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Pakistan overcome England to win Dubai Test

Pakistan’s bowlers wore down tough resistance from England’s tail to win the second Test by an emphatic 178-run margin here on Monday, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah (4-87) and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar (3-53) shared the bowling honours as England, set a daunting 491-run target, were bowled out for 312 late on the fifth day with just 6.3 overs left in the match at Dubai stadium.

A win early in the day was very much on the cards, but England’s ninth-wicket pair of Rashid and Mark Wood (29) put up a valiant fight for 29.2 overs through their 55-run partnership.

Babar ended Wood’s resistance while Shah finished the match by ending Rashid’s 239-minute resistance when he had him caught in the covers in the fading light as the Pakistani fielders embraced each other.

Pakistan had sensed victory at lunch with just four wickets to take but first Rashid and Broad frustrated them through their 60-run stand for the eighth wicket and then the Rashid-Wood stand lasted for nearly two and a half hours.

Before tea Riaz bowled Broad to bring Pakistan to within two wickets of winning the match, but Rashid and Wood carried England to 285-8 at tea with 31 overs remaining to bat for a draw.

Pakistan could have finished the game before the break but Mohammad Hafeez dropped a regulation catch at slip when Rashid edged a Shah delivery while on 42.

Rashid completed his maiden fifty soon after tea, pushing for a quick single off Riaz. It took him 110 balls of defiance to reach the mark including five boundaries.

In all Rashid batted for 172 balls, hitting seven boundaries, as he made 61. The victory was important for Pakistan after they narrowly escaped defeat in the first Test in Abu Dhabi when bad light helped them draw the match in final minutes. The third and final Test starts in Sharjah on November 1.   Pakistan’s win came on the anniversary of their first ever Test win, against India at Lucknow 63 years ago. “You have to give credit to the opposition when the ball is turning and two really good spinners were bowling they showed really good character,” said Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq. 

“Our spinners bowled well, especially under pressure. Whenever we needed a breakthrough they held their nerve and this is a great win for us.” 
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