Pakistan's Malik hits maiden double hundred

ABU DHABI: Shoaib Malik hit a maiden double century and Asad Shafiq his eighth hundred as the pair batted through the second full session on Wednesday to stretch Pakistan's total to 499 for four in the first test against England in Abu Dhabi.

The 33-year-old Malik became the sixth Pakistan cricketer to score 200 or more against England as he reached the tea interval unbeaten on 231.

Malik was ably supported by Shafiq, who hit his first ton against England on his way to 107 not out.

The unbeaten stand of 248 is the highest ever for the fifth wicket for Pakistan against England.

The pair looked as if they could bat on until the end of this test, given the lack of support from the pitch to the England bowlers, who have toiled in the Middle Eastern sun for nearly five hours without reward.

The closest England came to a breakthrough in the afternoon session was when Malik, having deposited Adil Rashid over the fence at deep mid-on the ball before, tried to free himself to lift the ball again.

Despite not connecting properly, the ball fell agonisingly short of a diving Jonny Bairstow.

It was the first time during the second day's play that Pakistan had offered a sniff of a chance to the visitors, who must now be ruing mistakes made on day one which cost them the wickets of both Malik -- caught off a no-ball -- and Shafiq -- dropped in the penultimate over.

Malik, playing his first test in five years, surpassed his previous test best of 148 not out in the morning and his score at tea, which beats his best first-class highest of 200, is the fourth-highest ever by a Pakistani against England.

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