Alastair Cook voiced his frustration after England were denied what would have been a famous victory yesterday in Abu Dhabi.
Cook and his men came to within 25 runs of recording their first win over Pakistan in the UAE, but poor light robbed them of eight overs after they had reached 74 for four chasing a target of 99 runs in 19 overs.
Named Man of the Match for his brilliant knock of 263 in England’s first innings, the captain said: “It is frustrating.
“Look, we came off pretty much the same time as yesterday. The only query I have is in the letter of the law – is it unsafe to play? That’s what I am always told at match referee meetings – is it unsafe to play?
“It is so hard. Because yesterday, when a result did not look possible and it was dark, we were quite happy to come off. It is strange, isn’t it? I can only go back to the meetings and ask – is it unsafe, or is it unfair?
“Safety is obviously paramount – that’s what I’m always told. But it didn’t look unsafe out there. It’s just obviously a rule.”
Cook said despite the disappointment, he was proud of the way his team played.
“I am very proud of the lads. More the fact when you concede 520 and then you are the side who are pretty much going to win the game and with an inexperienced side,” he added.
“It’s a really strange feeling because there’s disappointment in the dressing room, which is very strange because everyone would have taken the result at tea time. No one saw what would have been.
“Obviously, we have done a number of things right over the last three and a half days. Over the next 10 days of Test cricket, we need to show the same resilience.”
Cook was full of praise for leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who turned around his performance after going wicketless in the first innings by taking five for 64 in the second and paving the way for England’s surprise victory bid.
“He was fantastic. Test cricket…a lot of it is played in the mind,” said Cook.
— ICC (@ICC) October 17, 2015
“He’s obviously had a tough introduction … bowling on probably the worst wicket you’d ever want to make your debut on as a leg-spinner when you lose the toss.
“To get his rewards like he did, and bowl like he did, he really sped up the game. Full credit to him for having that character and confidence in his ability to not get too down on himself.
“He’s got some good friends from Yorkshire in this team. You have Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, and obviously Paul Farbrace. As a captain, you always have a quiet word along the way.
“But it’s not down to anyone else, it’s down to him – sticking it out when it was tough and still having the ability and the confidence to rip his leg-spinner even when he hadn’t got a wicket.”
The second Test will be played in Dubai from October 22-26.
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