haroon siddiqui

Former Pakistan cricket captain Younus Khan and Azhar Ali saved Pakistan from total collapse as hosts were struggling at 28 for two, Taufiq Umar (six) and M Hafeez (21), and the team were trailing by 14 runs in their second innings after England were all out for 141 for a first-innings lead of 42.

Misbahul Haq's decision to bat backfired as Pakistan were crashed out for just 99 runs and it looked that England took the match in their control. But Pakistani bowlers fought back and restricted England to 104/6 six at stamps on day one. Dubai Test saw 16 wickets fell on the first day, with nine wickets went to fast bowlers while spinners picked up seven wickets and in first session, on second day, six wickets fell and were equally shared by the spinners and the pacers. Pakistan bowler did not allow England to gain much lead and bowled them out for 141 in pre-lunch session, and conceded 42 runs first innings lead. Pakistan frustrated English bowlers and Younus, Azhar kept their wickets intact to end the day at 222 for the loss of just two wickets.

England started well and grabbed two quick wickets but Younus Khan and Azhar Ali after the fall of Taufeeq and Hafeez, steadied Pakistan innings. Pakistan went for tea at 122 without losing any other wicket.  England captain made continuous changes to break the partnership but his all efforts went in vain as no English bowler could able to separate Azhar and Younus in the final session. Younus Khan back in-form at the right time when team was in dire need of score from the senior batsmen and Younus took responsibility on his shoulder and proved that the old is always gold and took Pakistan towards safety.

In the meanwhile, Younus Khan proved his class and completed his half-century and later century and guided Pakistan towards safety. On the other hand, Azhar Ali blocked one-end up and frustrated English bowlers and finish the day with unbeaten 75 runs at stumps on day second. The pair put on 194 runs for the unbroken third wicket partnership.  Younus (125*) and Azhar Ali (75*) will resume Pakistan second innings at the overnight score of 222 for the loss of two wickets. If the pair and later Pakistani orders succeeded in getting 300 plus runs, it will be much difficult for Strauss and co to save the match and whitewash which is well on the cards.

Pakistan team and coach Mohsin Khan were satisfied with the performance of the pair and will be hoping of maximum lead to crush England in the third Test to register a clean sweep against the tourists. Only any miracle can save England from the whitewash and defeat.

Earlier, Pakistan has defeated England in the first Test at 5th same venues while they registered 72 runs victory in Abu Dhabi and are now on verge of victory in this Test as well.