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by Sandeep Shivam Wednesday 4 November 2015
Pakistan 234 & 355 (Mohammad Hafeez 151) vEngland 306 & 46-2 (Shoaib Malik 2-8)Third Test, Sharjah, day fourScorecard
Shoaib Malik has set his sights on a perfect farewell by dismissing Moeen Ali and Ian Bell to leave England needing 238 more runs to win on the final day of the third Test in Sharjah to level the series.
Having announced he will retire from Tests at the conclusion of the match, Malik left England at 46 for two having been set 284 to win - largely thanks to Mohammad Hafeez's century in Pakistan's second innings of 355.
Pakistan resumed play on day four at 146 for three. The very first ball of the day was an lbw appeal against Hafeez (151).
The umpire turned down Adil Rashid’s (1-97) appeal prompting England to review. Replays indicated that the ball was pitching just outside leg.
From the third ball of the morning, Rashid had lured Hafeez out of his crease and beat him with a googly but Jonny Bairstow was unable to effect a stumping.
James Anderson (2-52) struck the first blow for England by castling Rahat Ali (0). Hafeez completed his hundred in the third over of the day, which was his first against England in Tests.
A few overs later, Stuart Broad (3-44) dropped a sharp return catch after failing to react in time.
WATCH: Shoaib Malik announces Test retirement
Along with Misbah-ul-Haq (38), Hafeez began to build a 93-run partnership and at lunch, Pakistan were firmly placed at 229 for four.
England took the second new ball right after lunch and Broad made it count when he trapped Misbah plumb in front in the 86th over.
It wasn’t long before Hafeez notched up his 150, but was soon out, caught at long-on by Ian Bell off Moeen (1-72). Bell’s 100th catch in Tests left Pakistan at 257 for six.
Asad Shafiq (46) and Sarfraz Ahmed (36) added a brisk 55-run stand for the seventh wicket to stretch Pakistan’s lead past 200.
James Taylor was guilty of dropping a tough chance at short leg off Ahmed and after hitting Samit Patel (1-79) for a couple of boundaries, Ahmed failed to negotiate a turning delivery and ended up being bowled.
Patel had a chance to dismiss Shafiq but Anderson made a mess of a catch at mid-on although Rashid had Yasir Shah (4) caught at point just on the stroke of tea.
Pakistan resumed the final session with the score reading 319 for eight. Wahab Riaz (21) and Shafiq managed to add 35 runs for the ninth wicket until Broad managed to get a delivery through Shafiq’s defences.
In the next over, Pakistan were bowled out after Riaz was run out attempting a second run. Pakistan scored 355 runs, setting a target of 284 runs for England.
Broad and Anderson were the pick of the bowlers, sharing five wickets between them with the three spinners claiming a wicket each.
Moeen (22) started the chase positively with a boundary in the very first over. Along with Alastair Cook (17 not out), Moeen added 34 runs for the opening stand.
However, Malik (2-8) had other plans as he dismissed Moeen for the second time in the game – this time lbw. Ali used the review after a consultation with Cook but it ended in vain.
Malik produced a beautiful off break to castle a clueless Bell (0), leaving England to suffer at 34 for two.
With eight more overs remaining in the day, Joe Root (6 not out) joined Cook and the pair were tested by some high quality spin bowling.
Root survived a tight lbw call in the 19th over as the decision stayed with the umpire. This was Pakistan's second failed review.
The England captain and his deputy ensured that they went into stumps without losing further wickets.
England ended the day at 46 for two needing 238 more runs to win with eight wickets in hand.
Ben Stokes is expected to bat at 11 despite his injury. Malik was the only wicket-taker for Pakistan in the day and was also the most economical bowler.
© Cricket World 2015