|Third Test, Karachi (Second Day of Fifth)|
|304 (Babar 78, Salman 56) & 21-0|
|354 (Brook 111, Fox 64)|
|Pakistan 29 times behind|
Harry Brook’s fine century helped England take a valuable lead over Pakistan on the second day of the Third Test in Karachi.
Brook’s 111, his third hundred of the series, pushed the tourists to 354, a first innings advantage of 50.
England were 58-3, 98-4 and then 145-5 when Brook was involved in skipper Ben Stokes being out for 26.
But Brook shared a stand of 117 with Ben Foakes, who scored his call-out with 64 after he canceled giving up nine.
Although Brook was lbw to Mohammed Waseem, Foakes added 51 with Mark Wood, while Ollie Robinson and Jack Leach took 30 for the last wicket.
Pakistan were given nine overs to survive the fading light, and reached 21-0 to fall behind by 29.
England have already won the series 2-0 and are looking to become the first team to leave Pakistan with a score of 3-0.
An unforgettable series to match the end
The series, England’s first in Pakistan in 17 years, has already produced memorable finishes in the first two Tests and Sunday’s convincing performance in Karachi raised the prospect of a proper finale.
The contest swung back and forth on the pitch providing plenty for the spinners and almost nothing for the bowlers.
England, always very keen to score quickly, had to be pragmatic due to the circumstances, the state of matches and the quality of their bowling. Until then, they’re still moving along over four innings.
At various stages both teams had the opportunity to make a huge lead and the fact that England managed to claim an advantage could be important in their final chase on the dull surface.
England’s hurling only turned around late in the day, with Leitch ranting against Abdullah Shafiq.
Pakistan had all ten wickets on hand as they attempted to build a match-winning lead on Monday. It wouldn’t be a tie – just the way England likes it.
Brilliant Brook does it again
Brook only got his chance in Test cricket after Jonny Bairstow suffered a broken leg, but he certainly made his place safe, leaving England to contemplate how to get Bairstow back into the side.
The Yorkshireman became the first England player to score three hundreds in his first four Tests, and the first to score hundreds in each match of a three-Test series, and his tally of 468 was a record for an England bat in an away series against Pakistan.
Stokes’ run out could have derailed Brook. With the captain looking for a third run, Brook started and then turned around, leaving both men at the same end.
Stokes, though, gave Brock a thumbs up as a signal to put the incident behind him, which he did by pulling through the leg side, inside-out cover drives and three straight sixes.
Brook reached three figures off 133 balls with a back-foot punch on four from Abrar Ahmed’s leg-spin.
He eventually caught the crease to give Wasim his first Test wicket, and left to a standing ovation from the England fans gathered above the visitors’ dressing room.
Wonderful Mr. Foakes
The first half of the day belonged to Pakistan, who gave England three runs back. Ben Duquette and Joe Root fell on successive Noman Ali deliveries, Ollie Pop made 51 before he was bowled by Abrar’s Jamal and Stokes looked good until time ran out.
But Fox, who was ruled out of the second Test after being ill for the first time, again proved the value of his fighting qualities.
He managed to get caught short leg off Abrar, then backed up Brook with wrist flicks through the side of the leg.
After Brook fell, 18-year-old Rehan Ahmed managed just one goal on his Test debut, leaving Wood to join Foakes in a bid to put England ahead.
Wood jumped through the leg side before being caught well at mid-wicket by Shafiq, while Foakes skated to mid-wicket. Even then, Robinson and Leach managed to capitalize on the tired Pakistani spinners.
When Abrar Robinson was bowled, he joined left-arm Nauman on four wickets. Between them, they fielded nearly 65 pitches, compared to 17 by the other three pitchers they used.
“Brooke’s best Test century to date”
Former England player Vic Marks in the special test match: “Brock was fantastic. To be on tour with one of your best players [Ben Stokes] She is tough.
“I think that was his best century so far. He wasn’t as dynamic and he was involved in a mix-up, but despite that it’s still his century.
“Foakes did very well, too. His efforts were very valuable.”
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