England v Pakistan Day Three: Stubborn Azhar Ali But Anderson Reigns Supreme

England dominated Pakistan thanks to five wickets from Jimmy Anderson despite Azhar Ali scoring an unbeaten 141 not out

England Dominate Pakistan Despite Brilliant Azhar Ali

England and James Anderson were left frustrated in their hot pursuit of victory by Pakistan captain Azhar Ali. He struck a fabulous and gutsy 141 not out to stave off the host’s onslaught.

With a win all but out of the question, the Pakistani skipper batted throughout the third day. Only wicket keeper Mohammad Rizwan offering a true hand, as the pair put on 138 for the sixth wicket. A partnership that helped Pakistan restore some pride.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 23: Azhar Ali of Pakistan celebrates with Mohammad Rizwan after reaching his century during Day Three of the 3rd #RaiseTheBat Test Match between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl on August 23, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB)

James Anderson cut the most frustrated figure at times as he pursued a landmark of his own. Three wickets short of 600 Test victims, he saw three catches dropped off his bowling within two overs.

Unlike the slip cordon England keeper, Jos Buttler had arguably his best day with the gloves on in his Test career. He pulled off two stunning catches down the leg sid. Plus, he took a smart chance off the bowling of Dom Bess.

One of the drops from Stuart Broad lead to the run-out of tailender Mohammad Abbas. The bowler through down the stumps in anger, as the batsmen attempted to pinch a single to get Ali on strike.

Jimmy Anderson Stars

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 23: James Anderson of England celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Asad Shafiq of Pakistan during Day Three of the 3rd #RaiseTheBat Test Match between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl on August 23, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Anderson did pick up the final wicket of the innings. In doing so, he completed his five-wicket haul, leaving him just two away from becoming the only seam bowler to reach 600.

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England bowled Pakistan out for 273, still 210 behind their first innings total and Pakistan were made to follow on, with Azhar Ali promoting himself up the order with his eye well and truly in.

Albeit in vein, as when the players reached the middle the umpires convened and decided the light had gotten too poor. This meant that play would be finished for the day.

With the bad weather once more forecast for the next two days, the hosts, and Anderson, in particular, will hope they will be given enough playing time to complete the job. Whilst Pakistan might be rejuvenated by a credible effort today and the forthcoming less than favourable weather.

Pakistan will need their captain Azhar Ali and others to step up. Otherwise, the game could be over tomorrow. With weather around, they’d like to bat for as long as possible and hope the climate does the rest. England will win the series anyhow, since Pakistan would require a beyond-impossible miracle to win this test match. But, they showed a lot of fight today. They can at least take heart from that.


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