After a break of 5 years 33 year old Shoaib Malik made a return to Test cricket. His response could hardly have been a more impressive. In the 1st Test at Abu Dhabi against England he was number 3 in the batting line up.
His epic innings lasted nearly 11 hours in the severe heat. In his 33rd Test, he faced 420 balls, hit 24 fours and 4 sixes, at a strike rate of 58.3 to make his highest Test score of 245.
His previous highest Test score was 148 not out. He had scored 2 centuries and 8 fifties before making his first double hundred.
His innings of 245 runs was the 10th highest Test score for a Pakistani batsman and the 3rd highest against England.
He was ably assisted in a 5th wicket record partnership against England of 248 runs, by Asad Shafiq who was out for 109.
England’s spinners have struggled to make any impact, depending on the seamers to get the wickets.
Pakistan declared on 523-8, making England toil in the intense heat for two days. Pakistan have a firm hold on this Test match, let’s hope the bowlers back the batmen up.
Before getting out Malik was struggling with cramp.His level of concentration and overall fitness was an example to all players.
Congratulations to Shoaib Malik on his return to Test cricket and also making his first record double hundred. It has certainly answered his critics and secured his Test selection.
England finished the 2nd day on 56 without loss.