Zak Crawley and Jos Buttler Headline England’s Dominance
It was a day to remember for England and Kent batsman Zak Crawley as his unbeaten century led England to a commanding position at the Ageas Bowl, with Jos Buttler also batting superbly.
After all the rain, bad light, and general misery of the second Test today truly was a joy to behold from an England point of view.
Joe Root won a slightly delayed toss and opted to bat in blustery conditions on a flat looking pitch.
Pakistan Edge First Half Of Day
For opener Rory Burns it was another disappointment, as he continued his slight dip in form. Shaheen Afridi with the early wicket as Pakistan tried to make a positive start.
Burns’ partner Dom Sibley pressed on with Crawley. However, he fell to leg-spinner Yasir Shah as he tried to advance down the wicket. This brought the captain to the crease, who looked in good touch until a ‘jaffa’ from young pace bowler Naseem Shah sent him back to the pavilion for 29.
Ollie Pope came and went quickly as he went back to a full delivery from Yasir Shah, only to be clean bowled.
Despite Crawley making it look easy as he passed 50, England were now teetering on the edge at 127-4, with a longer tail than usual after the omission of Sam Curran from the side, another wicket now would’ve spelled trouble.
Zak Crawley & Jos Buttler Take Control
Instead, Crawley and Jos Buttler took control of proceedings, slowly at first before increasing the pace in the late afternoon.
Crawley brought up his maiden Test match century with a punch through the covers to spark celebrations from himself and his teammates alike.
It was from this moment on both men put their foot well and truly down. Buttler passing 50 soon after as he took Shah for 16 off one over including two sixes. Crawley racing to his 150 in style as well.
The visitors began to look ragged as the day wore on, the pitch looked at its flattest and the ball did very little from what are usually very skillful operators. The hosts closed the day in complete control at 332-4 with Crawley 171* and Buttler 87*, both men with landmarks in their sights.
Day 2 Preview
Pakistan will know they have to improve and take early wickets if they are to stand a chance in this Test, a Test they must win to level the series in this the final match.
Pakistan must dismiss both Zak Crawley and Jos Buttler soon, otherwise could be starring at a first-innings score in excess of 500.
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