England v Pakistan 3rd Test: Crawley & Buttler create history for England on Day 2
Zak Crawley (267) and Jos Buttler (152) hit the highest 5th wicket partnership in Test history for England on Day 2 ,of the 3rd Test against Pakistan, at the Ageas Bowl today, putting them into an unassailable position when England declared on 583-8. At the close of play Pakistan were 24-3.
England 583 - 8
Pakistan 24 - 3
Close of Play Day 2 - Pakistan trail England by 559 runs with 7 wickets remaining
Salim Parvez - Match Report - A perfect day for England
The 38-year old James Anderson, still sprinting in with admirable level of energy and commitment, has put England in the driving seat by sending back three Pakistan batsmen for 13 runs. It has left the tourists, asked to bat for 13 overs under extreme pressure, facing a heavy defeat in the third and final Test at Ageas Bowl, Southampton.
Zak Crawley and Jos Buttler, having taken 44 runs off the ten overs off the second new ball, last evening, resumed their 205-run stand. Crawley yesterday became the fourth youngest Englishman to score 150 in a Test, behind Len Hutton, David Gower and Michael Atherton. Passing showers at 11.23 took the players off, only to return an hour later when play resumed at 12.40, with a revised schedule for the day. The second break due to rain was much shorter. The tall right-hander who stands at 6ft.4inches, survived through a tricky phase showing plenty of common sense and had moved on to 186 by lunch with England on 373-4.
Buttler’s first Test hundred as England wicket-keeper has really hurt Pakistan and though he started quietly on the second morning, was quickly into his stride with strokes both on the front and back foot. When 99, he was given out caught behind by Mohammad Rizwan, standing up to Mohammad Abbas, only to be saved, very rightly, by the DRS. A backfoot punch through the cover off the same bowler resulting in his reaching three figures off 189 balls with 10 fours.
At lunch Buttler was still at the crease on 113 and the two batsmen had added a record 246 runs, having overtaken England’s previous best against Pakistan for this wicket- 219 added by Paul Collingwood (82) and Eoin Morgan (130) at Trent Bridge in 2010. The tourists had no luck at all in the opening session, particularly Abbas who beat the bat repeatedly in his miserly nine-over spell costing his side just 15 runs. All the more noteworthy for both batsmen had hundreds to their names. In general, all three Pakistan pacemen bowled well with the surface still keeping them interested.
After lunch the stand crossed the 250 mark and Crawley was closing in on a double hundred, which arrived with a thick edge through slips off Naseem. A huge achievement for playing in only his eighth Test and now is the third youngest English batsman behind Len Hutton (1938) and David Gower (1979), to that batting milestone for which he had faced 331 balls and 25 fours. Without a care in the world, he then stepped out to Yasir and hit a six over the extra cover and another record came his way when he overtook Robert Key’s 221 scored in 2004, as the highest score by a Kent batsman at this level.
At the first drink break of the afternoon, England 438-4, was now ready to accelerate and Crawley didn’t take long to reach 250, when he came down the wicket and whipped Abbas over the mid-wicket for his 32nd four. During his long stint at the crease, Crawley must have played all the strokes in the book and he added by revers sweeping against the spin for yet another boundary. He was finally dismissed, stumped behind his legs, off part-time Asad Shafiq for a brilliant 267 (393balls, 34 fours and a six) and a massive stand worth 359 runs – England’s highest ever for the fifth wicket in Test cricket.
It was surprising to see Buttler still playing patiently and giving the bowlers due respect, without a single boundary hit in the middle session. Test cricket can be tough when you are on the receiving end and Pakistan with the score now reaching 490-5 at tea break and no declaration in sight. His Test best score of 152 (311 balls, 15 fours, 2 sixes) shall be very satisfying for the England’s number six batsman. The declaration eventually came at 6.25pm when the eight wicket fell at 583 and most observers felt, it was at least 45 minutes too late.
Azhar Ali, the Pakistan captain, will continue to face criticism, if the team is not doing too well. His luck will need to change rapidly for him to save his international career. On the opening day he failed to get out the best out of his four-man bowling attack. A bit puzzling to hear, the commentators saying ‘only four’ as all successful and great sides from the past have only needed four front-line bowlers and one or two part-time assistance. It is the quality of the bowlers and how mentally engaged they are that makes the difference.
England - Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root(c), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler(wk), Chris Woakes, Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Pakistan - Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali(c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah
Start Time: 11:00
Toss: England won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Officials: Richard Illingworth, Michael Gough, Richard Kettleborough, Michael Burns, Chris Broad
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