Alastair Cook said playing Pakistan in UAE was always tough © Getty Images
Alastair Cook said playing Pakistan in UAE was always tough © Getty Images

Alastair Cook‘s team fought well throughout the three Tests and was unlucky not to win the first Test in Abu Dhabi, forced into a draw due to bad light with just 24 needed for victory. England are now pushed to sixth from their pre-series third in the Test rankings. Cook said playing Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates was always tough. “We competed really well in all three of the games but at critical moments we couldn’t dominate Pakistan. Had we grabbed our chances on the fourth day it would have been different.”  READ: Alastair Cook, Misbah-ul-Haq praise England lower order for resilient show

England were in danger of losing the match before lunch but Adil Rashid (22) helped add 49 for the seventh wicket with Cook to delay Pakistan’s win. Cook punched paceman Rahat Ali for a single to reach his 46th half-century in Tests. When the final day began England were rocked right at the start, losing four wickets in the space of 31 balls after resuming at 46-2. Shah trapped Joe Root in the second over with a delivery that kept low and caught the batsman in front of the stumps before he had added to his overnight score of six. Alastair Cook: England likely to play three spinners vs Pakistan in 3rd Test at Sharjah

James Taylor survived nine deliveries to score two before Babar spun one across his bat for Younis Khan to take the edge in the slip. In the next over, Shah trapped Jonny Bairstow leg-before for nought. It became 59-6 when Samit Patel was leg-before in Babar’s next over, leaving England in fear of being bowled out for their lowest total of 72 against Pakistan when they crumbled in Abu Dhabi in 2012. But the Rashid-Cook stand got England past the 100-mark before Rahat bowled Rashid with 15 minutes to go before lunch.