DUBAI - England head coach Trevor Bayliss believes his team can beat Pakistan if luck favours them after coming close to a dramatic win in the first Test on Saturday.

A result was always highly unlikely in Abu Dhabi as the first innings was only completed on the fifth morning (Saturday) but leg-spinner Adil Rashid grabbed five wickets as Pakistan slumped to 173 all out in the final session. That left England with a winning target of 99 runs in a possible 19 overs, but they fell short by 25 runs when umpires called off the match eight overs early due to bad light.

Bayliss said he hoped the first Test result would stand England in good stead.

"I think it's a sign for the boys that they are not only able to compete but that, maybe with a little bit more luck or a little bit more time, they are able to win and play some good cricket here on these slow, turning wickets," said Bayliss on Sunday.

"I suppose at the end of the day it was unfortunate we couldn't get up (to win) but I thought the team performed very well throughout that five days," said Bayliss who took over in June this year.

Under Bayliss, a former Australia player who also coached Sri Lanka, England regained the Ashes with a 3-2 win in August. Bayliss admitted the rules on suspending play in fading light were followed.

"Everyone is aware of the rules," said Bayliss of the rule under which on-field umpires are entitled to rule close of play in fading light. "We went off the night before about four or five minutes before yesterday (on Friday), so we're comfortable, we know they're the rules - and everyone has got to abide by them. I am sure it'll be in our favour one day somewhere along the line - so yes, I'm happy with those rules."

Bayliss praised his team's fightback, scoring 598-9 declared after Pakistan's 523-8. "At lunchtime on the second day, if you were going to guess which team had a good chance of winning it, it may not have been England. "But the boys showed a lot of character, and if you stay in it you have a chance of winning."

Bayliss said Rashid came of age in the second knock, after a disastrous first innings in which he conceded 163 in his wicket-less 34 overs. "He (Rashid) did exactly what we thought he was more than capable of doing. In the first innings, it was very difficult to bowl spin on that wicket - as I think the four or five spinners in the match found."

Bayliss termed Alastair Cook's knock of 263 as "one of awe." "It is just an unbelievable will to concentrate for that long. It is just an unbelievable effort. There are some very good players in both teams ... but for someone to bat like that from the top of the innings - I think he spent over four days on the field - his powers of concentration are just superb. It's not the first time he's done it, so it really wasn't a surprise he was able to bat that long."

The second Test of three-match series will start in Dubai from Thursday.