At close of play on the second day of the Second Test match between England and Pakistan in Dubai, nobody could have envisaged or predicted such a dramatic turn of events as occurred during the following three days. The English team appeared set to build upon a first innings total of 182-3 in reply to the Pakistan score of 378 all out, yet could only must 60 more runs as wickets tumbled and their hopes of victory evaporated. There followed another competent batting performance from Pakistan with a win apparently secured or so it seemed.
The Pakistan batsmen finished the third day with a total of 222-3 as captain Misbah ul Haq and Younus Khan stayed unbeaten on 87 and 71 respectively. At 358 runs ahead with seven wickets remaining, any hopes for England avoiding defeat were becoming increasingly remote and the only surprise was that Misbah had not tried to complete a century before the close, having compiled 87 runs on the first day prior to scoring 15 in the final over.
Misbah failed to score any further runs on the second day and it was a repeat performance on the fourth day as he was dismissed via an Alastair Cook catch from a James Anderson delivery. The innings of Younus finally ended at 118 but Pakistan waited until they had scored 354 and were 491 runs ahead before declaring, with opinions varying as to the timing. Some experts thought that Misbah could have ended the innings much earlier as England already faced a massive task in compiling so many runs during a fourth innings.
As it happened, any concerns for the Pakistan team appeared to dissipate as the English batsmen struggled, with Cook apparently affected by a groin injury. The gamble in playing Moeen Ali as number two batsman failed spectacularly as he amassed just one run while Cook departed early for 10. With Joe Root unbeaten on 59 and England closing the fourth day on 130-3, a long spell at the wicket for the middle order batsmen was the only conceivable manner in which the English team could secure a draw with victory deemed impossible.
Unfortunately, Root scored just 12 more runs as England slumped to 193-7 with just the tail-enders remaining. That situation then prompted from some fierce resistance from the English bowlers. Stuart Broad arrived at the crease and added a confident 30 runs before his dismissal but Adil Rashid was already defying the Pakistan bowlers as he was joined by Mark Wood.
With just 20 overs remaining England had accumulated 300 runs for the loss of eight wickets but seven overs later Rashid and Wood were still unbeaten on 57 and 28 respectively. Wood was eventually caught at second slip but by this stage Rashid was refusing easy runs just to retain strike with James Anderson now his partner.
Scoring was painfully slow but England did not care as just seven overs were now scheduled with only 12 further runs added. An eventual mistake by Rashid ended the English innings and allowed Pakistan to earn victory in the Second Test, but the resistance offered by the English bowlers showed that occupation of the crease was possible with a degree of application and concentration apparently lacking in some of the more established English batsmen.