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by Alastair Symondson Thursday 5 November 2015
England fast bowler James Anderson is hopeful of his team chasing down the target of 284 on the fifth day of the third Test against Pakistan in Sharjah.
Needing 284 for a win on the final innings, England ended day four at 46 for two after losing Moeen Ali and Ian Bell, both being victims of Shoaib Malik.
Knowing it won't be an easy task to face the Pakistan spinners on the fifth day of the Sharjah pitch, Anderson hopes England can get a couple of big partnerships going to ease the pressure.
"We are going to have to bat very well, it's going to be difficult on a fifth-day wicket against their spinners,” Anderson told Sky Sports.
"We are going to need a few people to bat very, very well and get a couple of big partnerships, but there is no reason why we can't."
After losing the second Test in Dubai, England find themselves in a must win situation here in Sharjah to level the series.
This will be the last opportunity for Anderson in the tour as he was left out of the limited overs leg of the tournament.
The 33-year-old assured that England will put their best foot forward in order to win the game and level the series.
"We don't want to leave the UAE with nothing.
“We think we've played pretty well throughout this series and it would be nice if we could get something out of it.
“We are going to give a real good shot tomorrow.”
In the second innings of the ongoing Test, Pakistan were in a spot of bother at 152 for four at one stage.
But key partnerships for the fifth wicket between Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq (93 runs) and seventh wicket between Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed (55 runs) ensured they went on to score 355.
Citing the example of Pakistan innings, Anderson stressed on the importance of playing with a positive mindset.
"We have seen the way Pakistan batted in their second innings.
“They were positive and they took good options and I think if we do that there is a good chance.”
The injury to Ben Stokes meant that Anderson, along with Stuart Broad had to bowl close to 50 overs in the second innings, which is almost double than what they bowled in the first.
Anderson along with Broad were England's best bowler in the tour having shared 20 wickets between them in the three matches, with 11 of it coming in the third game in Sharjah.
Admitting that England had missed the services of Stokes in the game, Anderson stated that he along with Broad gave the best they had.
“It was difficult when we lost Ben (Stokes). We got a month off.
“We gave our best shot.
“We both could have got few more wickets than we actually end up with.
“We struck at it and bowled as well as we could.”
Apart from being one of the best bowler around, Anderson is also known for putting prize on his wicket.
In July 2014, Anderson made a record 10th wicket partnership with Joe Root against India at Trent Bridge wherein the duo scored 198 runs.
Anderson spent 230 minutes on the crease, which was also a world record for the longest innings by a number 11 batsman.
Despite known for his skills of hanging around, the Lancashire fast bowler hopes the middle order does the job for the team.
"I'd love it if I didn't have to get my pads on to be honest.
“If we can do it before we get down to the lower order then that would be fantastic," he said.
Anderson has an economy of 1.87 in the series which is his best as compared to any other series he has played previously.
© Cricket World 2015