Recent Match Report – Pakistan vs England 3rd Test 2022/23

Lunch England 140 for 4 (Brook 38*, Stokes 25*) trail Pakistan 304 (Babar 78, Salman 56, Leach 4-140) by 164 points

The Pakistan spinners prized the third open Test on the second morning as Nauman Ali and Abrar Ahmed took three wickets between them to leave the English midfield order with work to do.

England regained the 7 for 1 after Abrar trapped Zak Crawley lbw for a fifth-ball duck on the first night, and added 133 to their score overnight for the loss of three wickets in the session of the morning.

With the pitch showing more signs of variable rebound on day two, Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope looked comfortable raising a 50-run stand for the second wicket. Mohammad Wasim, on his debut, conceded three early limits and was knocked out of the attack by Mohammad Rizwan, who captained for the first hour with Babar Azam suffering from a headache.

Faheem Ashraf, the other sailor in the Pakistani squad, knocked down a loner before Nauman and Abrar operated in tandem for the next hour. Pope was busy, elbowing singles and hitting either side of the wicket, while Duckett continued to sweep steadily as he had throughout the tour and set up a 50 partnership by jumping to the Abrar loft above his head for a straight six.

It was Nauman, the left arm spinner, who made the breakthrough. He found a sharp spin from the outside of Duckett’s stump, trapping him on the pad as he stayed back rather than stepping forward to a full ball. He was sent off and reviewed the decision on the pitch in hopes the ball hit him outside the stump line, but ball-tracking technology returned a ‘referee appeal’ verdict. on the impact.

And Nauman hit again with his next ball to continue Joe Root’s lean run on this tour. Bowling around the wicket, he lured Root forward with a full ball that deflected away from the bat, and Root’s push attempt flew to Salman Ali Agha on a slide. He kept a high and low chance just above the turf to leave England 58 for 3.

This brought Harry Brook into the crease, who calmly worked the hat-trick ball into the outside side and made his intentions clear as he leapt onto the pitch until the sixth delivery he faced, swinging Abrar high and powerful above his head for six.

Brook survived a criticism for lbw when he was trapped in the crease by Abrar – with Babar back on the pitch to send him upstairs – but the Pakistan legpinner was undeterred. No sooner had Pope reached his third half-century of touring cutting Nauman from end to end, he lost his stump. Suspended to fight the weak rebound, he was beaten by Abrar’s bubbly legbreaker and could only shake his head in disbelief.

Brook fired Abrar over his head for six more later in the same over, hinting at another milestone for the side of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum. It was England’s 88th six in the Men’s Tests in 2022, breaking India’s 2021 record for most sixes by a team in a calendar year (where data is available).

Wasim returned for another flurry before lunch but was cut on the outside for bounds by Stokes and Brook, with Stokes driving 25 from 31 before the lunch break and the partnership worth 42 from 52 balls.

Matt Roller is associate editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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