'Nuggety' Rizwan impresses England's Trott

Rizwan top-scored with 72 and expertly shepherded the tail when it looked like Pakistan might be dismissed for under 200

'Nuggety' Rizwan impresses England's Trott PHOTO: Reuters

Mohammad Rizwan was hailed as a "nuggety player who wants to get stuck in" by England batting consultant Jonathan Trott after the Pakistan wicketkeeper frustrated the hosts in the second Test at Southampton on Sunday before more bad weather interrupted the match.

Only 10.2 of the fourth day's scheduled 98 overs had been bowled when the umpires decided no more play was possible on a rainswept outfield, with England 7-1 in reply to Pakistan's first innings 236.

Rizwan top-scored with 72 and expertly shepherded the tail when it looked like Pakistan might be dismissed for under 200.

He was eventually last man out after an innings that spanned four days.

Rizwan batted for three and three-quarter hours, facing 139 balls with seven boundaries during his second fifty in eight career Tests following the 95 he made against Australia in Brisbane in November.

"The way he plays, the skill in batting with the tail as well is something that should not be underrated," Trott told reporters.

"Sometimes that is a challenge in itself, to manoeuvre the ball and field so you are on strike again."

The former England batsman added: "He looks like a nuggety player who wants to get stuck in which is what you want as a fielder from your keeper and as a batter."

Pakistan struck with just the fourth ball of England's reply when left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi had Rory Burns caught by Asad Shafiq at second slip for a duck with a fine delivery that swung and seamed.

"There's not much he can do when you get that early on," said a sympathetic Trott.

Dom Sibley (two not out) and Zak Crawley (five not out), recalled in place of Ben Stokes after the all-rounder withdrew to be with his ill father in New Zealand, both struggled against Afridi and the accurate Mohammad Abbas before the umpires called a halt at 12:00 pm (1100 GMT).

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Play was finally abandoned for the day at 3:51 pm, with a spokesman for the umpires saying it would take at up to three hours at least to dry a rain-sodden outfield, thereby going beyond the 7:00 pm cut-off time for the day's play to end.

Predictably, the Ageas Bowl was bathed in sunshine minutes after that decision was announced.

'Work to be done'

With only a day now remaining, this match appears destined for a draw -- a result that would preserve England's 1-0 series lead following their three-wicket victory in the first Test at Old Trafford last week.

The series ends with the third Test, also at Southampton, starting Friday.

"It is important we don't just see it as a day to bat out and walk away with the draw and be one-nil up," warned Trott.

"There is still work to be done against the new ball to make sure we are in a good place for the third Test. We've seen strange things happen in cricket and we know the conditions will be pretty tough if the weather is similar."

Pakistan resumed on 223-9 after rain meant not a ball was bowled Saturday after bad weather had also curtailed the first two days.

Rizwan was 60 not out, having taken Pakistan from 176-8 to beyond 200 during a ninth-wicket stand with Abbas that saw the tailender make just two from 20 balls.

The aggressive Rizwan hit two more fours before, aiming legside off Stuart Broad, he was caught in the covers off a leading edge.

In-form paceman Broad led England's attack with 4-56 in 27.2 overs, a return that took his tally in four Tests this season to 26 wickets at a miserly average of 12.38.