SOUTHAMPTON         -        Zak Crawley and Jos Buttler picked up from where they left off in the second day, raising their unbeaten partnership to a match-defining one. After Crawley’s double and Buttler’s second Test hundred gave England the upper hand, James Anderson struck in successive overs to leave Pakistan with a mountain to climb.

In the space of first eight overs of the day, the umpires ordered the players to come off the ground twice as rain intervened. Crawley and Buttler started slowly but hardly looked jitter on the crease. When on 99, Richard Illingworth adjudged Buttler out, thinking he edged it to Mohammad Rizwan. In reality, Buttler hit the pad with the bat and managed to reach three figures in the very next delivery.

Crawley reached his double-hundred streakily by edging one through the slip cordon that flew away to the ropes. The pair spent their next many overs milking the tired Pakistan bowlers across all parts of the ground while Buttler refused to cut loose. Crawley reached 250 by playing a disdainful shot over square leg.

It was after 94 overs that a part-timer in Asad Shafiq gave Pakistan their fifth breakthrough and the first of the day after a 359-run stand. Crawley perished for 267, sending a world of records doubling; however, Buttler still kept batting steadily. An over after Buttler reached his maiden 150 plus score, Fawad Alam took a simple return catch to remove Buttler for 152.

After the departure of Buttler, Woakes, Dom Bess, and Stuart Broad struck some lusty blows in search of quick runs. Captain Joe Root walked up to the balcony and signalled for the declaration as England amassed an insurmountable 583-8.

James Anderson struck thrice in 11 overs that Pakistan played, leaving himself four shy of the 600-wicket mark. Shan Masood was the first to go for 4 as he got deceived by the one swerving in the air. Abid Ali was the second to go as he chased the one that moved away from him to give Dom Sibley a grab in the slips.

It looked like skipper Azhar Ali and deputy Babar Azam would somehow survive the evening; however, in the final delivery, Anderson returned to sting Pakistan again. After successively bowling the one that goes away, the veteran gave it to come back that hit Babar on the knee role. It broke the back of Pakistan’s batting, leaving them trailing by 559 runs.

Scorecard

ENGLAND 1ST INNINGS:

(OVERNIGHT: 332-4):

R Burns c Masood b Afridi 6

D Sibley lbw b Yasir Shah 22

Z Crawley st Rizwan B Shafiq 267

J Root c Rizwan b Naseem Shah 29

O Pope b Yasir Shah 3

J Buttler c and b Alam 152

C Woakes c Yasir Shah b Alam 40

D Bess not out 27

S Broad b Afridi 15

EXTRAS: (b4, lb13, nb4, w1) 22

TOTAL: (8 wkts dec, 154.4 overs) 583

FOW: 1-12, 2-73, 3-114, 4-127, 5-486, 6-530, 7-547, 8-583

BOWLING: AFRIDI 33.4-5-121-2 (3NB, 1W); ABBAS 33-8-82-0; YASIR 39-3-173-2; NASEEM 27-6-109-1; ALAM 12-0-46-2; MASOOD 3-1-11-0; SHAFIQ 7-0-24-1 (1NB). 

PAKISTAN 1ST INNINGS:

Shan Masood lbw b Anderson 4

Abid Ali c Sibley b Anderson 1

Azhar Ali not out 4

Babar Azam lbw b Anderson 11

EXTRAS: (b 1, lb 1, w 2) 4

TOTAL: (3 wkts, 10.5 overs) 24

FOW: 1-6, 2-11, 3-24

BOWLING: JM Anderson 5.5-1-13-3, SCJ Broad 3-1-6-0, JC Archer 2-0-3-0. 

TOSS: ENGLAND

UMPIRES: R Illingworth, M Gough

TV UMPIRE: R Kettleborough

MATCH REFEREE: Chris Broad