England take control in Rawalpindi Test


England dismissed seven Pakistani batters in the Rawalpindi Test on day three as they finally appeared to take control of the match.

England were bowled out for 657 in their first innings with four of its batters scoring quick centuries. In response, Pakistan finished day three at 499-7 with three of their batters also scoring centuries.

Abdullah Shafique made 114, while Imam ul-Haq made 114 and skipper Babar Azam was out for 136.

Will Jacks was the most successful bowler for England, taking three wickets. Jack Leach took two wickets.

Earlier, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Harry Brook set the stadium on fire by making quick centuries. Crawly took just 111 balls for his 122, Ducket’s 107 came from 110 balls, Pope faced just 104 deliveries for his knock of 108 and Brook smashed 153 in from just 116 balls.

Rawalpindi’s lifeless pitch came under sharp criticism from fans and experts.

Reacting to English bowlers’ performance, former skipper Joe Root told BBC, “It has put us in a really strong position. All the hard work we put in leading into that final session, we got our just rewards.

“We had to be quite creative, try to do things differently and think outside the box and that hard work leads us to being in a strong position going into tomorrow.

“Having such a big first-innings score and scoring so quickly has almost bought us another day.

“It may look odd looking at the scorecard but on that wicket hopefully things will speed up towards the back end of the game – we think we have a really good opportunity to win this game.”

Pakistan’s Shafique told Sky Sports, “It has been a good day for Pakistan as we have played well. Yes we lost some wickets but we are good position.

“We have a positive approach. There is no talk of going for the draw. England will play attacking and give us a good total. So we will fight it out.”