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Malik announces retirement

Shoaib Malik

Sharjah: Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik announced his retirement from Test cricket after he failed in the second innings of the third Test against England in Sharjah on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old only made a comeback in the longer format of the game after five years in the first Test against England in Abu Dhabi, smashing a career-best 245.

But since then he has made nought, two, seven, 38 and nought in the remaining five innings of the series, prompting him to call it a day.

"I am retiring from Test cricket after this match," Malik told reorters. "The reason of my leaving Tests is not because of slump in form but it's because I want to give more time to my family and concentrate on the 2019 World Cup."

Earlier, opener Mohammed Hafeez was unbeaten on 97 to lift Pakistan to 146 for three, 74 runs ahead of England.

England claimed a 72-run first-innings lead to push for a series-levelling victory, but Hafeez and Azhar Ali shared an opening partnership of 101 to bring the hosts back into the match.

Ali was farcically run out for 34, James Anderson trapped Malik lbw for nought and Stuart Broad dismissed Younis Khan for 14 in the final session, to give England hope after they had been bowled out for 306 soon after lunch.

Jonny Bairstow (43) and Samit Patel (42) contributed useful cameos while Ben Stokes came out to bat, despite a broken collarbone before being the last man out.

Hafeez, on two, was given out caught behind off Anderson, but the opener immediately reviewed the decision and got it overturned. After adding nine more runs to his score, the right-hander edged Moeen Ali but wicketkeeper Bairstow could not pouch the deflection.

England lost three wickets on the third morning after resuming on 222/4.

The visitors' hopes of forging a big first-innings advantage on the Sharjah Cricket Stadium's slow surface suffered a double blow, when they lost both their overnight batsmen early. James Taylor (76) added just two runs before he edged left-arm pacer Rahat Ali behind for wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, to complete a low one-handed diving catch to his right.

Taylor's dismissal ended a resolute stand of 89 and Bairstow soon followed him back to the pavilion after he failed to read an arm ball from left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar and was bowled.


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