Zak Crawley hits fifty as England and Pakistan play out draw

Weather has the final say in Southampton Test

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: Zak Crawley of England(L) plays a shot as Mohammad Rizwan of Pakistan(R) looks on during Day Five of the 2nd #RaiseTheBat Test Match between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl on August 17, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images for ECB)
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England and Pakistan played out a draw, as expected, in the second Test at the Ageas Bowl as Zak Crawley marked his return to the side with a half-century.

Play did not begin until the afternoon session as an overnight deluge left the outfield soggy, leaving only 38.1 overs to play out before a forgettable week in Southampton was consigned to the history books.

England finished on 110-4 before the inevitable outcome was agreed, with Crawley helping himself to 53. They were low-intensity runs but, having been left out of the past two Tests to accommodate an extra bowler, the 22-year-old will have enjoyed his time in the middle as well as the chance to remind the selectors of his value.

The teams will spend the next three days locked down at the venue before the series decider gets under way on Friday with England 1-0 up.

Dom Sibley made 32 before being strangled down leg in familiar fashion, with Mohammad Abbas taking two wickets and Yasir Shah the last scalp of the match.

Just 96.2 overs were possible across the first four days, with progress running to a standstill over the weekend and the willingness of umpires Richard Kettleborough and Michael Gough to get the game going drawing plenty of scrutiny.

The downpour left them no choice about deferring the scheduled 11am start this time, with the ground saturated. There was another light shower during the first pitch inspection of the day and another four were made under increasingly bright skies before a decision was made to begin almost 24 hours after the teams had last been in the middle.

Pakistan had been all over England at that point, Shaheen Afridi seeing off Rory Burns for a duck before he and Abbas exploited the perfect swing bowling conditions to threaten Sibley and Crawley with every ball of a short five-over burst.