Pakistan Tour (UAE) 2015
How to Lose a Test Match in Forty Five Minutes
A decision had been made last night to miss the morning session, where Pakistan would be piling up even more runs, and go sight-seeing.
So we boarded the Dubai Metro at a station close to our hotel, Burjuman.
First stop – the Burj Khalifa, allegedly the tallest building in the world.
After plodding for what seemed like miles through the Dubai Mall, which makes the Trafford Centre and Meadowhall look like two corner shops, we reached the underground entrance to the tower.
“Yes, we have space on the tour this morning – entrance fee £100 each!”
Bollocks to that, so we give this a swerve and walk outside round the base of this enormous concrete and glass carbuncle instead. The tower and its basement buildings would not look out of place in ‘Stingray.’
The building is simply too big to photograph. I would hate to be the poor window cleaner.
We head back to the Metro with a view to going to the coast to see the sail shaped hotel. When we arrive there, we are refused admission by the gate guards.
Next it is the Jumeirah Hotel, where at least they let us in, and we are able to grab a few photos, although even Freddie’s charms fail to work on the security guard, who will not let him down to the beach under any circumstances - no matter how much pleading.
Like a visit to the dentist, all this had to be done, but I am glad that it is now over, and we head back to the cricket just in time to see a Pakistani wicket fall, and the declaration.
England need just 491 to win.
Survival is now essentially the name of the game so it is surprising when Cook is caught trying to sweep the spinner in this situation. Moeen Ali is also out early, however Bell and the ever reliable Root apply themselves for the rest of the day until Bell is agonisingly out on 48. We have lost just three wickets by the close, which means at least we will be back tomorrow.
For a change we walk straight from the ground to ‘Kickers’ Sports bar about 45 minutes away where we watch the lacklustre Manchester Derby on UAE TV in the company of commentators Andy Gray and Richard Keys.
Either the make up person on UAE TV isn’t very good, or time has not been kind to the errant pair, as on our large HD screen they look almost fossilised.
Grant Flower comes over for a few words dressed in his Pakistan Batting coach outfit and gripping a pint of lager.
I resist the temptation to tell him what a fantastic job his brother did for England in Australia on the last Ashes trip – mainly because I didn’t recognise him.