Cricket | Stokes hopes hard work pays off

Sharjah – England all-rounder Ben Stokes is confident his hard work will help him produce positive results for England in the third and final Test against Pakistan starting in Sharjah on Sunday.

The 24-year-old has managed just one half-century in four innings and was all at sea against the spin-cum-pace attack on challenging tracks in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The first Test ended in a draw after a dramatic run-chase on the fifth and final day, with England denied an upset victory due to bad light.

Pakistan thumped England in the second Test by 178 runs in Dubai and lead the three-match series 1-0.

Stokes said he was working hard for good results.

“I’ve been working on what I know I’ll be facing when I come out here,” said Stokes on Friday. “It will either be the reverse swing of Wahab (Riaz) or two spinners spinning it big out of the rough.

“Hopefully the hard work will pay off in this Test and we can get a good result.”

Stokes stressed England had learned the lesson of not giving away good positions in one bad session, like they did in Dubai when they were dismissed for 242 after being well placed at 182-3.

“From the guys who have been out here before they have said you can lose a Test in one session and that was proved in the second Test. We were thoroughly disappointed to lose that,” said Stokes of the defeat on Monday.

“But we also took some confidence about how long we could bat if we put the right application in,” said Stokes of England’s tail-enders putting up stiff resistance on the final day.

Adil Rashid and Mark Wood batted for 29.2 overs to frustrate Pakistani bowlers on that occasion, adding 55 for the ninth wicket.

Stokes said England would miss the injured Wood for the final Test.

“Woody, especially in last game, showed how vital he is in these conditions with the reverse swing and extra pace,” he said.

“The ankle has been a setback for quite a while so the best possible way to get as many games as possible out of him is to rest him from time to time.”

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