Rizwan dazzles in gloomy Southampton as England made to wait

By Sports Desk August 14, 2020

England were left frustrated by both Mohammad Rizwan and bad light on a truncated day two of the second Test against Pakistan.

Rizwan was on 60 not out when play was called off amid the gloom in Southampton, only 41.1 overs of play possible on a Friday that had also seen a delayed start due to rain.

Pakistan were on 223-9 at stumps thanks to some lower-order resistance, despite the best efforts of England seam duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Anderson (3-48) dismissed Yasir Shah for five to take his Test tally to 593 wickets, while Broad claimed the key scalp of Babar Azam with a superb delivery that the right-hander edged through to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler when on 47.

But, having slipped from 78-1 to close a shortened opening day on 126-5, the tourists battled hard in bowler-friendly conditions, Rizwan leading the way with some help from the tail to keep England's opening batsmen waiting for their opportunity.

Early showers had already held back the home team's push for a series-clinching victory, while they failed to take a wicket in a shortened opening session once play finally got under way.

However, having appeared on course to record a Test half-century in a sixth successive first innings, Babar fell to Broad not long after the lunch interval.

Yasir's departure was followed by the careless run out of Shaheen Afridi, who was beaten by Dom Sibley's direct hit when considering a single that was never on, leaving the score at 176-8.

Yet Rizwan added 29 with Mohammad Abbas and while the latter was trapped lbw by Broad (3-56), the wicketkeeper-batsman was still fighting when the overhead conditions forced the players off not long after tea, with no further resumption possible.

Rizwan shows fighting spirit

Aided by a considerable amount of luck, Rizwan posted his second half-century in Test cricket. He played and missed plenty as the ball continued to swing throughout, yet also played some gloriously aggressive shots at times to carry his team's total past 200.

Light work needs to be longer?

It does Test cricket few favours when players are seen trooping off despite no real obvious change in conditions. There is undoubtedly a stage when bad light becomes dangerous to all involved, but it also must be remembered that this a spectacle for viewers, even if there is not a paying crowd inside the Rose Bowl.

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