ISLAMABAD: Pakistan needs 263 runs to win the first Test against England at Pindi Stadium Rawalpindi when the final day game resumes on Monday (today).
England set a 343 runs target for Pakistan after scoring 264 for 7 in their second round of play against Green-shirts before declaring the innings at Pindi Stadium Rawalpindi on Sunday.
England started the day with Ben Duckett going on a duck in the very first over of their second innings, followed by Ollie Pope for 15 in the 6th over. Naseem Shah took Duckett while Mohammad Ali downed and Pope.
England were 46 for 2 at lunch. Crawley was 24 and Joe Root was at 4. Crawley who scored a half century (50 off 48 balls including 7 4s) was sent to the pavilion in the 14th over. It was Ali again who displayed his top notch and dismissed Crawley.
Joe Root who went unlucky in the first innings (23 runs) stood firm for the visitors and went on to score 73 runs off 69 balls including 6 4s. But he was cut short by Zahid Mahmood who took him in the 29 over.
Zahid took his second wicket in the form of Ben Stokes who was also out on a duck. Agha Salman didn’t lag behind to contribute his share as he bagged Will Jacks wicket when he was on 24 runs. This was the sixth wicket for England.
Pacer Naseem Shah also proved his mettle in the absence of Haris Rauf, who was injured due to a strain in his right quad, as he bold Harry Brook when he was just 13 runs away (87) in scoring his second century of the first Test. Brook’s innings included 11 4s and 3 6s. England were 264 for 7 having a 342 runs lead over Pakistan when they declared the innings at tea.
Meanwhile, Agha Salman (10) and Zahid Mahmood (1) were batting at the end of third day’s play when Pakistan were 499 for 7 in their first innings against England.
England bowler Will Jacks shinned on day four as he bagged last three of Pakistan Salman (5), Zahid (33) and Haris Rauf (12) on day four. Pakistan scored 579 for all in 156 overs.
Pakistan was opened by Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq in their second innings when the opening stand couldn’t last long and Shafique was dismissed by Ollie Robinson providing just a 20-run partnership to the first wicket. Then came in Azhar Ali, who was unluckily hit on hand by the ball in the same over and was retired hurt. Azhar was hit on the tip of his right index and was currently under observation of the medical staff.
Skipper Babar Azam was unable to carry on his first innings performance and was gone for 4 in the 6th over. Babar tickled a bouncer to the keeper who was appealing straight away for an edge. Thus, Ben Stokes got his opposite number which was a huge moment in this Test.
Pakistan reached 50 in the 13th over while reached 80 runs when it was stumps for the fourth day. Imam stands just 7 runs short (43) in scoring his half century while Saud Shakeel is on 24. They provided a 55-run partnership to the fourth wicket.
England Assistant coach Paul Collingwood said we managed to get a Test match tomorrow (Monday), that’s all willing to watch.
“I’m looking forward to guys going out there and trying to get 7 to 8 wickets and go on to win the test match. We will come out with different plans to take out wickets there, so it’s going to be an exciting day,” he said in a presser after the end of Day Four’s game.
He said we were not scared of losing and it was a very good situation to be in. To a question on Joe Root batting left handed, he said, “He’s really got some skill if you and bat left handed in a Test match. We just find ways to go in convention and put the opposition under presser,” he said.
Collingwood said the pressure to score runs on last day of a Test match and go for victory was a big thing. “It is hard to deal with and hopefully that adds to get a couple of wickets for us. We will try to put their (Pakistan) batting under pressure.”
Meanwhile, Pakistani cricketer Salman Ali Agha said: “We were in the match and would try to win it. Similar talk is also being going in the camp also. I’m very excited if my batting comes. I’ll try to bat in the second innings just like I did in the first.”
He said the management fully supports us and wants us to play the way we do. “We have to give credit to England for playing positive cricket and for declaring the innings today,” he said.