Shakeel hits 50 as Pakistan chase down tempting England Test target
Left-hander Saud Shakeel hit a solid maiden half-century Monday as Pakistan glided towards a tempting England target on the fifth and final day of the first Test in Rawalpindi.
The 27-year-old was unbeaten on 63 — with Mohammad Rizwan on 42 — as Pakistan reached 169-3 at lunch, needing another 174 in the final two sessions with seven wickets intact after being set a target of 343.
England toiled hard for wickets but managed only one in the extended 135-minute session, when pacer James Anderson had opener Imam-ul-Haq caught down the leg side by keeper Ollie Pope for 48.
England scored a record 657 in their first innings before dismissing Pakistan for 579.
The mammoth scoring prompted severe criticism of the Rawalpindi pitch, but the Test sprang to life after England batted briskly in their second innings before declaring at 264-7 on Sunday to set up an intriguing final day.
Resuming at 80-2, Pakistan added just 13 in the first 65 minutes with Rizwan not scoring off the first 23 balls he faced.
He changed gear, however, hitting five boundaries and two sixes to begin the chase proper in an unbroken 80-run fourth wicket stand with Shakeel.
Shakeel cracked Leach for two boundaries to complete his half-century off 104 balls.
England are on their first Test tour of Pakistan since 2005, having declined to visit in the interim years on security grounds.
The second Test is in Multan from December 9-13, and the third in Karachi from December 17-21.