures of 4 for 57.

The Malik-Shafiq partnership was a fifth-wicket record for Pakistan in Tests against England, beating the 197-run stand at Lord’s between Javed Burki and Nasim-ul-Ghani that had stood since 1962.

It continued their run of staggering batting form in Tests in Abu Dhabi, where they have never yet lost a match and where they have now recorded 11 hundreds in their last two-and-a-half Tests, dating back to the visit of Australia last October.

Too Hot for England?

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.

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England captain Alastair Cook stood firm to bring his team back.

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