England have stormed to a stunning come-from-behind victory on the final day of the third Test, engineering a devastating Pakistan batting collapse to take a 2-1 series lead.

Pakistan lost four wickets for just one run in a frenetic 23-ball period before tea, as they crumbled from 1-79 to 7-125 and were eventually bowled out for 201 in the final session.

England’s pace-attack were rewarded for a tremendous display of bowling, slicing through Pakistan’s batsmen to claim a 141-run victory on an Edgbaston pitch that showed few signs of breaking up as the match wore on.

The placid nature of the wicket prompted some to question why England captain Alastair Cook elected to increase England’s lead this morning before declaring but he was vindicated by the excellent response from his bowling-attack.

The carnage begun in the second session when Steven Finn claimed the vital scalp of Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain edging behind to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow for 10.

Asad Shafiq soon departed for his second duck of the match, trapped lbw by Woakes, who followed up with the wicket of Sarfraz Ahmed, also for a globe.

Sami Aslam had batted superbly for 70, his second half-century of the match, but he had to go when he left a Finn delivery from around the wicket clipped his off-stump.  

Yasir Shah (7) and Mohammad Amir (16) held England at bay until tea but Jimmy Anderson removed Yasir on the fifth ball after the break, as the leg-spinner nicked a lifter to Alex Hales at gully.

By then everything was going England’s way; Amir crunched a wide Broad delivery but could only find the waiting hands off Woakes at a shortish point.

Final-wicket pair Sohail Khan (36) and Rahat Ali (15 not out) mixed some entertaining hoiks with some sturdy defence in a 50-run last wicket partnership.

But in truth, they were delaying the inevitable, and proceedings finally came to an end when Moeen snared a low caught-and-bowled chance off Sohail to see Pakistan suffer a disappointing defeat.

It was an even bowling effort from England, a fact reflected in the fourth-innings wicket tally; all five of the hosts’ frontline bowlers took two wickets each.

Despite the 311-run lead England held going into the final day being 30 runs more than the highest fourth-innings total ever scored at this ground, Cook opted to bat on in search of quick runs this morning.

Moeen belted two sixes off Yasir in the first over of the day and when Cook pulled the pin, the bearded allrounder had scored 25 of the 31 runs the hosts added in their brief stint this morning.

Bairstow (83) was the sole wicket to fall for England on day five, given out lbw on review in sight of his fourth Test century, while Moeen finished on 85 not out.

England eventually declared four overs into the day at 6-445, setting the tourists a target of 343 for victory.

Anderson, making his return to the bowling crease after being barred in Pakistan’s first innings for following-through on the pitch, started well for England but it was Broad who made the first inroad.

Mohammad Hafeez (2) guided a pull straight to Chris Woakes at fine-leg off Broad, to continue a disappointing series for the Pakistan opener.

After his chanceless 82 in the first innings, 20-year-old Aslam continued to impress with his defensive ability in this match, demonstrating an assuredness beyond his years against the England pacemen wielding a moving Dukes ball.

That his stay at the crease was ended when he misjudged a leave and was bowled by Finn during Pakistan’s chaotic collapse was an unfitting end to his first Test on this tour.

Cook showed glimpses of some inventive captaincy on day five; Joe Root was employed at a short-slip to some of the pacemen, a position the stump microphones picked Cook up as referring to as “suicide gully”.

Moeen was sent to back-stop, a spot more often seen in junior cricket games, after a couple of top-edged hooks from Sohail landed just inside the rope directly behind the 'keeper Bairstow.

And it was shrewd leadership from Cook that saw first-innings century maker Azhar Ali dismissed by Moeen for 38.

The England skipper’s recognition that the off-spinner's drift away from Azhar was a greater threat than the turn into him proved correct when Cook himself took a sharp chance off the right-hander’s flashing blade at second slip. 

Anderson produced a captivating spell of reverse swing after lunch, shifting the ball both ways and constantly tested the Pakistan batsmen with an art their countrymen pioneered.

The 34-year-old was rewarded when Younis Khan (4) nicked an away-swinger to the tumbling Jonny Bairstow.

Aslam and Misbah then put on 32 runs for the fourth wicket before Misbah, so often a calming influence for this Pakistan side, nicked off to Finn as England ran away with the match in stunning fashion.

Courtesy Cricket.com.au