Shoaib Malik scored an unbeaten century to cap an impressive return to Test cricket after five years of the gap as he led Pakistan’s charge on the first day of the first Test against England in Abu Dhabi. Malik scored his third Test hundred and first against England as Pakistan ended the day on 286 for 4 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Malik added a valuable 168 for the second wicket with Mohammad Hafeez, who missed his century by two runs. Pakistan lost opener Shan Masood for two in the third over of the day after winning a crucial toss and decided to bat on a seemingly flat pitch at Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Anderson pitched one short to Masood who took his eyes off the ball as it hit the grill of his helmet and fell onto the stumps. Anderson was then unlucky not to have Hafeez as Ian Bell dropped a regulation catch off the bat in the second slip. Hafeez was then batting on seven. At lunch Hafeez was unbeaten on 44 and Malik -- playing his first Test since 2010 -- was 36 not out, having added 77 for an unbroken second wicket stand.
Malik, who has been averaging in three figures in One-Day International cricket this year, which earned him a recall in the longer format, has so far hit 14 boundaries in his 230-ball knock. Apart from Malik and Hafeez, it was a memorable day for Younis Khan as he crossed Javed Miandad’s tally of 8832 runs. Younis, playing his 102nd Test, jumped out of his crease to hit Moeen Ali for a big six over deep midwicket to reach 21 to cross Miandad’s tally, accumulated over 124 Tests. But unfortunately, Younis couldn’t carry his inning after 38. Hafeez and Malik steadied the innings. Hafeez hit 13 boundaries during his 170-ball knock before he tried to play Ben Stokes on the leg side in an attempt to reach his ninth Test hundred and was adjudged lbw. He challenged Paul Reiffel’s call but to no avail. Malik also had a reprieve when on 40 when he was caught at gully off Stuart Broad only for the umpire to signal a no-ball. Broad did, however, account for Younis when a miscued drive was well taken by Alastair Cook at an unusual position – close to the umpire at the bowlers’ end. Misbah-ul-Haq became Anderson’s 415th Test wicket when he was adjudged caught behind after the England players reviewed the umpires’ not-out decision. That made Anderson the tenth-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, surpassing Wasim Akram’s tally.