RAWALPINDI-England kept their hopes alive to pull off a win against Pakistan in the first Test as some late wickets on day three put them in a commanding position at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
At stumps Pakistan were 499-7, still trailing by 158 in reply to England’s mammoth total of 657 all out.There were three centurions for Pakistan as captain Babar Azam (136), Imam-ul-Haq (121) and Abdullah Shafique (114) hammered tons.Abdullah and Imam scored their third Test centuries off 177 and 180 balls respectively, taking their overnight opening stand from 181 to 225.
Abdullah continued to excel as he hammered three centuries and four fifties from eight matches, averaging 76.Imam has now scored each of his three Test hundreds to date on this Pindi Stadium ground.The morning session belonged to England as they picked up three Pakistan wickets, including two openers and one-down batter Azhar Ali.
England got the breakthrough when Abdullah attempting to cut a wide ball from Jacks Leach away and edging it behind to wicketkeeper. Five overs later, Imam holed out off left-arm off-spinner Jacks Leach just to find Ollie Robinson taking his catch at long-on.Azhar was also pinned lbw by Leach at 27. Close to lunch, Pakistan were 290-3.
Imran Khan bars PTI's Sindh lawmakers from tendering resignations
Babar shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 123 with Saud Shakeel (37) as England endured a barren middle session. He then added 60 off 75 balls with Muhammad Rizwan, taking Pakistan away from the follow-on mark.Around 40 minutes to stumps, Babar chopped Jacks to backward point.
After that Anderson had Rizwan snared by Stokes at midwicket, while Naseem Shah also handed over his catch at the same position as three wickets tumbled for 24 runs.The match is the first Test in history where both opening partnerships shared double century stands (Abdullah and Imam for Pakistan, Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley for England), and four players scored tons.
SCORES IN BRIEF PAKISTAN 499-7 (Babar 136, Imam 121, Shafique 114; Jacks 3-132, Leach 2-160) trail England 657 by 158 runs.