Rain once again hampers second England-Pakistan Test as Shaheen Afridi strikes
SOUTHAMPTON: Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi needed just four balls to remove England’s Rory Burns for a duck on Sunday before bad weather again interrupted the second Test at Southampton.
England were 7-1 in reply to Pakistan’s first innings 236 when rain stopped play at 12pm local time (11am GMT) on the fourth day.
In gloomy conditions that, with the floodlights on, favoured Pakistan’s pacers as they had England’s quicks, left-arm fast bowler Afridi produced a superb delivery that moved away from left-hander Burns, who edged to second slip Asad Shafiq.
It took England until the third over to score their first run as Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley struggled against both Afridi and the accurate Mohammad Abbas.
When the umpires called a halt, Sibley was two not out and Crawley — recalled in place of Ben Stokes after the star all-rounder withdrew from this match to be with his ill father in New Zealand — five not out.
There was no more play before lunch.
Rizwan hits out
Earlier, Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with 72 as Pakistan’s first innings finally came to an end.
Pakistan resumed on 223-9 after rain had washed out the whole of Saturday’s play in a match where bad weather had also curtailed the first two days.
And there was a further delay to the scheduled 10am GMT start when, despite having had hours to prepare for the possibility, a member of the ground staff had to bring out sawdust for the bowlers’ run-ups.
Rizwan was then 60 not out — his second fifty in eight career Tests following his 95 against Australia in Brisbane in November.
The wicket-keeper, in partnership with dogged tail-ender Abbas (two off 20 balls), had taken Pakistan past 200 in a ninth-wicket after they had come together with the tourists struggling at 176-8.
Rizwan made his intentions clear by swingingly wildly, and missing, at James Anderson as he charged down the pitch to Sunday’s first ball of the day.
The wicket-keeper did, however, make contact when he sliced a drive off Anderson over the slips to the third man boundary.
Rizwan also square-cut Anderson for a well-struck four before he was out when, aiming legside off Stuart Broad, he got a leading edge and was caught in the covers by Crawley.
Rizwan batted for three and three-quarter hours, facing 139 balls with seven fours.
Broad, who had already become the first England bowler since off-spinner Graeme Swann 11 years ago to take three wickets in seven consecutive Test innings, led the attack with 4-56 in 27.2 overs.
Broad has taken 26 wickets in four Tests so far this season at a miserly average of 12.38.
Pakistan, 1-0 down in a three-match series after their three-wicket defeat in the first Test at Old Trafford last week, were also indebted to Abid Ali (60) and Babar Azam (47) for painstaking innings when the conditions were stacked against the batters.
Victory in this match will see England secure their first series win over Pakistan since 2010.