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

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

Pakistan’s spinners priced the third Test open on the second morning, as Nauman Ali and Abrar Ahmed took three wickets between them to leave England’s middle order with work to do.

England continued at 7 for 1 after Abrar had caught Zak Crawley lbw for a fifth-ball duck on the first night, adding 133 to their overnight score for the loss of three wickets in the morning session.

With the pitch showing more signs of variable bounce on the second day, Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope looked comfortable putting on a 50-run stand for the second wicket. Mohammad Wasim, on debut, conceded three early boundaries and was bowled out of the attack by Mohammad Rizwan, who stood in as captain for the first hour with Babar Azam suffering from a headache.

Faheem Ashraf, the other seamer in the Pakistan series, bowled a solitary over before Nauman and Abrar operated together in the next hour. Pope was busy pushing for singles, hitting either side of the wicket, while Duckett continued to sweep regularly as he has throughout the tour and brought up a 50 partnership when he lofted Abrar back over his head for a straight six.

It was Nauman, the left-arm spinner, who had the breakthrough. He found sharp spin outside Duckett’s off-stump, catching him on the pad as he hung back rather than getting to a full ball. He was given out and reviewed the decision on the field in the hope that the ball had hit him outside the line of the off-stump, but ball-tracking technology gave an “umpire’s shout” verdict on the bump.

And Nauman struck again with his next ball to continue Joe Root’s meager runs on this tour. Bowling from around the wicket, he pulled Root forward with a full ball that turned away from the bat and Root’s tentative push flew to Salman Ali Agha at slip. He held on to a sharp, low chance just over the turf, leaving England 58 for 3.

That brought Harry Brook to the pitch, who calmly worked the hat-trick ball into the offside and made his intentions clear by leaping down the pitch to the sixth delivery he faced, swinging Abrar high and mighty back over his head for six.

Brook survived a review for lbw when he was caught on the crease by Abrar – with Babar back on the field to send it on top – but Pakistan’s leg-spinner was undeterred. No sooner had Pope reached his third half-century of the tour by cutting Nauman through point than he lost his stumps. Hanging back to fight the low bounce, he was struck by Abrar’s thunderous leg break and could only shake his head in disbelief.

Brook swung Abrar back over his head for six more later in the same over, bringing up another milestone for Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum’s team. It was England’s 88th six in 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 burst before lunch but was sliced ​​through the off-side for boundaries by both Stokes and Brook, with Stokes motoring 25 off 31 heading into the lunch break and the partnership worth 42 in 52 balls.

Matt Roller is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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