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Simon Hughes: A lot of hard yakka for precious little reward

14 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Simon Hughes: A lot of hard yakka for precious little reward

The first Test between Pakistan and England in Abu Dhabi is likely to peter out in a bonanza of batsmen filling their boots, says the Analyst

Provided they do nothing silly, England will draw the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

There is no help in the pitch for any of the bowlers – and it doesn’t look as if it will deteriorate much – and there’s nothing to fear in the Pakistan attack, either.

The match is likely to peter out in a bonanza of batsmen filling their boots.

Given their lack of frontline, experienced spinners, England’s bowlers did about as much as could be expected on that featherbed.

They never threw in the towel, bowled to a decent (straight) plan and rarely gave away easy runs.

They deserved better than conceding 500-plus.

Had Ian Bell taken two regulation slip catches and Stuart Broad hadn’t dismissed the double-centurion Shoaib Malik on 40 with a no-ball, it could have been more like 375.

Now England will set about the task of batting until Friday afternoon.

Crucially, the openers survived the evening session so Alistair Cook and Moeen Ali will be fresh and rested in the morning.

8/11 – Pakistan and England to draw the first Test

If England set themselves small targets – batting for 15 minutes or 20 runs at a time, concentrating hard and looking to rotate the strike – they should easily get to the close of the third day a maximum of four wickets down (as Pakistan were after the first day).

Without the leg spinner Yasir Shah, Pakistan’s attack looks unthreatening.

Wahab Riaz has considerable pace but rarely finds top gear in Tests and has a poor strike rate.

The other seamers have, too, and they will not get any help from this moribund surface.

The lone spinner, Zulfiqar Barbar, is not a big turner of the ball and bowls at a slowish pace. He will not bowl England out here.

Cook and Joe Root are the key wickets.

They have the aptitude to bat for long periods and do not get frustrated or agitated. One of them should make a big hundred here.

Assuming their colleagues don’t make stupid mistakes, England should be able to get close to Pakistan’s first-innings score by sometime Friday.

Then it will just be a matter of watching the home batsmen break more Pakistan run-making records before two tired sets of bowlers finally get to put their feet up after a lot of hard yakka for precious little reward.

Pakistan v England betting