Shoaib’s ton puts Pakistan in command against England in first Test

Abu Dhabi: Shoaib Malik marked his return to the Test fold after a gap of five years with a solid unbeaten century as Pakistan scored a monolithic 286-4 at stumps on the opening day of the first match in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Opting to bat first, the hosts dealt a heavy blow in the third when opener Shan Masood was bowled out by James Anderson for five runs. However, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib steadied the innings as the duo piled up a mammoth 168-run partnership for the second wicket.

Hafeez (98) fell short of two runs short of completing his century as he was trapped lbw by all-rounder Ben Stokes on the stroke of tea.

Then, veteran batsman Younis Khan created history by surpassed Javed Miandad tally of 8,832 runs to become Pakistan highest run-getter in Tests. He was dismissed by Stuart Broad for 38.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq failed to contribute significantly as he was caught behind by Jos Buttler off Anderson’s delivery.

Shoaib continued to pile on runs after securing his third Test century as he remained unbeaten on 124 with Asad Shafiq on the crease on 11.

Meanwhile, England struggled to maintain stranglehold over the tourists on a surface offering minimal assistance at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

On the fielding side, England displayed a below par performance as Ian Bell dropped two straightforward chances at second slip, which could have prevented the run flow.