The umpires indicated the final hour of play with a minimum of 15 overs to be bowled and England needed 6 wickets more to win the test match but just one delivery into Broad’s over and it was handshakes all around. The match ended in a DRAW but England take the series 1-0.
There were some scintillating performances by the players from both sides by the end of day 5.
Starting off, Zak Crawley who came in the eleven for the 2nd test as a replacement to Ben Stokes made his mark by notching up his first ever international test hundred and eventually went on to make 267. Crawley walked in early after England lost Burns early. Shaheen was swinging the new ball in the first hour, he found the outside edge of the batsman a few times but Crawley was equal to the task. The Kent man played some majestic cover drives and faced the spinner, Yasir Shah particularly well. He swept deliveries outside the off-stump with such ease and never looked out of control. His batting position was changed a lot throughout the summer but he has certainly cemented his spot at number 3.
Trivia : In the last decade, nobody to bat as often in the top three for England as Zak Crawley, has a higher attacking shot percentage than him (28%). A very dominant top order player.
Jos Buttler was another player who scored a hundred in the match, his 2nd and first as a wicket-keeper. His innings of 152 put to bed all the questions regarding his selection as a wicket-keeper batsman in the team especially with Barstow and a very talented Ben Foakes, who scored a hundred for Surrey just a few days back, waiting in the ranks.
Trivia : The partnership of 359 between Buttler and Crawley is the sixth highest – for any wicket – ever recorded by England in tests.
If there’s one player Pakistan have to thank for saving them the test match it is Azhar Ali, their captain.He scored a gritty 141 not out, crossed 6000 test runs too during the second innings making him the 5th pakistan batsman to do so. Azhar came into the game under some serious pressure after doubts were raised about some of decisions as a captain in the first test as well as his poor form with the bat.
Ali’s primary reason for his success was the change he made to his technique compared to the second test. He had a knack of planting his front leg too early against pace because of which his shots would get restricted, his head would fall over to the right which would induce a lot of LBW decisions not going his way because he would get trapped on the pads right in front. This time around he maintained an upright stance and did not commit too early which helped him to keep his head still and play much more straighter.
Trivia : Azhar Ali recorded his 17th test century. His 9th away from home ( pakistan / UAE ) – the only Pak batsman with more are Inzamam-Ul-Haq , Younis Khan and Javed Miandad.
The biggest event of the test match by far, was Jimmy Anderson getting to 600 test wickets. He got five in the first innings registering his 29th fifer and two in the second . He achieved the milestone in a rather dramatic fashion after 4 catches were dropped off his bowling by Crawley, Burns, Broad and Butter untill Root held onto one at first slip to dismiss Azhar. Anderson becomes the only fast bowler to join the 600 club with the likes of Murali, Warne and Kumble and is currently on fourth position for the leading wicket-takers list in tests.
Man of the match : Zak Crawley
Man of the series : Jos Buttler and Mohammad Rizwan
The tests are over for the summer but pakistan are yet to play a three match T20 series against England starting on the 28th of August.
Stats Courtesy – @cricvizanalyst
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