Can't fault the guys on a really flat wicket: Alastair Cook
England skipper Alastair Cook has only lack of overs to rue after drawn thriller vs Pakistan at Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi: England captain Alastair Cook wished England could have had a few more overs to try and secure victory over Pakistan after the first Test ended in a draw in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Also read: England skipper Alastair Cook hits double ton as first Test heads for draw
England captain Alastair Cook applauds the crowd after the first Test against Pakistan ends in a draw at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
England were just 25 runs short of victory when bad light ended the game in a draw after a superb spell of five for 64 from Adil Rashid gave England hope. Cook's men were set a target of 99 for victory but came up just short and finished on 74 for four when the umpires ended the game with the light rapidly deteriorating.
Cook told Sky Sports 2: "Well, I'd have liked another three or four overs to be honest but that's just the way it is. I can't fault the guys on a really flat wicket to hang in there when Pakistan got 520 by finding a way back into the game. The way to get back into the game is by scoring the runs as well.
"We knew that would happen and the wicket did start deteriorating and it spun quite a lot on the last day. We can be very proud of it. The moment is quite bittersweet when you're only 20 runs short and we'd have liked another three overs but obviously we understand their decision.
"To get back in the game we knew we had to put the pressure back on Pakistan. Either getting close to them or going past them and then on the last day you never know. It's always strange when you go into the last day knowing you can't lose the game.
Cook paid tribute to Rashid after the leg-spinner recovered from his first-innings nought for 163 to put England into a position to attempt to push for the win. Cook added: "It was brilliant from Rash; the criticism he got from the first innings was very unfair, it was a very flat wicket and the spinners didn't come into it until the end of the fourth day. The way he handled that was great and we saw there at the end, he's a very fine bowler.
"We played a good game. Pakistan did as well but they were a bit sloppy today and we put them under pressure. The game always does speed up here in the sub-continent and you've got to stay in it those first three or four days. At the end of the day the series is 0-0. You win on points but that's irrelevant but great credit to the lads."
Pakistan 523-8 decl & and 173 (Misbah 51, Younis Khan 45; Adil Rashid 5-64) drew with England 598-9 decl & 74-4 (J Root 33*, J Bairstow 15; Shoaib Malik 2-25, Zulfiqar Babar 2-27)