Umpires and players of both teams greet each other at the end of the Test match at the Ageas Bowl on Monday. AP
Zak Crawley struck a half-century as England and Pakistan played out a tame draw in their rain-hit second Test at the Rose Bowl on Monday.
Only 134.3 overs were possible in the entire match, which included a 38 over spell late on the fifth afternoon as the sun finally came out, with England finishing on 110 for four before the game was called off with no prospect of a winner.
Crawley scored 53, his third Test half-century, before he was out leg before wicket to Mohammad Abbas (2-28) having put on 91 with Dom Sibley (32) for the second wicket, both gaining valuable time at the crease ahead of the third and final Test that starts at the same venue on Friday.
Dom Sibley plays a shot during the fifth day of the second Test match. AP
Opener Rory Burns (0) and Ollie Pope (9) were the other two batsmen dismissed.
“We were excited about this week, so it’s disappointing not to get much cricket in,” England captain Joe Root said at the post-match presentation.
“But I thought Zak was excellent today, that partnership (with Sibley) was high class on a very difficult surface.”
Root said the selectors will look at the full squad before making a decision on who starts the third Test, with fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood waiting in the wings.
Umpires and players greet each other at the end of the 2nd Test match. AP
“All the guys are now in contention for the next one, we will see where we are (physically) tomorrow. We will also take the surface into account.”Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bat, posting 236 in their first innings, a total that their captain Azhar Ali felt was competitive.
“It’s been frustrating for both teams, the game was set up quite nicely as the conditions were good for bowling throughout,” he said.
“We spoke about taking on the challenge of batting first and we fought really hard. The England bowling attack is brilliant, but the guys stuck to the task.
“The best thing out of the Test is we did not have to bowl much. It is a big Test coming up and we want everybody to be fresh and ready.” England won the first Test in Manchester by three wickets.
Rizwan plays a shot on the third day of second Test. AFP
Meanwhile, Mohammad Rizwan was hailed as a "nuggety player who wants to get stuck in" by England batting consultant Jonathan Trott.
Rizwan top-scored with 72 and expertly shepherded the tail when it looked like Pakistan might be dismissed for under 200.
He was eventually last man out after an innings that spanned four days.
Rizwan batted for three and three-quarter hours, facing 139 balls with seven boundaries during his second fifty in eight career Tests following the 95 he made against Australia in Brisbane in November.
"The way he plays, the skill in batting with the tail as well is something that should not be underrated," Trott told reporters.
"Sometimes that is a challenge in itself, to manoeuvre the ball and field so you are on strike again."
The former England batsman added: "He looks like a nuggety player who wants to get stuck in which is what you want as a fielder from your keeper and as a batter."
Pakistan 1st Innings 236 (Mohammad Rizwan 72, Abid Ali 60; S Broad 4-56, J Anderson 3-60)
England 1st Innings (overnight: 7-1)
R Burns c Shafiq b Afridi 0
D Sibley c Rizwan b Abbas 32
Z Crawley lbw b Abbas 53
J Root not out 9
O Pope lbw b Yasir Shah 9
J Buttler not out 0
Extras (lb3, nb3, w1) 7
Total (4 wkts dec, 43.1 overs, 194 mins) 110
Did not bat: C Woakes, S Curran, D Bess, S Broad, J Anderson
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Burns), 2-91 (Crawley), 3-92 (Sibley), 4-105 (Pope)
Bowling: Afridi 10-3-25-1 (1nb, 1w); Abbas 14-5-28-2 (1nb); Naseem 5-0-10-0 (1nb); Yasir 11-2-30-1; Masood 3-0-14-0; Azhar 0.1-0-0-0.
Pakistan were 223-9 at stumps on the second day, with Rizwan 60 not out just as he started to up the tempo of his innings with only last man Naseem Shah for company.
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 12:00pm local time on the fourth day.
Crawley brought up an 80-ball fifty off the last ball of the session when, tempted to drive after Pakistan reinforced the slip cordon, he stylishly struck Shaheen Afridi down the ground to long-off for the seventh four of his innings.
Mohammad Rizwan underlined why he will be a key weapon for Pakistan at the Twenty20 World Cup, top-scoring in a 21-run win over Bangladesh in Christchurch on Friday.
Qatar has ordered most government employees to work from home during next month's soccer World Cup while schools will have reduced hours two weeks before the tournament before shutting as the country prepares for a big influx of visitors.
Dejounte Murray scored 25 points in his Atlanta debut and the Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 123-113 on Thursday in the NBA’s first game in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf.
Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller hit unbeaten half-centuries to set up a nine-run win for South Africa in a rain-reduced opening one-day international (ODI) against India on Thursday. The left-handed Miller (75) and Klaasen (74) put on an unbeaten stand of 139 runs after the tourists lost their top four