England v Pakistan Day Four: Jimmy Anderson Left On The Brink Of History

England were held at bay by Pakistan, despite the efforts of Jimmy Anderson
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England Kept At Bay By Pakistan Despite Anderson Efforts

England and James Anderson were left frustrated by more Pakistan resilience and bad weather on day four. The team went in search of victory and the bowler went in search of his 600th Test wicket.

Both were held up on day four of the final Test at the Ageas Bowl as more rain fell. The Pakistani captain proved a tough nut to crack for the second time in as many days.

The day began well for Joe Root’s side, as Stuart Broad removed Shan Masood for 18, albeit off 66 balls. The visitor’s mindset was clearly to take as much time out of the game as possible. The distinct possibility of losing much of the final day’s play probably weighing on his mind.

Pakistan’s Abid Ali evades a short ball from England’s James Anderson on the fourth day of the third Test cricket match between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, southern England on August 24, 2020. (Photo by Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO ASSOCIATION WITH DIRECT COMPETITOR OF SPONSOR, PARTNER, OR SUPPLIER OF THE ECB (Photo by MIKE HEWITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Opener Abid Ali did exactly that, his 42 coming off 162 balls was just what the doctor ordered for the tourists. Coupled with his captain Azhar Ali, who’s unbeaten 29 has taken 92 balls so far.

Abid Ali fell to Anderson, out LBW as the Lancashire seamer reached 599 Test wickets. However, this was his lot for the day as England were instructed only the spinners could bowl in the fading light, Root himself partnered with Dom Bess. Together, the pair continued.

Bowling Attack Fails To Fire

Perhaps slightly worryingly from the hosts point of view is the bowling efforts of Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, and Bess. To this point, none of them have looked particularly threatening in this match. Bess bowled well at times, but failed to threaten either the inside or outside edge enough.

Babar Azam batted out what play remained with his captain. Pakistan closing on 100-2, still, 210 behind, although the score is somewhat immaterial.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 24: Babar Azam of Pakistan pulls during Day Four of the 3rd #RaiseTheBat Test Match between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl on August 24, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Day 5 Preview

Tomorrow’s forecast is frankly horrendous for the final day. The likelihood of getting enough time to take the eight wickets required seems slim, but will Anderson have enough time to take the one he needs?

With nobody quite sure when England will be in Test match action next owing to the current situation, Anderson will be desperate to end the UK summer having become the only seam bowler to have reached 600 Test victims.

If he were to reach the milestone, it would be a phenomenal achievement. 600 wickets requires consistency and fitness of the highest level in sport. Anderson will hope that further chances are not dropped off his bowling. Otherwise, the 600 could take a while to come.

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