The weather and a stubborn innings from Mohammed Rizwan thwarted England’s progress on Day Two of the Second Test at the Ageas Bowl.
Barely 40 overs were possible on a dreary day on the south coast, with the Pakistan No. 7’s unbeaten knock of 60 pushing his side towards something that might be approaching a par score at 223/9.
Weather delays play
Having resumed on 120/5, Rizwan and Babar Azam added 29 runs in the hour of play before lunch after more bad weather had delayed the start by 90 minutes.
By lunch, Pakistan had reached 155/5, with Babar five runs away from a half century. However, Stuart Broad struck in the third over after the restart, with a lovely ball which drew a nick and sent Babar on his way for 47, which gave England an opening at the tourists’ long tail.
Rizwan had himself been troubled by deliveries similar to the Babar dismissal early on, but England changed their approach and offered the batsman easy singles in an effort to bowl at the tailenders.
Having been dropped on 14 by Jos Buttler after a top-edged pull, Rizwan punished the England attack, with five fours coming after he had faced 70 balls as he looked to keep the scoreboard ticking.
At the other end, Yasir Shah came out with attacking intent but gave James Anderson a third wicket of the innings after edging a drive through to Buttler, before Shaheen Afridi was run out by a direct hit from Dom Sibley for a 19-ball duck to leave his side 176/8.
Change of tactics
Rizwan himself then dominated a ninth-wicket stand of 39 with Mohammed Abbas, a partnership that lasted over 10 overs before Broad dismissed the tailender lbw with a full, straight ball – something that had been lacking before the tea interval - for his third wicket.
That was five overs after England had taken the second new ball and Broad sent down just five more deliveries before the players left again for bad light and stumps were called more than an hour and a half later.