ABU DHABI: Openers Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali batted solidly to take England to 56-0 after Shoaib Malik’s double century lifted Pakistan to a mammoth total in the first Test in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Cook was unbeaten on 39 and with him Ali 15 not out as England trail by 467 runs in reply to Pakistan’s first innings of 523-8 declared after day two at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
England batsmen will have to bat out of their skins to thwart Pakistan’s pace-cum-spin attack on a pitch which did not help the bowlers on the first two days but can change its nature as the game progresses.
Ali survived a confident leg-before appeal and the subsequent review when left-arm pace man Rahat Ali brought one in sharply to hit the pads but Australian umpire Paul Reiffel gave the batsman not out.
It was a day to remember for Malik as he capped his return to the Test side after a gap of five years with an epic knock of 245, his best score in Test cricket, after coming in to bat in the third over of the match on Tuesday.
Malik said he felt proud at such a memorable comeback.
“It was challenging, first it was my comeback then I came to the crease in only the third over but I had the resolve and the confidence to do well and that helped me throughout my innings,” said Malik, who had to take treatment for dehydration after his 647-minute vigil.