Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 3rd day February 5, 2012

England face tough task after Azhar Ali marathon

145

Stumps England 141 and 36 for 0 (Strauss 19*, Cook 15*) need 288 runs to beat Pakistan 99 and 365 (Azhar 157, Younis 127, Panesar 5-124)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A monumental innings by Azhar Ali, a dutiful and occasionally becalmed affair spanning nearly nine hours, has left England requiring a daunting 324 for victory in the third Test. Azhar's highest first-class score, 157 from 442 balls, was an impressive feat of patience and skill and presented England with a final batting examination against Pakistan's spinners, a task they have flunked throughout the series.

England at least survived their initial reconnaissance. There were few devils in the 20 overs up to the close, although Alastair Cook was badly dropped in Umar Gul's second over by Taufeeq Umar at third slip. Pakistan also lost a review after Mohammad Hafeez's lbw appeal against Andrew Strauss was turned down.

For much of the third day, this was a drowsy Dubai Sunday. When the Test suddenly sprung into life before tea, with England's spinners taking the last seven wickets for 34 runs in 22.2 overs, England did not know whether to laugh or cry. As the ball began to turn and spit on a worn, dry surface, each wicket felt like the harbinger of the batting challenges to come.

Without Azhar's marathon effort, England might have had realistic ambitions of salvaging a consolation victory. Graeme Swann, who dropped him low down at first slip on 84 off James Anderson, will have felt more disconsolate than most. Azhar finally fell to Swann at short leg. Cook has stood there throughout the series without so much as a sniff, but he held a low catch to end an innings that had pronounced Azhar as a young batsman of high calibre.

Younis Khan added only 12 to his overnight 115 before he fell lbw to the deserving Stuart Broad, but Azhar followed up Younis' hundred with one of his own. He resumed on 75 and pressed on doggedly. His first boundary of the morning, a delicate sweep against Graeme Swann took him to 98 before he unleashed a resounding square cut against Monty Panesar to reach his second Test century.

As the lead crept ahead, so did the lbws. Five Pakistan batsmen fell to leg before decisions, four to Panesar. That took the total to 41 in the series and counting. It is a record for a three-Test series and only two below the overall record.

Panesar finished with another five wickets, aching limbs and his reputation rebuilt . Much of the afternoon had been a stalemate as Panesar persevered into the rough outside Misbah-ul-Haq's leg stump, and Misbah appeared immovable. England tossed away their second review in desperation as Misbah survived Panesar's lbw appeal by virtue of a thin inside edge. But he fell that way eventually, as he has five times in the series, his own review failing to spare him.

Panesar then prospered. Asad Shafiq was lbw on the back leg, sweeping, and Adnan Akmal was bowled for nought by one that turned. Panesar's celebrations, once so excitable, are now so strangely matter-of-fact that perhaps it is time to take a look in the doctor's medical bag.

When Swann removed Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal courtesy of slip catches by James Anderson - the second one a cracking effort, a steer to his right from Ajmal that he anticipated brilliantly - it brought Swann rare satisfaction and served only to deepen England's sense of foreboding.

It has been a tough series for Swann. He has a great career record against Pakistan left-handers, but there are only two of them in this series and Taufeeq has often been dismissed before he has come on. Swann has been largely overshadowed as he has remained loyal to the methods that have served him well, flight and a line outside off stump, while other spinners have bowled straighter and quicker in a rewarding search for lbws.

Pakistan were threatening to defy cricket history. No side in 105 years has won after making fewer than 100 in the first innings of a Test, a feat last achieved by England against South Africa at Headingley in 1907.

Even that achievement required assistance from the elements. Colin Blythe, the revered Kent left-arm spinner, loved nothing better than a wet pitch and he took 15 wickets as Leeds drizzled loyally upon him. There was little point in Panesar and Swann gazing to the heavens in the hope of a sudden downpour, not in these parts.

Early in the day, umpire Steve Davis' lbw decision against Younis was upheld on review, but it was the most marginal of calls, as was Kevin Pietersen's on the opening day, and emphasised that the umpires in this series have been emboldened by DRS into giving borderline decisions that they might normally have turned down. The umpires' margin of error that is built into DRS meant that on both occasions the umpire would have been right whatever he ruled. Both Younis and Pietersen were adjudged to be out when Hawk-Eye predicted that the ball would have shaved the stumps so lightly that the bail might not even have fallen. The umpires have all become outers.

The best umpires throughout the years tended before the advent of DRS to allow a small margin of error in favour of the batsman, judging that a not-out decision was the safest if there was an element of doubt. Hawk-Eye has not only removed that doubt, and the inbuilt margin of error, intended to protect the umpire's authority, has meant in this series that batsmen have, in effect, defended bigger stumps - taller by the width of a ball, and wider by the width of a ball on both stumps. It is a concern, but it is no reason to abandon the system.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sports4Youth on February 6, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    Micheal Atherton said during his commentary that Pak have improved thieir Batting, bowling and ground fielding, BUT CATCHING HAS NOT IMPROVED AT ALL. it has not changed a bit. HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. PAK NEEDS A FIELDING COACH.

  • Sports4Youth on February 6, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    Micheal Atherton said during his commentary that Pak have improved thieir Batting, bowling and ground fielding, but catching has not remained the same. it has not changed a bit. HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. PAK NEEDS A FIELDING COACH.

  • Behind_the_Wicket on February 6, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    What you think ? Who will win this match , Tough contest , Both teams are equally good in bowling department but not good in batting , Pakistani Team is not very consistent and England is not good to play spin bowling.Let see what happens but I think today is decider day.

  • rabbbs on February 6, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Look at the averages of both batsmen and bowlers at lunch on 4th day

  • rawcrickettalent on February 6, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    Great stuff by Azhar and Younis....Truly Test cricket at its best..-....this series has been one of the best ever...it doesnt matter if the results are one-sided...The fight that both teams have shown is awesome...i hope it is a great match!!!! Test Cricket: True test of Grit and patience for 5 whole days!!! i would rather choose this over a t20 or odi any day!!!!

  • Sports4Youth on February 6, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Pak back to their old catching ways. 2 chances dropped.one each by Taufee, Adnan, Gul. All were dollies. Eng would take them 10/10.

  • Navaid-Hussain on February 6, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    I do not know why Akmal brothers are always in so much hurry. When Kamran and Umer bating they try to make shot on one ball and when they keep, try to stump or through with out the grasping the ball. Most of the time they keep appeal for nothing. Someone get them understand and inject some patient.

  • Navaid-Hussain on February 6, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    Pakistan lost so many matches by their fielding and its look like to happen again. There is no cure except you have to put lot of hard work. Generally teams do let off catches, but when its come Pakistan they are very generous, when they give changes they give in large number. That is why Pak bowlers try to get wickets by bowled or LBW. I hope that despite the worst fielding side they will mange to win.

  • BustIPL on February 6, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    If they bat whole of fourth day then it is pretty much england winning.

  • on February 6, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    they have taken the tiniest of iota of life out of the pitch... its dead flat now. heavy rollers..!!! Very long tiring day ahead for bowlers.

  • Sports4Youth on February 6, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    Micheal Atherton said during his commentary that Pak have improved thieir Batting, bowling and ground fielding, BUT CATCHING HAS NOT IMPROVED AT ALL. it has not changed a bit. HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. PAK NEEDS A FIELDING COACH.

  • Sports4Youth on February 6, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    Micheal Atherton said during his commentary that Pak have improved thieir Batting, bowling and ground fielding, but catching has not remained the same. it has not changed a bit. HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. PAK NEEDS A FIELDING COACH.

  • Behind_the_Wicket on February 6, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    What you think ? Who will win this match , Tough contest , Both teams are equally good in bowling department but not good in batting , Pakistani Team is not very consistent and England is not good to play spin bowling.Let see what happens but I think today is decider day.

  • rabbbs on February 6, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Look at the averages of both batsmen and bowlers at lunch on 4th day

  • rawcrickettalent on February 6, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    Great stuff by Azhar and Younis....Truly Test cricket at its best..-....this series has been one of the best ever...it doesnt matter if the results are one-sided...The fight that both teams have shown is awesome...i hope it is a great match!!!! Test Cricket: True test of Grit and patience for 5 whole days!!! i would rather choose this over a t20 or odi any day!!!!

  • Sports4Youth on February 6, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Pak back to their old catching ways. 2 chances dropped.one each by Taufee, Adnan, Gul. All were dollies. Eng would take them 10/10.

  • Navaid-Hussain on February 6, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    I do not know why Akmal brothers are always in so much hurry. When Kamran and Umer bating they try to make shot on one ball and when they keep, try to stump or through with out the grasping the ball. Most of the time they keep appeal for nothing. Someone get them understand and inject some patient.

  • Navaid-Hussain on February 6, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    Pakistan lost so many matches by their fielding and its look like to happen again. There is no cure except you have to put lot of hard work. Generally teams do let off catches, but when its come Pakistan they are very generous, when they give changes they give in large number. That is why Pak bowlers try to get wickets by bowled or LBW. I hope that despite the worst fielding side they will mange to win.

  • BustIPL on February 6, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    If they bat whole of fourth day then it is pretty much england winning.

  • on February 6, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    they have taken the tiniest of iota of life out of the pitch... its dead flat now. heavy rollers..!!! Very long tiring day ahead for bowlers.

  • on February 6, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    The way England's batsmen have performed since that cataclysmic first session at Dubai on the opening day of the series is redolent of the way India approached every innings against the England seamers after last summer's second Test: to a man they were fearful, tentative &, on a psychological level, shot to pieces. I think it'd be a mistake for us to be overly optimistic simply because Cook & Strauss managed to string together a 30-run partnership against Pakistan's seamers: I hope I'm wrong, but I fear that Ajmal, Rehman & Hafeez will slowly unravel us again...

  • sachin_vvsfan on February 6, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    @Meety. yes another 50-60 runs would have put pakistan well on top. But if the spinners get some assistance then this might be far enough. I think the match will be over in 4th day itself with both teams having 50-50 chance

  • simon_w on February 6, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Test cricket is just so exciting and unpredictable at the moment. India get the #1 ranking, and are immediately white-washed by England, and then again by Australia not long after. England get the #1 ranking, and look extremely likely to also be immediately white-washed. If I was South Africa I'm not entirely sure I'd want the #1 tag! But the way Test cricket has been lately, I'll be watching day 4 from Dubai closely... there's just the tiniest of outside chances... :)

  • on February 6, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    Good luck Pakistan, expecting Abur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal will repeat their performance like 2nd test.

  • on February 6, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    I would like Pakistan to win but i would like England to put up a good fight.

  • on February 6, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    does anyone wander why we need a professional coach? Even the tail enders are blocking, blocking blocking!!!! Pakistan is short of a 100 runs. Whatamore,please join the team soon. Get the tailenders out of the blocking mode and have some runs on the socreboard!!!

  • on February 6, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    I wonder whathappened top the rest of the Pakistani batsmen lower order includedf? This was just a Younis /Azhar show. The rest forgot of how to bat. Unless the bolwers come up with another miracle, Pakistan are about a 100 run short!!

  • on February 6, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    The match is sill in a balance. If England survives the first session without a major setback, this total can be chased. This series seems to be getting better by the session. It's now time to say- Good Luck England

  • wrenx on February 6, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Pakistan might not have closed England out of the game, but it's refreshing to see their BATSMEN getting the runs for a change. The tail might not have been impressive (though to be fair to them, they were beaten by some excellent bowling), but runs at the top half of the card are good to see, regardless of the result.

  • pankha on February 6, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    imo england stands no chance in this test match.

  • jmcilhinney on February 6, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    The England openers' resistance at the end of the day has given me a little hope. Certainly not confidence, but hope. Cook doesn't seem to know how to score anything between 10 and 50 so I'm hoping that now he has a start he can go on and make a big one. Pakistan may well rue giving him a life. He still has to score the runs though, as Azhar Ali did. Even if England bat well it is still a tough ask, so they may well rue giving Azhar a life. I'm hoping for good contributions from Strauss, who struck a little form in the first innings, as well as Cook and Trott, who have both shown that they can score in these conditions, if only once. KP looked better last innings so maybe it's his time to shine. Bell and Morgan can't be relied upon and Prior, Broad and Swann shouldn't have to be relied upon. I believe that England should be able to win this match and I believe that they are capable of doing so. I definitely wouldn't bet any money on their doing it though.

  • RohanMarkJay on February 6, 2012, 2:33 GMT

    Well this has been a great tussle in the Desert between England and Pakistan. This series has been a great advertisement for test cricket. Test cricket is no doubt in serious trouble but these two teams have fought hard against one another giving their all. Making this a very watchable contest for cricket fans. Pakistan are showing they are the kings of the Middle Eastern Desert cricket duels, however England has far from disgraced, showing they can play good cricket away from England. Who knows what would have happened if they scored 145 and leveled the series. The current England batsman's huge weakness against good spin bowling was exposed on a good batting pitch by Ajmal and Rehman so getting those 145 runs was never going to be easy. I'm delighted that Pakistan are back they play the best brand of cricket in the world when in form. England is not a bad side. They are just not as good as some of their media and supporters make them out to be. The ranking system is flawed.

  • MN-USA on February 6, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    @ MEETY... I agree, Pak has left the door wide open to pull through. I was disgusted with their negative approach despite having a healthy total on board. They actually decided to play for time instead of building building a healthy lead. Misbah's saftey first approach may backfire this time. Dropping a stitter (Cooks catch) was as much of a shock as their collapse. If English opners are able negotiate first session without a loss...then I predict Englad is gonna finish it up on day 4. @Khans_World: The kind of Defensive mindset Misbah has. I doubt he is going to use seamers anymore. You have to be a bit agressive to keeep the pressure on but I doubt that is gonna happen. If England adds 70-80 odd runs in first session you'll see most of your fielders at boundary, allowing easy singles and two's will only add to the misery and frustration. I am a Pak fan and would like team Pak to win BUT you need GUTS and HEART to win in tight situations. First two came by easily and this may not.

  • saintsinister on February 6, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    It's not a done match by any means.. After looking at england openers i think it's 50-50.. Would've been 70-30 if Mr. Taufeeq had taken Cook's catch.. Good players tend to punish you once they are let off the leash.. Much better foot work from the English players even though i can already see another stumping coming strauss' way due to inconsistant bounce.. Whichever side hold's it's nerves will win the match.. Decisive Footwork or Average Fielding.. Both sides have to overcome their flaw.. For some reason i think Cheema should be given the ball alongwith Gul in the morning for atleast a burst of 3 overs each.. Then normal business should resume.. Best of luck to both teams but I am rooting for a whitewash inshallah :D

  • Asafar on February 6, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    England's whitewash in the hands of Pakistan is on the card.The wicket has adequately deteriorated to help Pakistani spinners to run through England's batting line.Pakistan's victory in this match is a forgone conclusion and will be delayed a little by their poor fielding.Already A.Cook has been dropped at the slips.A few more such reprieves are likely.Despite such dents Pakistan will move on to achieve their goal of winning the series 3-0 much to the jubilation of Mohsin Khan.The marathon innings played by Azhar Ali will become the centre piece of this victory.

  • Meety on February 6, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    IMO - Pakistan have left the door open with their collapse at the end of their innings. Another 50 or 60 runs would of shut England out. Take the two 100s out, only 2 other innings have had any substance until Cook & Strauss late on Day 3. Strauss whilst not in top form seems to be really busting a gut to dig his team out. If those two can at least get a springboard for the rest (100+ opening partnership), I could see KP stealling the limelight with a masterclass, with some help from Prior & the lower order. Could be wrong, but I'd be surprised if Bell survives 10 balls. If this pitch is taking MORE spin, than there could be a collapse on. Very interesting to see if this pushes into a 4th day!!!!

  • Lmaotsetung on February 6, 2012, 0:05 GMT

    Now that Strauss n Flower have no problem playing 2 spinners, I would hope that once Bresnan is fit, they try 2 spiinners + 3 seamers combo in SL or India later this year. Bresnan is the key here and I believe his batting avg is very close to that of Morgan and Bopara. A #7, #8, and #9 of Bresnan, Broad, and Swann is more than adequate.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 5, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    Perfect platform for Cook to make that occasional big score. Match isn't over yet @5wombats by any stretch of imagination. Just wait.

  • Khans_word on February 5, 2012, 23:47 GMT

    Looks like people are predicting the unpredictable in this match. It hangs in the balance when it should have been out of reach for England. Pakistans lower order batting was poor , almost as if they thought they had enough runs! Shafiq for once didn't play safe, trying to sweep is always 50/50 early on. The rest just prodded and folded and we were fooled ino thinking that the pitch had demons showing. But nothing happened when Pakistan bowled , 36-0. We wonder why? Barring the slippery soap bar catching of Taufeeq, that was the only chance of the late session. Now why the zero spin? My take is that the heavy roller flattens the pitch out for 30 odd overs, then the surface springs back! So keep tuned. Also note that the morning session will have moisture in the first hour so seam movement will be there. Pakistan will need to make inroads in the first hour to tip the balance and steady the nerves. Here's hoping green lights up one more day

  • garibaldi on February 5, 2012, 23:11 GMT

    Last winter I would go to bed at night, snow on the ground here, wondering how many batting records would have been broken by Cook, Trott and Pietersen by the time I woke up; now the snow is the same, but I wake up hardly daring to check Cricinfo for the score, for fear of the humiliation I might find. How times change! Still, there is a glimmer of hope of restoring a modicum of dignity, if Strauss can carry on the brief promise of a revival we saw from him in the first innings, Cook can avoid wafting outside the off stump and play with the mental strength we know he has, Trott can become again the batsman bowlers hate to bowl at, Pietersen can play one of his "grown-up" innings, and Bell can learn to survive the spinners long enough to play some of his wonderfully appealing cricket ... etc! I fear too many "if"s, but who knows...

  • Q72941 on February 5, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    Azhar's inning was like Ali vs Foreman, tiring up the opposition towards mental degradation & frustration. Test Cricket as the name implies may be boring for some to watch but definitely is like a fine game of Chess, enjoyable to those who really appreciate it. Hope to see some more fine Test matches onward.

  • Ali1032 on February 5, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    The mind set of Pakistani batsmen is bit on the wrong side I think,when you start the innings it's understandable that one has to take extra care,you don't won't to loose your wicket very early in the day,but when you are set and you have more then 300 runs on the board and 6 wickets in hand,then you go for your shots and try to get as many runs as possible,but watching misba I was shocked that 31 runs from 115 balls,and then your lower order the likes of gull and rehman,the tail Enders who go for there shots were blocking with no intend of makeing any runs,I think the the coach and the captain has changed the mind set of the Pakistani players and talked them in to blocking there way,if a batsmen is blocking and blocking every ball,there will be a ball that will get you out and your score will be next to nothing,like what happen today misbh,akmal,rehman,Ajmal,and gull,they all got out 34 runs in between them and the amount of ball they faced are there for every one to see.

  • on February 5, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    Swann is facing the heat. Monty outshining him in Spin friendly conditions. Great game at hands, I wish Pakistan good luck and English players some DRS assistance. Thats the only thing that can save them now.

  • on February 5, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    England on the ropes again! Imagine that! Everyone else's cricket seems to be improving. I wonder why can't my team, the West Indies, can't do the same. I hope that we have a good showing against the Australians. Congrats to the Pakistani team for winning the series against England.

  • on February 5, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    England have played very badly. They are not true number ones because they lost the series so comprehensively and are again in danger of loosing this test and therefore being whitewashed. How rubbish is that?

  • wrenx on February 5, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    DRS debate by the commentators is just getting silly. Either start casting doubt on the veracity of the tech and fall in line behind the BCCI, or just admit that batsman have been getting away with lbws for years and are now having poor technique shown up. I didn't see a problem with how Asad Shafiq was given out today, despite it *looking* like it was sliding down leg. Hawkeye said clipping leg, good enough, he's out. Same goes for Pietersen. And surely its time for Taufeeq to go, and to try out Azhar as an opener to allow U. Akmal to slot in at 6 after Shafiq. Taufeeq has been woeful in all regards - only 1 big innings against Sri Lanka in months, and even that was after nicking a slip catch and getting away with it at the start of his innings.

  • Cricket_Only on February 5, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    Folks, I am sorry but Taufeeq Umar's droping of AlastairCOOK may have just lost a game for Pakistan. I pray to God that I am wrong.

  • doctornikki on February 5, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    Azhar is going to be one of the best..His technique is superb and he posses the concentration and fighting ability rarely seen in those busy in selling their patience for t20

  • IK11 on February 5, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    I guess England are gonna win the test. Never understimate the law of averages. Runs are due on lots of Engliash batsmen. My gut feeling is that they are gonna come back strongly tomorrow. you always need luck while chasing such mammoth target. They have already had a bit of luck with toufiq dropping a simple catch.Lets see how do the events turn up during another day of this historic series.

  • Rexton87 on February 5, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    Pak team should learn to change tactics. Persevernce and doggedness has served them well but they should have tried to accelerate once Misbah was out instead of waiting for a delivery to take them out. Once again the tailenders did not contribute. The match would have have been out of reach of England if the lead was 400+ but now the target is gettable. If one or two partnerships stick and one of the players make big hundred England will be home. If that happens the reason would be lower order batsmen who should have played daringly to add 20 30 each.

  • yorkshirematt on February 5, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    When one or both openers go (only a matter of time) they've had it. The rest will come in and imagine the ball turning square again. Soon to return to the safety of the dressing room.

  • Omersiddiqi on February 5, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    ?????????????????? i guess we are missing a point.This is a flat deck, Pakistani men got out because of their poor shot selection, and unless some demons appear on the pitch England look pretty comfortable

  • 5wombats on February 5, 2012, 20:25 GMT

    @kunderanengineer on (February 05 2012, 16:39 PM GMT) - THANK YOU!!! All comments and observations from true cricket followers are always appreciated.

  • sirvivfan on February 5, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    Well batted Pakistan.... Though the middle and late order threw it away. Had a chance to keep England out of the game. Now England have realistic chance of winning in my opinion. All it needs is hundred from somebody And they will get the total. Once again Pakistan batting has failed considering two guys got hundred.

  • 5wombats on February 5, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    @Nutcutlet; Hey mate. Look, we just want to see England acquit themselves with some level of dignity here. The 1st Test showed how mentally tangled England were against quality spin bowling. The collapse in the 2nd Test chasing 145 to win was a disaster from Hell. England should have won that game!!! We let Pakistan off the hook in the first Innings in Abu Dhabi and we said at the time that Pakistan got far too many runs. So it proved. England blew it again in their first dig here. So we have no faith that England will get out of this - and this is coming from the super loyal true blue marsupials. Always get an honest realistic view from 9 inches above the ground! We want this series to end with a positive, something to build on - a competent final innings against great spin bowling. It's been disappointing, but rectifying this weakness against quality spin needs to start now so that the process will be complete by the end of September.... They aren't bad players - they'll learn.

  • on February 5, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    yeeesss, But this time i am looking this competition in a different view, especially the sensible batting from the English Openers was noticable today. Pakistan Lost their early chance i maayy think they have LOST this game. As "No match without Catch". Taufiqe should be Punished for that, throughout this series he has been noticed with poor performance, Hafeez is our STAR, I will still regret upon my combination of openers in ODIs i.e: Hafeez & Shafiqe then come Azhar then Akmal Brothers and then Misbah & so on ..., This match will be going into a very interesting situation IF Pakistan gets 2 or 3 wickets Before Lunch (Which seems Diffcult in current situation), But i can say HOPE FOR BEST only . because the series has produced iverall mixed results for both the opponents.

  • MN-USA on February 5, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    I think the defensive mindset of Pakistan players was the reason for their collapse (7 for 34 in 22 overs).Inspite of being in full control when Younas and Azhar were piling up runs @ good pace failed to push on after Younas khan's departure. It looked to me as if Pakistan were playing for time not for runs. With Misbah (31 in 115 balls) Azhar Ali also went into the shell. Only 55 runs in the entire 2nd session was RIDICULOUS. The result... The result, they allowed the English bowlers settle down, rearrange their line and length, and create pressure and chip away with quick wickets...they lacked positive intent, failed to rotate..Had they played positive, they could have easily posted 400+ lead. Looked like if they were the one's to had the burdon of SAVING the match. Hate to say, but "Misbah" at times looks very "DUMB" for not taking calculated risk to go for a win...This will haunt them forever if England pulls out a win, and they can esp with two more days to go. Good Luck Pak.

  • on February 5, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Brilliant effort from Pakistan, especially from Younis and Azhar. Azhar was bit slow but in the end it was a good effort. Misbah's Captaincy was also remarkable through out the series.

  • reality_check on February 5, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    Pakistan should have posted 450 with the amount of time they occupied the pitch but still a very good effort. Azhar Ali and Misbah should have accelerated a bit. No point in just occupying the crease when score is not moving. Tomorrow one of the two records will be broken. Either England will successfully chase 325+ in 4th innings OR Pakistan will win even after scoring less than 100 batting first.

  • The_bowlers_Holding on February 5, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    Good batting display by Pakistan, England started solidly in comparison to previous efforts on this tour although Cook should have gone that was a dolly. The number of left handers in the England side will make the run chase nigh on impossible with the rough to aim at for the Pak spinners.

  • on February 5, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    An intriguing day tomorrow, many ebbs and flows. That is the nature of Test cricket. As a England supporter, I still tip Pakistan to win tomorrow due to their ability to adapt on the familiar conditions and Enlgand's lack of confidence in batting. Nevertheless, hopefully, another entralling day to come.

  • hhillbumper on February 5, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Just IPL.Indeed Monty would not make place in Team India because he actually happens to be English and very proud of it.To be fair to him and Swann they have had to spend most of their careers on English pitches which are not conducive to spin so it must be fun for them to be on spinning pitches. Good on ya monty.Hopefully England can show some fight and move on to Sri Lanka with a batting order who actually want to bat.Bye Morgan

  • on February 5, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    @BlueyCollar It happened just a few months ago when England beat India 4-0

  • on February 5, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    England need 2 centuries from their top 4 if they have to win this one ... They need to show loads of character to win this one.

  • Available on February 5, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    Well done Team Pakistan. Azhar is simply done a remarkable job and put Pakistan in a commanding position.

  • zaf100 on February 5, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    England need another 288 to win and pakistan need all ten wickets, interesting day ahead for both teams because the wicket is definitely eased a bit and batting doesn't seem too difficult. Pakistan spinners have to show their class and win the game for Pakistan. If England batsmen manage to handle Saeed Ajmal than I think they can surprise Pakistan because they have two full days to score 288 so no pressure of time. But I still back Pakistan to win the match and inflict 3-0 series white wash. Good luck pakistan.

  • samurai1979 on February 5, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    its an interesting days play ahead tomorrow.. even england wins then they will have to bat till the 2nd session of day 5 to achieve the remaining 288 runs and i dont see that happening !

  • samurai1979 on February 5, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    i have a strong feeling that pakistan will definately gonna win this match but even if engalnd wins the match will last till the 2nd session of day 5.... thats my prediction

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    @Abdul Rasheed Baloch /BowledYa /Jose Puliampatta - Can see your frustration , but after the 1st innings and low scores in the previous match , if someone had offered you a 300+ run lead after the 2nd inns you'd have taken that quite happily. You are still favourites to win and secure the whitewash

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    @Purple-patch on (February 05 2012, 09:21 AM GMT) You're right there and I'm an England fan. You usually find those who talk the biggest are the 1st to hide , except for those who come up with delusional excuses.

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    @JustIPL on (February 05 2012, 11:35 AM GMT) Sorry ,I'm sure you're correct , but is there actually a reason why you posted this? Also Monty took a 5 for today , but I suppose India are spoilt for choice with their prolific wicket takers?

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    @usmanHM on (February 05 2012, 13:45 PM GMT) - Headline is "England face tough task after Azhar Ali marathon" with 1st sentence "A monumental innings by Azhar Ali" - Charming post from you mind.

  • ammarhassan on February 5, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    Pakistan can still win .. its just a matter of few quick wickets .. Really want to see England being white washed ..

  • JG2704 on February 5, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    Well I suppose England has a glimmer of hope but little more.If we were chasing this at home with our batsmen in form and vs a lesser bowling attack I'd have fancied us to do it.But we're away from home with 2 of our batsmen hopelessly out of form + the rest patchy.The Sky team were saying how much better our batsmen looked at the crease.Sorry but I disagree.There was 1 over where Strauss came down the pitch a few times vs Rehman and although I think he scored just one run where he made a ball into a full toss he looked so much less vulnerable.But then both he and Cook were rooted to the crease too often which I feel is asking for trouble.If Strauss + co can use their feet alot more they have a chance. As Botham said you don't have play a big shot every time you come forward but you're more likely to kill the spin and LBWs are less likely too. Obviously don't come forward to everything , but the one thing is definitely does is give Misbah more to think about.

  • Sal2011 on February 5, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    David, you sound like a premier league football coach, Alex F or Whinger, whining about the DRS-umpiring rather than focusing on the tight contest. The DRS system has not affected the dimensions of the stumps which the bats are protecting by one bit. The accurate "benefit of doubt" decisions by umpires on the ground won't be overturned by DRS. Secondly, umpires know DRS favours them in the "benefit of doubt" decisions, ie it won't overturn their decision when the ball is only marginally accurate for a LBW. So it won't affect their behaviour to give benefit of doubt when truly due. So the only concern here is your ability of logical analysis. Having said that, let me put my own logic in doubt, by venturing Eng might pull this off if the opening pair cross 120.

  • stari09 on February 5, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    Bowling in sun glasses should be banned by the MCC and ICC. Your not at the beach, your bowling in a test match. Apart from looking like a 'Merchant Banker' bowling in the shades, Swann showed today why Monty is England's number1 spinner by a country mile.

  • ThinkSports on February 5, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    Well Straus took the heavy roller, so the effect of slowing the pitch would last but for 30 to 40 overs. 20 are gone and another few wickets will fall in the early morning due to mild moisture build up then there would be delay as the wicket will dry up but after a few hours around tea time there will be impossible behavior of the wicket turning. chances are very slim for England. But if they can just dig in to survive and don't think of score, then on day 4 they may even score 150 to 200 which will leave them with easier target for the day 5. But do they have enough doggedness to resist!

  • dmqi on February 5, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    WHAT WILL BE THE RESULT? Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainity. If the English batsmen took a lesson from Younus and Azhar, they can survive in the wicket but a score of 300 plus in the 4th innings will prove to be too difficult. Loss by less than runs will not be too bad for the English, better than by 10 wickets. History is in making.

  • KMalik on February 5, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    That's real cricket.Now England should play just straight bat,every ball possibly with bat and forbid every batsman to use sweep shot until he crossed 50.may be you still don't win but its shows the real fighting if you score 250+ runs.Whatever the result come congrats to both teams for great fighting cricket i really enjoyed especially after my team wins.

  • insightfulcricketer on February 5, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    I have no business in being in this forum but as I was flicking between the ODI between Australia and India and this match this was more compelling .Test match truly is what it suggest test of one's game. Azhar Ali played stupendously as did Broad on a dry wicket. Kudos to both so young - international test cricket will go on ...

  • on February 5, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    324 is definitely gettable.....if the English batsman play like Azhar and Younis

  • on February 5, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    Its just the matter of one wicket and England will crumble like they always do.

  • Punjin on February 5, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    A very high no. of LBW's 11 vs. 4. is it becos of spin??

  • on February 5, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    i dont know about you guys but my gutt feeling is that england might pull this one.. think about it, its stil 2 days left with alll wickets in hand and wicket has flattened ... i hope im wrong coz me want pak to win

  • on February 5, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Brilliant effort from Pakistan, especially from Younis and Azhar. Azhar was bit slow but in the end it was a good effort. Misbah's Captaincy was also remarkable through out the series.

  • KarachiKid on February 5, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    I think there are few hints that the way DRS is being utilized should be changed a little. For example, if umpire says out, than atlesat than at least three quarters should hitting the stumps upon review by batsmen otherwise it should be not out. So if umpire says out, bowlers reviews and only half of the ball is clipping the stumps less than three quarters, the deicsion should be overturned. If umpire says not out, than full ball (whole of ball) should be hitting the stumps to turn the decision favor of bowling side upon review.

  • on February 5, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    WellDone Azher Superb knock... Gavaskar also came to see ur knock becozz he was disappointed from team india's performance........

  • on February 5, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Its very likely that the men in green will pull it off! pitch is doing a bit, its just a matter of time when the first wicket falls, rest is as they were in english batting! clueless!

  • BlueyCollar on February 5, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    The English have a fair bit to play for. How many # 1 ranked sides have been WHITE WASHED.

  • known_stranger on February 5, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    The DRS avoiding rule.. bring the pads in front of wickets and then bring the bat in front of pads, all three must be in a row to avoid DRS unexpected decision.:) DRS is like the science teacher who suddenly comes and bring the student out of Class. so scary:), how innocent these all batsmen look when the ball just touch their pads..:)

  • on February 5, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    Pak will won by 60 to 70 runs are may be England can win by 3 wicket. hahah. wait till to 2marrow.

  • on February 5, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Thou Pakistani spectator but in my opinion england wll successfully chase the target as now pitch is straight wd out any assistance to bowler

  • dravid.s on February 5, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    England going to lose another test in Row.

  • balajik1968 on February 5, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    An intriguing day's play ahead. It will be yet another intense examination for England. Manner of win or loss should show the mettle of this English team. Congratulations, Azhar Ali, one of those old fashioned grindathons the likes of Boycott, Tavare, Mudassar and some others who escape my mind would be proud of. If Pakistan wins, Azhar Ali is my candidate for MOM.

  • known_stranger on February 5, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    a perfect setting for the end of the series, 4th day will be the climax of this 3rd test. England have the last chance in this test series to show their potential of being #1 side. lets see what sports writers will be posting on their platforms after 24 hours..:)

  • hhillbumper on February 5, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    Nice to see Monty back bowqling once more for England.I was not sure why we went in this match with 4 bowlers,five batsmen as a wicket keeper.I was not sure if Morgan has played and if so why? We would have been better off picking anyone but him.If he can't make runs against spin which lets face it is meant to be his strength then why is he there?

  • rahulcricket007 on February 5, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    @JUST IPL . FOCUS ON YOUR TEAM INDIA , WHERE YOUR PATHETIC ASHWIN IS LEAKING RUNS AT AN ECONOMY OF 8.5 IN ODIS. LOL .

  • on February 5, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    seems england batting is attacking solidly and cautiously , can be 2-1 , they way they are playing. pitch seems better.

  • on February 5, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    in this situation of the game, Pakistan should win comfortably.

  • kunderanengineer on February 5, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    @5wombats I'm not so sure as you are that this is over yet. 288 runs does not seem insurmountable with 2 whole days batting and all 10 wickets in hand. The opening partnership looks promising so far and is definitely going to be key.Also how the English batsmen handle Ajmal and Rehman. They should have had enough practice by now. Hoping at least for an exciting finish. By the way I'm an Indian fan desperately in search of an exciting test match!

  • Rahulbose on February 5, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    I have a feeling Eng will bat well this innings. Looking forward to Eng winning here.

  • aukhan420 on February 5, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    Too many borderline decisions ... way too many for the comfort of DRS!!! and its supports ... I am also a supporter but such decisions are not doing any favor to the system

  • on February 5, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    definitely pak going 2 win this, whitewash 3-0

  • Zianswati on February 5, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    well played azhar superb dsplay

  • HellDiver on February 5, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    My money's on England winning this...

  • smjr on February 5, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    If Pakistan fielded well i.e they did not drop catches and bowlers bowled according to the field then Pakistan has 100% chance of winning this test. However if the bowlers experiment too much or are impatience and fielders drop catches only then England can win. We already saw that average wickets fall per day in this series is around 7 to 8. Good luck Pakistan.

  • on February 5, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Pakistan must take at least 3 wicket befor england cross 100 mark

  • AidanFX on February 5, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    Its been interesting and nice watching the reemergence of Pak - and seeing them carry their form on to the #1 team Eng - but gee wiz they have become a conservative team... Skillful, aggressive teams will invariably run Pak is off their feet if they stay this conservative

  • on February 5, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    Pakistan: 331 for3, to 365 all out. Last 7 wickets fell for a meager 34 runs. So, even if England's first few wickets hold on for a while, Pakistan can still hope, and should, whitewash England. Despite getting bowled out for 99 in the first innings, Pakistan winning this test will be a major achievement. Perhaps one of those for the records in international test cricket!

  • StatisticsRocks on February 5, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    Gr8 knock by Azhar Ali. Pak middle order is in good hands with Azhar and Shafiq who have shown they have te temparament for test cricket. I am sure batting with Younis Khan will have done a world ofgood for Azhar. What a series this has been I expect the Pak spinnes to take control tomorrow.

  • on February 5, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    Why TAUFEEQ UMER has butter fingers???? everytime he drops the catch..and whenever he tried to catch, the ball juggles in his hands..according to his drop catches record, i don't think he should be standing on slip..maybe 3rd man will be a better position for him..

  • statsfan on February 5, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    The record is for the team batting FIRST in the test and getting below 100. It does not count if the team scored less than 100 in their first innings and still won unless they STARTED the match and batted FIRST. So if Pakistan win they will have completed a historic feat NOT achieved by any team for 105 years.

  • khurramsch on February 5, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    pakistan clearly ahead but after watching 1st 20 overs of england inings i think pak need to work hard for wickets. Younas & Azahr played well younis very unlucky as impact & hit both very marginal.

  • Sarangarajan on February 5, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    It is going to be pretty steep for this England team to survive and score 324 runs to win.200 itself would have been a big "ask".The way they were handling Ajmal and Rehman with kid gloves was a pretty sight. After all they are the number 'one test team . Let us see how they play tomorrow.Come on Misbah's men- show the number one test team how it tastes to be' brown washed' -3-0.

  • BowledYa on February 5, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    I do believe this game can go either way. There is plenty of time and I am sure this is not what Misbah wanted i.e. give England 2 days to score some 300 odd runs. If England batsmen get set for once in this series just as Pak did then this is a very gettable score. Its by far not over, and this from a Pak fan. Either way this match will be over on its 4th day. Who would have thought none of the matches in UAE would go to the 5th day?

  • on February 5, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Pitch is playing really well. I think England also have a chance to win this match. One big hundred or 1 or 2 fifties from England side like azhar and younis played today.

  • on February 5, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    5wombats: You should have more confidence in your team after all you have been telling us how good they are for months, 324 is not a big score to run down on a slow flat pitch. Poor batting effort from Pakistan after the fall of Misbha. I think they are 50 to 70 runs shy.

  • Nutcutlet on February 5, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    @5wombats. Hi!I see from the time of your post that you'd consigned England to a (big) margin of defeat from the outset of their inns. Now, it may be that you'll be right, but I was heartened, nay proud, of the manner in which Stauss & Cook negotiated the last passage of play. It's been a bit like culture shock, hasn't it? To begin with you can't make any sense of your surroundings - it feels almost like another planet and then little by little, the bearings come; the geography, culture & habits of the location & its people become more intelligible. So it has been with the openers for their tricky 3/4 session. Both showed application and more importantly, sound technique on a deteriorating pitch & having been in the field for far too long. Capt. Strauss's concentration was admirable, considering how many pundits and posters are on his case. The man's character is up for scrutiny and true to his reputation he has passed an important test this evening. Eng. hasn't given up on this one.

  • on February 5, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    I got a feeling that England are going to win this one. Pakistan were let down by their lower order and are about 50 runs short. the pitch has turned into a "Road" and even Gul look comfortable against Swann and Panesar.

  • mohanan on February 5, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    England just needs a couple of very good partnerships involving Cook, Strauss and Trott. I don't any other England player can handle this Pakistan attack for long enough.

  • rienzied on February 5, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Well it looks like swann has found a partner with more heart and fight than himself. I guess there wont be any shower dancing anymore??

  • doctornikki on February 5, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    I dont know why indians r keen on bringing their team in comparison whenever the writer praises england or pakistan..Guys,come on...we know u r badly bruised and down but give credit to the players who r playing well even if they dont play at ur IPL which has spoiled ur test cricket....

  • on February 5, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    Mr. David Hoops... it won't be the first time in 105 yrs when a team with a total of less than 100 will go on to win the match... We INDIANS have not forgotten that shameful moment against NZ when they did this to us... in fact both teams had scored less than 100 in first innings...

  • AbdullahShaikh on February 5, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    having knocked out 36 of those rusn today without any damage, i think Eng have a realistic chance. However, things will depend how the pitch behaves or mis-behaves. Till now not much was seen at the start of the Eng innings. However, it looked very different towars the end of Pak innings. I don't understand what is going on.

  • on February 5, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    On the spinning track it is very very difficult to score 324 runs while playing last and facing world's top two spinners.

  • noplay on February 5, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    If anyone can win from here it is England. I hope this turns out to be a thriller between a good batting line up and an exciting bowling attack

  • deconstruct on February 5, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    Just a word of caution to the Pakistani fans here: I know Pakistan is in a strong position but they're not in an invincible position. They missed a chance to bat England out of this match today. They should have batted all day today and the target should have been more in the corridor of 400; they were in a position to do so. On the other hand, England have started well and that miss by Taufiq Umar helped them finish the day without losing a wicket. Another thing that I've noticed: Pakistani spinners were losing the script a little this evening. All series, they've taken wickets by squeezing the life out of England's batting by putting the choke on runs and then making the batsmen pay by making mistakes - typical Misbah's approach. Today, they were a little too eager to take a wicket on every ball and that allowed for some relatively easy scoring opportunities. The skipper must get them back on the winning formula tomorrow. Its far from over yet; best of luck to Pakistan of course.

  • AbdullahShaikh on February 5, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Stumps day 3, Eng - 36/0, require another 288. I gues now if Eng are to think only about 288 they will feel more heartened. Except for the one opportunity created by Gul (dropped by Taufeeq) there did not seem to be much in the pitch. It looked like a pretty harmless pitch. I wonder what had happened to the Pakistani batsment once Younis got out. Misbah was scratchy for his 31, Shafiq played a bad shot. But the rest were just shot out. At that point i got the impression that the pitch was bad and only Younis and Azhar batted well. But now the Eng openers are doing equally well. Have to see what happens tomorrow.

  • usmanHM on February 5, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    No limits of biased reporting...Azhar century rather 150+, 324 runs target, and white wash on the card did not find any place in the headlines. It's monty's five for, and solid start, 36. oh really...come on...closing eyes never helps the pigeon avoid cat's attack. Nothing gonna help the english team too, before lunch tomorrow, u ll see it without any whims....

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on February 5, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    3-0 whitewash very likely. All I can say is congrats to Pakistan for a brilliant series. I'm England through and through but credit where's it's due. Incidentally, while the batting has been pathetic it has made for an engrossing series. Have loved every minute of it. Test cricket over ODI and T20 ANY DAY!

  • on February 5, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    Its time to come to up for England to defeat pakistan, they require to win less than 300 now, so possibly they can reach very easily, Alister Cook and Andrew Strauss began good and handsomely, hence they can reach very easily on this batting track wicket. As all pakistani bowlers failed to get a single wicket by close of play. its a good sign for england that they can easily face to rubbish pakistani attack. Pakistan is only two bowler team Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman, they both failed by close of play. Pakistan lower order batting line up is also completely failed, atleast they have to put a target 400+ anyhow its england game.

  • AtharMunir on February 5, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    I think match is still balanced. England is a professional side. If they dont lose early wickets it will become an interesting context between bat and ball. 324 is a tough 4th innings target. Pakistan has an edge in this match. Salute to Azhar and Younis khan's innings.Monty's 5 wickets haul was wonderful. Test cricket at its best in the coming 2 days.

  • kp_jersey on February 5, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    Asif Latif my friend, chintu2005 does have a point . NZ made 94 in their first innings and went on to win in Hamilton in 2002. What the author of this article obviously means is that no test side since 1905 has won after batting first in the match and making less than 100 . So yes , if you look at it that way Pakistan does have a chance of creating history. Good luck to them….. should just be a formality

  • on February 5, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Honestly I admit, Azhar Ali has been my favourite since he made debut.... Extreme classy, stylish and superb player.... If he has a long career then he can definitely stand next to Rahul Dravid.... For me, Azhar Ali is "Future Legend"....

  • on February 5, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    In normal circumstances I'd say that with the time left that's a, hard, but chaseable target. However, given the last couple of innings from England its unlikely. I still think its possible if the batsmen get their feet moving and most importantly rotate the strike against the spinners. Easier said than done but just a few singles per over will prevent the spinners bowling exactly where they want and setting batsmen up. Still here's to hope over experience.

  • on February 5, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    In the now very famous words of HRH Andrew Flintoff - There goes the Number 1 ranking

  • on February 5, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    Outstanding performed, Now Outstanding require from bowler

  • on February 5, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    Pakistan will white wash this series InshaAllah

  • oze13 on February 5, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    A target of 124 would be too much for the batting capabilities of this England side. Pakistan 3-0 at a canter!

  • on February 5, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    chintu2005 india batted 1st and lost so that does not count

  • on February 5, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    chintu2005 india batted first and lost the match so it doesnt count

  • Imad_K on February 5, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Well batted Y Khan and A Ali. Like I said before this test - the main problem Pakistan have had for the last 10/15 years has been their batting. They tend to rely on 2/3 batsmen to play a big innings otherwise they fail miserably. Previously it's been the case that the Pakistani batsmen have given their wickets away playing stupid shots, chasing wide balls, hitting the ball in the air etc. However, now I think some batsmen are lacking in their technical ability rather than throwing their wickets away. Pak need to be more consistent with their batting and really need to produce innings of 350 plus on a regular basis - not the odd match. Hopefully, Pak can win this match but there is plenty of time if Eng could bat well - but based on their performances so far looks highly unlikely - but cricket is a strange game. Pakistan shouldn't get too ahead of themselves either because clearly Eng are struggling against spin bowling so let's see Pak perform against other teams when playing abroad.

  • 5wombats on February 5, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    Well - England wrapped Pakistan up - but it's 200 runs too many. England openers walking out to bat. Just a question of the margin of defeat now. Match will be over tomorrow. Well played Pakistan.

  • BustIPL on February 5, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    Now it is Panesar vs Pakistan hopefully it will be Pakistan vs India and then get treatment like Panesar searching for wickets on a spinning track and Pakistan posting 300+. Panesar will not make place in Team India even.

  • on February 5, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    Pakistan should just open with Gul and Hafeez . I wonder why Hafeez wasnt given a ball in the 1st innings. He is a relatively short man so LBW is more possible in his bowling even when the right handers a are around. Misbahs field placing should be spot on. Though Pakistan in the driving seat, still they cannot let players like Trot or Peterson to get settled at the crease, cz both of them can score freely when set, hence even a 350+ lead can be gettable with them around.

  • chintu2005 on February 5, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    Pakistan were threatening to defy cricket history. No side in 105 years has won after making fewer than 100 in the first innings of a Test, a feat last achieved by England against South Africa at Headingley in 1907. .... what about the INDIA vs NEW ZEALAND in 2003 in NEWZEALAND when both first innings were less than 100......

  • Zeekay01 on February 5, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    Lunch Report should be renamed into Punch Report....

  • AMLA-DRAVID-TROTT on February 5, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    Lolololololololololololololololololololol

  • Purple-Patch on February 5, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    Wow, what a turnaround from the 1st Innings. Still not over but surely Pakistan will suerly win this and make it a whitewash.

    By the way no sign or comments from the humanhoneybadger, whats the matter? I know Badgers dont hibernate but they certainly seem less active in cold weather or when their team is in big trouble.

  • on February 5, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    Pakistan Sholuld look to give a target of 500+ in 5 sessions but for this they should keep wickets in hand and keep scoring in a way Younis was doing.

  • on February 5, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Oye Oye!!! A whitewash on the horizon? The day after this known fact should become a national holiday!!

  • on February 5, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Pakistan should get along with it now. They are playing really slow. As far as England are concerned, well I guess they are done here.

  • sunnysaeed on February 5, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    well done pakistan .... great effort

  • on February 5, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    It will interesting to see if India uses DRS to its maximum when England visit India. will be a tricky choice for them,

  • on February 5, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    England's highest successful fourth-innings run chase is 332 against australia, that was 84 years ago ;)

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on February 5, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    England's highest successful fourth-innings run chase is 332 against australia, that was 84 years ago ;)

  • on February 5, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    It will interesting to see if India uses DRS to its maximum when England visit India. will be a tricky choice for them,

  • sunnysaeed on February 5, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    well done pakistan .... great effort

  • on February 5, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Pakistan should get along with it now. They are playing really slow. As far as England are concerned, well I guess they are done here.

  • on February 5, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Oye Oye!!! A whitewash on the horizon? The day after this known fact should become a national holiday!!

  • on February 5, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    Pakistan Sholuld look to give a target of 500+ in 5 sessions but for this they should keep wickets in hand and keep scoring in a way Younis was doing.

  • Purple-Patch on February 5, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    Wow, what a turnaround from the 1st Innings. Still not over but surely Pakistan will suerly win this and make it a whitewash.

    By the way no sign or comments from the humanhoneybadger, whats the matter? I know Badgers dont hibernate but they certainly seem less active in cold weather or when their team is in big trouble.

  • AMLA-DRAVID-TROTT on February 5, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    Lolololololololololololololololololololol

  • Zeekay01 on February 5, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    Lunch Report should be renamed into Punch Report....

  • chintu2005 on February 5, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    Pakistan were threatening to defy cricket history. No side in 105 years has won after making fewer than 100 in the first innings of a Test, a feat last achieved by England against South Africa at Headingley in 1907. .... what about the INDIA vs NEW ZEALAND in 2003 in NEWZEALAND when both first innings were less than 100......