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Crawley makes fifty, Abbas clinches two wickets as match ends in uneventful draw
Match Report

Crawley makes fifty, Abbas clinches two wickets as match ends in uneventful draw

Zak Crawley struck a fine half-century while Mohammad Abbas starred with a couple of wickets as the rain-interrupted second Test between England and Pakistan finished in a predictable draw.

England reached 110-4 in response to Pakistan's first-innings total of 236 before skipper Joe Root decided it was enough and declared to hasten the drab conclusion of the match.

Root's declaration ended a match disputed by frequent rain and bad light delays prompting the ICC to reconsider rules regarding low visibility during cricket encounters.

Abbas was the pick of the bowlers from Pakistan as he claimed the scalps of Crawley and Dom Sibley, both of whom forged a healthy 91-run stand after the first wicket fell with the score on nought.

England have managed to retain their unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-Test series ahead of Friday's finale, also at the Ageas Bowl.

Torrential rainfall in the morning meant that two sessions on the final day were wiped out as the groundstaff did their best to make sure playing conditions were safe.

Crawley, handed the opportunity in the absence of Ben Stokes, made the most of his chance as he showcased his attacking approach by looking solid and keeping the scoreboard ticking along.

He drove and pulled confidently off the bowling of Abbas, often opting to stroll down the pitch to disturb the line of the accurate pacer.

Crawley survived a stumping chance botched by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, who had till then impressed with his glovework behind the stumps.

The 22-year-old Englishman's fifty arrived when he pulled Yasir Shah for his seventh boundary but two balls later he failed to adjust to an in-dipper from Abbas and was given out lbw by the on-field umpire.

Although Crawley reviewed the decision, the ruling was upheld on umpire's call. Nevertheless, Crawley's effective batting display under clear skies confirms his place in the side for the next Test.

The youngster's dismissal was followed by a mini-collapse as England lost three wickets for 14 runs. Sibley was subject to a strangle down the leg-side as Abbas struck once more.

The last batsman to get out was Ollie Pope, who was caught at the crease by a straighter delivery from Yasir. Pakistan captain Azhar Ali had delivered one ball to Root before the two called it a day.

Given the scant amount of overs bowled across the five days and the extended delays due to bad light, umpires Richard Kettleborough and Michael Gough were vehemently criticised for their interpretation of the rules.

With the ground's floodlights switched on full beam, former England captain Nasser Hussain launched a tirade on Sky Sports urging those in charge to usher in some leniency to prevent starving fans of cricketing action.

Nasser commented that "merely because conditions are not ideal is not a reason to walk off the field" and hoped this issue would be recognised by the ICC as a problem they will eventually have to tackle.