The first Test between England and Pakistan is all set for an exciting finish as Pakistan who batted beautifully in the first innings on the back of a master-class innings from Shan Masood suffered a major collapse in the second innings. They hence failed to make an impact at the end of day three’s play. The batting collapse reached a complete circle when the last of their proper top-order batsman Asad Shafiq fell prey to an outstanding direct hit run-out from Dom Sibley.
England resumed batting on day three on 92-4 with Jos Buttler and Ollie Pope at the crease. The hosts who were completely outplayed on every department on day two, came back stronger and showed much better character. They closed their first innings on 219 runs courtesy of a valiant 62 runs from Ollie Pope and a fighting 38 from Jos Buttler.
Pakistan on the other hand suffered a batting collapse with none of their batsmen crossing the 30 run mark. The highly-rated Babar Azam was once again caught at slips trying to ambitiously drive a delivery that was pitched well outside the off-stump. Whereas Shan Masood who showed great resilience in the first innings went for a duck as he nicked a delivery from Broad to the keeper Buttler.
After the initial collapse, things looked positive for Pakistan when the wicket-keeper batsman Rizwan and Asad Shafiq started to build a nice partnership. They stitched together 38 runs at a time when nothing was going the way for Pakistan. But this happiness for Pakistan fans was short-lived as Dom Sibley inflicted a direct hit run-out to end this short partnership.
The incident happened in the 34th over when Rizwan hit the ball towards the cover-point region and set out for a quick run. Dom Sibley who was stationed at backward point ran in to pick the ball and inflicted a direct hit to send Shafiq to the pavilion, who was well short at the keeper's end. This ended Shafiq’s innings at 29 runs at a time when he was shaping up nicely.
After that runout, Pakistan lost a couple of quick wickets and ended their day three’s play at 137-8. Despite this poor show with the bat in the second innings, they do have a 244 run lead over the hosts England which may be well and truly enough to get them over the line, considering the quality of their bowling attack.
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