OVER 109: PAK 385/3 (Shakeel 24 Babar 91)
Stokes continues to bowl short and there’s just two singles from the over. England could do with Mark Wood right now – his extra pace would at least offer something different.
OVER 108: PAK 383/3 (Shakeel 23 Babar 90)
Jimmy Anderson returns and bowls a maiden. This match is now lacking any real excitement bar the odd brilliant Babar shot.
More than one way to bat on this wicket
OVER 107: PAK 383/3 (Shakeel 23 Babar 90)
It’s Stokes to continue and now he decides he’s going to play the role of enforcer to Babar.
He starts with the inevitable bouncer and follows it up with another short one that doesn’t even get higher than Babar’s hips. Another bumper follows and the Pakistan captain ducks well. Stokes again bowls one short and again it doesn’t get that high and Babar flat bats it down the ground for four to move into the 90s. It take real effort to get the ball above chest high on this pitch.
OVER 106: PAK 379/3 (Shakeel 23 Babar 86)
England need an enforcer to bang it in and just bowl something other than the conventional. But they don’t have a bowler to do that and this game is meandering to an inevitable draw…
Jacks continues with his gentle off spin, he has a slip and a leg slip but neither come into play as Shakeel sweeps well for four.
OVER 105: PAK 373/3 (Shakeel 19 Babar 85)
It is indeed time for Stokes – what can he serve up – a bit of reverse or a bit of short stuff?
The uninspiring answer is neither. The England captain bowls conventional seam up and, worryingly, he’s not really following through. The first two balls he pulls up quickly after releasing the ball. On a surface such as this it it worth him bowling and possibly injuring himself? I’d suggest not, but he knows best…Just one from the over.
Is looking in fine nick at the moment.
OVER 104: PAK 373/3 (Shakeel 19 Babar 84)
The ball gone soft and perhaps it’s time for Stokes – a bit of golden arm action?
For now it’s Jacks and he induces a bit of a false stroke from Shakeel who sweeps in the air, but it’s safe and the left-hander gets two for his troubles. Those are the only runs off that over.
OVER 103: PAK 371/3 (Shakeel 17 Babar 84)
Babar moves into the 80s thanks to a pull off an absolute pie from Root – a half tracker that invited a boundary. Two balls later the Pakistan captain plays what looks like a baseball shot straight down the ground for another four. England are bowling wide to him and that’s how he responds – brilliant from Babar.
It looks as though England are going through the motions at the moment – they look as flat as the pitch.
OVER 102: PAK 363/3 (Shakeel 17 Babar 76)
Drinks have been taken and Shakeel is the dictionary definition of watchful as he plays out a maiden.
OVER 101: PAK 363/3 (Shakeel 17 Babar 76)
Root is on as Leach is off the pitch at the moment. He opens up with absolute filth – a looping wide ball that is too wide for Babar to treat with distain, which is what it deserves. There’s more of the same but the Pakistan captain refuses to throw bat at ball and, somehow, it’s a maiden.
OVER 100: PAK 363/3 (Shakeel 17 Babar 76)
Jacks continues, it’s his 24th over and it’s worth remembering that he’s not generally regarded as a frontline spinner. Five from that over. This is all rather listless at the moment. Pakistan know that once they pass the follow on target this match is all but guaranteed to end in a draw.
OVER 99: PAK 358/3 (Shakeel 16 Babar 72)
Batting is still very easy out there at the moment, there’s absolutely nothing to cheer the bowlers who must be hoping that they’ll be rewarded in their next life for their tedious toil. Five runs from that Leach over.
OVER 98: PAK 353/3 (Shakeel 15 Babar 68)
Every time there’s been a short ball Babar has lapped it up. He’s so quick at picking up length – a mark of a great batsman – and when the bowler is Will Jacks he’s definitely not going to look any gift horse in the mouth – the part-time spinner erring with his length and the Pakistan captain rocking back and pulling for four.
OVER 97: PAK 348/3 (Shakeel 15 Babar 63)
Leach bowls another tidy over and there are just two from it.
OVER 96: PAK 346/3 (Shakeel 14 Babar 62)
Jacks bowls round the wicket and just takes the edge of Babar’s bat but it’s a controlled shot, it falls short of Root and gets two runs from his trouble. The next ball the Pakistan captain rocks back and pulls majestically for four, he’s looking in the zone and in fine touch at the moment.
OVER 95: PAK 340/3 (Shakeel 14 Babar 56)
Shakeel is batting in a cap, a rarity these days. To be fair you could probably bat in a cap, Sir Viv style, against the quicks on this track and you’d be fine.
Just two singles from that Leach over.
OVER 94: PAK 338/3 (Shakeel 13 Babar 55)
Bar that Babar six, it’s all been rather pedestrian since lunch. Just a Shakeel single from that over.
Did someone say this was a flat, lifeless pitch?
OVER 93: PAK 337/3 (Shakeel 12 Babar 55)
It’s Leach to Shakeel and the batsman sweeps right out the meat of the bat for four. That boundary plus a well-scampered single are the only runs from the over.
Meanwhile, here’s how Babar brought up his 50 – sit back and enjoy.
OVER 92: PAK 332/3 (Shakeel 7 Babar 55)
There’s a hint of turn for Jacks, but no more than that as a single comes off that over.
OVER 91: PAK 331/3 (Shakeel 6 Babar 55)
Leach returns at the other end and Babar rocks back and nudges him for two to square leg. England are doing well here but it’s all rather conventional – left arm spin, traditional off spin and two fast medium bowlers – and that’s not going to do much on this wicket.
Babar then decides enough is enough and comes down the track to hit the left-armer for six to reach his 50 – great shot from a fine player. As if to emphasise he’s going up a gear he then pushes the ball for four through extra cover – that was an even better shot, pure timing. I do love watching him bat.
OVER 90: PAK 319/3 (Shakeel 6 Babar 43)
Will Jacks is back on and second ball he bowls an absolute pie – it’s short and Babar picks up the length quickly and pulls for four. He’s quietly gone towards a half century without much fuss, as long as he’s at the crease Pakistan will be fine regards the follow on.
OVER 89: PAK 312/3 (Shakeel 6 Babar 36)
Pakistan need another 145 more runs to avoid the follow on, with seven wickets in hand that shouldn’t be much of an issue especially if the batsmen are as watchful as this pair. BUT as I type Shakeel wafts outside off stump and Robinson has beaten the bat again – heady days!
OVER 88: PAK 307/3 (Shakeel 3 Babar 34)
There are three close (ish) fielders on the off side and two on the leg for Anderson but Babar and Shakeel are both watchful as another over without much event passes.
I say ‘without much event’ but one ball did hit the splice of Shakeel’s bat…that’s about the level of excitement out there at the moment as the Pakistan pair refuse to throw bat at ball, as is their right.
OVER 86: PAK 306/3 (Shakeel 3 Babar 33)
This pair are being as patient at the crease as England are in the field – it’s not making for any excitement BUT as I type those words Robinson beats the outside edge of Babar. YES, your eyes are not deceiving you, someone has played and missed on this pitch, remarkable!
OVER 85: PAK 304/3 (Shakeel 2 Babar 32)
The day one fireworks have most definitely been replaced by a more conventional approach to Test cricket these past 24 hours or so – am sure there are some purists out there breathing a sigh of relief for some strange reason…
Two runs from that Anderson over.
OVER 84: PAK 302/3 (Shakeel 1 Babar 31)
It’s Robinson from the other end and first ball Shakeel drops the ball into the off side and he’s off the mark and that’s his first run in Test cricket. That’ and another single from Babar are the only runs from the over. Patience is still the order of the day.
OVER 83: PAK 300/3 (Shakeel 0 Babar 30)
Jimmy Anderson bowls the first over after lunch and there’s no sign of any conventional swing as Babar flicks him for two off his legs for two. That brings up the 300 for the hosts.
Sky just brings up Anderson’s stats in Asia over the past 10 years – 42 wickets at 21, useful…before that he had 32 at 35, talk about getting better with age.
Lunch time verdict from Nick Hoult in Rawalpindi
England are running through Pakistan in Rawalpindi. Well, perhaps not quite but three wickets in a session after such a turgid day two is progress.
Jack Leach grabbed two and Will Jacks his first in Test cricket as England conjured wickets out of nowhere; Pakistan 298-3, 359 behind at the break.
Two wickets came through batsman error – centurions Imam Ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique getting out playing aggressively but Azhar Ali was pinned lbw on the back foot by Leach, a good dismissal.
England tried everything – wobble seam, knuckle balls, fancy fields, spinners bowling bouncers. Ollie Pope stood up to Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes employed six close in catchers for Anderson, four in front of the bat, to try and manufacture a wicket on a dead pitch.
The masterstroke was taking the new ball and giving it to Leach. Perhaps a bit harder, it skidded on and Azhar missed trying to turn it to the leg side.
Jacks snaffled his first Test wicket, a drag down that was edged behind by Shafique, Pope taking a decent catch which should lift his confidence after a difficult second day.
Imam picked out Ollie Robinson at long off to give Leach his first wicket and Azhar was dropped on 20 by Zak Crawley at leg slip off Anderson.
Hundreds by Shfaique and Imam created history, this being the first time all four openers have scored centuries in the first innings of a Test. Their 225 run stand followed the 233 by Crawley and Ben Duckett on day one – breaking new ground with double century opening stands in both innings never happening before in Test history.
Liam Livingstone is off the field with a knee injury leaving England a bowler short and predictable without any variation, just finger spin and right arm medium fast.
LUNCH: PAK 298/3 (Shakeel 0 Babar 28)
That was a good session for England. To get rid of both openers and Azhar on this flattest of flat tracks is great work. It’s hard to take wickets on this surface, so to take three in a session is nothing to be sniffed at.
OVER 82: PAK 298/3 (Shakeel 0 Babar 28)
Babar is such a good batsman to watch and he serves up Exhibit A in that argument as he cuts Leach for four. A two and a single follows from the Pakistan captain and that’s lunch.
OVER 82: PAK 291/3 (Shakeel 0 Babar 21)
It’s Root from the other end with the new ball – Babar gets a single and Shakeel is on strike, he’s sees off the remaining five balls without fuss.
OVER 81: PAK 290/3 (Shakeel 0 Babar 20)
Good captaincy from Stokes to take the new ball and give it to his main spinner. The extra zip off the pitch defeating Azhar there.
Shakeel is the new batsman and he’s crowded by close fielders but sees off the last ball of that fine Leach over.
Azhar lbw b Leach 27
England do indeed take the new ball and it’s Leach with the new cherry. Three runs come off the first four balls before Leach has his man – Azhar caught on the crease lbw!
Azhar reviews and the replay shows there’s no inside edge and it would have gone on to hit leg stump.
FOW – 290/3
OVER 80: PAK 287/2 (Azhar 26 Babar 18)
Anderson is bowling gun-barrel straight but as soon as he errs on line it’s easy for the batters as when Azhar chops him for four down to the vacant third man area. Those are the only runs from the over and the new ball is due – will they take it with the old ball reversing?
OVER 79: PAK 283/2 (Azhar 22 Babar 18)
There’s definitely a bit of reverse swing out there, so something for Robinson and Anderson to work with. But that doesn’t matter when there’s a half volley wide of off stump, and Babar slashes it for four. Pope is standing up to Robinson who doesn’t help the part-time wicketkeeper by bowling a pie down leg for four byes…
OVER 78: PAK 272/2 (Azhar 21 Babar 12)
It’s time for Jimmy Anderson! He has two men in close (ish) on the leg side and another two close on the off side, but they don’t bother Azhar as he punishes a full ball by timing it for four through extra cover. With this field it’s a case of beating those close fielders and it’s a boundary. Last ball of the over Azhar glances one that just, just evades Crawley at leg slip. It was chance but just a slight one…
Here’s a stat
OVER 77: PAK 267/2 (Azhar 16 Babar 12)
Robinson drops one short and Azhar doesn’t look this gift horse in the mouth and punches it for four through cover. The England bowler lets him know he’s still there by bowling a bouncer next up. Another bumper follows – that takes some effort on this pitch.
OVER 76: PAK 259/2 (Azhar 9 Babar 12)
Just an Azhar single off that set of six balls.
Another use for Jack Leach
Always make yourself indisposable…
OVER 75: PAK 258/2 (Azhar 8 Babar 12)
Robinson continues his toil and is whipped through mid-wicket for two by Babar. Trying to take the positive out of the this-pitch-is-flat negative the ball is looking like it’s thinking it might reverse swing…tenuous, I know…
OVER 74: PAK 256/2 (Azhar 8 Babar 10)
Jacks is hit for a majestic four through cover by the beautiful Babar. There’s still very little for the bowlers to work with and you think this pair will know it’s a case of get in and make hay while the sun shines.
OVER 73: PAK 251/2 (Azhar 8 Babar 5)
The important figure at the start of this over is 408 – that’s the number of runs Pakistan trail by, so 208 to avoid the follow-on.
Leach is having the ball shined on his head – no saliva post Covid so needs must…It’s time for pace as Robinson comes on. Babar plays a straight, watchful bat and picks off a single to deep square leg.
OVER 72: PAK 249/2 (Azhar 8 Babar 4)
There are signs that this pitch is dying, Azhar is almost through a shot before a Jacks ball reaches him.
It’s a maiden.
OVER 71: PAK 249/2 (Azhar 8 Babar 4)
The modern-day great Babar comes out to the crease and England have a slight window of opportunity. Just slight, but on this wicket you have to be as positive and possible. As I type Babar is off the mark with whip through leg for four – class written all over that shot.
Imam c Robinson b Leach 121
The opener comes down the track and tries to launch Leach over his head for six – he doesn’t get all of it and Ollie Robinson is lurking with intent on the long on boundary and takes the chance. As with the first wicket, that really came out of nowhere.
OVER 70: PAK 245/1 (Azhar 8 Imam 121 )
The ball is turning, it is day three after all, but it’s slow spin and easy to play. Six runs from the over that ends with and Azhar four, another sweep, to square leg.
Will Macpherson on Will Jacks
Will Jacks’ bowling is a major work in progress, and really he should be playing as no more than a sixth bowler and third spinner, and he’s probably a little higher up the pecking order than that. But there is something there and, under the tutelage of Gareth Batty at Surrey and with some help from England, you could see him developing into a very handy option. You’d think the shape of his action – little bit of Vaughan? – will mean he’s always going to be quite an attacking off-spinner who risks going for a few but is capable of picking up wickets.
OVER 69: PAK 239/1 (Azhar 4 Imam 119 )
It’s an all Somerset contest at the moment with Leach bowling to Imam, Azhar at the other end, all three from the cider country.
The pitch is way too flat to call it Ciderabad – oh for a bit of turn, oh for a bit of anything out of this pitch.
It’s a Leach maiden.
Here’s a pic of that Shafique wicket
It was a good catch from Pope.
Stone the crows – I have a wicket to show you!
OVER 68: PAK 239/1 (Azhar 4 Imam 119 )
Azhar is off the mark with a sweep for four off Jacks. He’s not a big sweeper of the ball but the bat is crowded by fielders and all he has to is beat the field and it’s a four and time for drinks.
From Nick Hoult
Concern builds over Liam Livingstone. He jarred his knee fielding yesterday. This morning he bowled a handful of balls before the start of play but went off shaking his head and has not taken the field.
OVER 67: PAK 232/1 (Azhar 0 Imam 116 )
Imam clubs Leach for six first ball of the over – he’s using his feet well at the moment and having seen his opening partner go you suspect he’ll try and not make the same mistake as Shafique and make one of those Daddy hundreds. Seven from the over.
OVER 66: PAK 225/1 (Azhar 0 Imam 109 )
Well that wicket came out of nowhere – the ball was perhaps a bit too close to cut. It was quite a thick edge that Pope did well to take. It’s Jacks’ first Test wicket – hurrah.
Azhar is the new batsman and second ball there’s a decent shout for lbw – it looks as though it’s hit him outside the line of off stump and Stokes decides not to review. BUT suddenly there’s a bit of interest for England as that ball spun a little.
Shafique c Pope b Jacks 114
It’s time for Will Jacks…and first ball it’s time for a Shafique four through cover. Both Pakistan batters are picking up lenght well here and if you’re doing that on this track then you are winning the uneven battle.
Then OUT OF NOWHERE Jacks bowls a wide one and Shafique cuts into the hands of Pope behind the stumps.
OVER 65: PAK 221/0 (Shafique 110 Imam 109 )
Leach continues to toil from one end – there’s little to give him encouragement bar the fact that just one comes from the over.
OVER 64: PAK 220/0 (Shafique 109 Imam 109 )
Root continues from the other end and it’s more of the same – no chances, flat track and just two runs from it until Root tries a bouncer that Imam gets on top off and pulls for four through mid-wicket. Yep, it’s early in the day and already Root, yes Root, is bowling bouncers.
Shafique after his ton
OVER 63: PAK 214/0 (Shafique 109 Imam 103 )
Leach continue to toil at one end, Shafique hits him for four through cover and those are the only runs of the over.
Prediction: this is going to be a long day in the field for England.
OVER 62: PAK 210/0 (Shafique 105 Imam 103 )
Root dangles the carrot and Imam tries to hit him for four over the infield, he doesn’t quite catch it and it goes for just the two. He’s now in the nervous 90s and Stokes brings in the field. That’s no bother to him as he clips the part-time spinner for four thrrough leg. It’s the fourth ton for an opener in three days. As I say it’s a road
OVER 61: PAK 204/0 (Shafique 105 Imam 97 )
A Leach maiden – England will take what small mercies they can get at the moment. This is clearly going to be a long day in the field barring a miracle.
OVER 60: PAK 204/0 (Shafique 105 Imam 97 )
Root bowls and they are clearly trying to get in the mind of Imam, moving the field this way and that, is a good over and a maiden at that. Hurrah (if you’re English).
OVER 59: PAK 204/0 (Shafique 105 Imam 97 )
England have started with spinners – Leach is on at the moment – and Imam is looking to make it the fourth opener to get a ton out of four. He’s definitely in the nervous 90s as there’s a dodgy run that nearly sees the end of him. He survives, though, and is now three short of that ton.
OVER 58: PAK 197/0 (Shafique 101 Imam 94 )
Morning all and sorry for delayed start – technical issues at Telegraph Towers.
So far today there have been no wickets – no shock there – but Shafique has gone to his century. This track is still looking as flat as they come – again no shock there.