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

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

England 354 and 112 for 2 (Duckett 50*, Stokes 10*) need 55 more runs to beat Pakistan 304 and 216 (Babar 54, Shakeel 53, Rehan 5-48, Leach 3-72)

Rehan, who was held back until the fourth hour of the third day by Ben Stokes, returned the title in England’s favor when he broke a fourth-wicket stand between Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel, then ran through the middle and lower order to finish with 5 for 48 in just his fourth first-class appearance.

England were set 167 to win and with a nominal 22 overs remaining on the third night, they set about trying to chase the runs before the end. Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett hit 87 runs in 11.3 overs, Rehan was promoted to No.3 as a “night-hawk” and Stokes threw his bat at the square leg umpire and tried to heave Nauman Ali for six, but poor light caught in with 55 more runs required.

Jack Leach had taken three wickets in the space of six balls in the morning session to remove Pakistan’s top order and, after a long wait before returning to the attack, Rehan made a similar impact on the game in a five-over series before the tea interval.

His first wicket was a freebie, Babar pulling a drag-down straight to Ollie Pope at short midwicket after bringing up his second half century of the match. But his next two came from good balls: the second, a leg-break that caught and found Mohammad Rizwan’s outside edge; the third, a hard spun googly which Shakeel top edged straight to square leg on the sweep.

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Rehan returned in the evening session to polish the lower order: Mohammad Wasim hacked him to mid-off and Salman Ali Agha miscued a sweep to backward square leg. He sank to his knees to perform one Sajdah, then beamed from ear to ear as he led the team off. His father Naeem, who watched from the stands, wiped away tears as he applauded.

That led to a sprint towards the finish line, which started with Crawley jumping down and whipping the first ball through mid-off for four. Duckett traded boundaries with his opening partner as Pakistan’s shoulders sagged and England raced to 58 for 0 after six overs.

Babar turned to his seamers, who briefly slowed down the scoring, seemingly ensuring the match entered a fourth day, but England continued to show their attacking intent. When Crawley was caught lbw by Abrar Ahmed, Rehan walked out – having batted at No. 8 in the first innings – and whipped his first ball down the ground for four.

He lost his stumps soon after for a shot-a-ball 10 off 8, and despite Stokes’ best effort alongside Duckett – who quietly brought up a 38-ball half-century, his fourth 50-plus score in the series – England fell. close to the finish line. They are unlikely to hang around the fourth morning.

Earlier, Shan Masood had hit the first two balls of the day for four as Pakistan looked to increase their lead, but after a positive start, he lost his leg stump while attempting a reverse sweep from Leach.

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Azhar Ali was greeted with handshakes by England’s fielders, but his last innings before retiring from international cricket was far too short. His fourth ball was full, pitched on leg stump but turned sharply away from the bat as he appeared to whip his wrist through mid-wicket. It crashed into the top of the stump. Azhar trudged off through a guard of honor from his teammates.

At the start of his next over, Leach struck again, catching Shafique lbw with a ball that skidded off the pitch. Shakeel survived the hat-trick ball but Pakistan were effectively 4 for 3. He dug in with Babar either side of the lunch break for a stand eventually worth 110 – but Rehan’s introduction half an hour before tea changed the game.

Matt Roller is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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