England secure 72-run first innings lead against Pakistan

Published: Tuesday 3rd November 2015 by The News Editor

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England eked out a valuable 72-run first-innings lead in the must-win third Test against Pakistan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The tourists’ best hopes of taking a significant mid-match advantage appeared to rest with the unbeaten James Taylor and Jonny Bairstow, after they resumed 12 behind on 222 for four on day three.

In the event, the fifth-wicket pair could add only another eight runs between them.

But Samit Patel, like Taylor in his comeback Test after a three-year absence, responded with an assured career-best 42 before Shoaib Malik (four for 33) and Yasir Shah (three for 99) saw off the tail in a total of 306 all out.

Taylor (76) could not get started again, shuffling after one that left him from Rahat Ali and nibbling an edge behind on the back foot to the diving Sarfraz Ahmed.

Patel needed 14 balls to get off the mark, but did so emphatically with a pull for four off Rahat – and then in the same over, pushed a drive through cover for two to take England into the lead.

Bairstow soon went, seven short of his 50, picking the wrong one to cut and bowled leg-and-middle by an arm ball from Zulfiqar Babar.

Patel was unfazed with confident defence and some clean timing too to make sure England did not veer off course for the victory they need to secure a 1-1 series draw.

Pakistan hit back, however, with the wicket of Adil Rashid just before lunch and then Patel too in early afternoon

Rashid fell to the final ball of the morning, poking a very sharp catch well-held by a diving Azhar Ali at short-leg off Shoaib.

Yasir reserved one of his very best deliveries for Patel, finding a perfect length just outside leg-stump and turning the ball sharply enough to fizz past the forward-defence and take the off bail.

Shoaib then bowled James Anderson, in near mirror-image, with an off-break.

But Ben Stokes bravely came out at number 11, despite hurting his shoulder in the field on day one, and helped Stuart Broad push the total past 300 before he too was bowled by a Shoaib off-break.

:: Stokes will not bowl or field again in the match, after scans revealed a collar bone joint injury.

Published: Tuesday 3rd November 2015 by The News Editor

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