Azhar's ton goes in vain as Anderson helps England to enforce follow-on
Pakistan trail by 310 runs to the England score as England enforced the follow-on on Pakistan after bundling them out for 273 in the first innings, before bad light forced early stumps on Day 3, in Southampton.
James Anderson took his 29th five-wicket haul as he picked up the first and last wickets of the day after three breakthroughs on the second evening, taking his tally to 598 across his Test career.
Pakistani skipper Azhar Ali showed resistance with his unbeaten 141 but found very little support from the other end to save Pakistan from a follow-on.
In a rain-interrupted morning session of Day 3, Anderson removed Asad Shafiq with just 12 balls into the day. Shafiq lunged forwardly hopefully at a length ball in the channel, only managing to edge into the slips, thus leaving Pakistan in a serious spot of bother with 30/4 on the board. Shafiq’s miserable run in the series continues as he has managed to score just 46 runs in four innings now.
Fawad Alam looked good out in the middle as he added 45 runs with the skipper before he was dismissed for 21, courtesy of a sharp catch from Jos Buttler behind the stumps.
Fawad’s dismissal brought the in-form batsman Mohammad Rizwan to the crease, who along with the skipper put on a brilliant 138-run partnership, the highest for Pakistan in the series.
Just as things had started to look stable for Pakistan with both the batsmen looking good out in the middle, Woakes removed Rizwan for 53, strangling him down the leg side with Buttler again taking a sharp diving catch.
Mohammad Rizwan en-route to his 53 on Sunday, ticked past the 6000-run mark in Tests, becoming the fifth Pakistani batsman to reach the landmark.
With Mohammad Rizwan dismissed, Azhar Ali had no real support left for him at the other end to revive the Pakistani innings. Although Yasir Shah scored a quickfire 20 of 24 deliveries, it was far from enough for the struggling Pakistani innings, as he was dismissed by Broad with the second new ball.
Yasir Shah was followed by Shaheen Afridi(3), Mohammad Abbas(1), and Naseem Shah(0) as they were dismissed in quick successions to bundle up the Pakistani innings for 273, eventually leaving Azhar stranded, unbeaten on 141. Azhar Ali looked good throughout the innings as he scored all around the park.
He scored the bulk of his runs behind square, pulling and flicking off the pads when England erred too straight and cutting and steering behind point when they went short. But unfortunately, he found himself with a lack of support, something that will concern him as a captain.
With Pakistan trailing by 310 runs, there was never any question as to whether England would enforce the follow-on.
With Azhar Ali promoting himself up to open, hoping to carry on from where he had left off, the second innings was about to get underway with 10 overs of play remaining for the day.
However, the umpires decided that the light wasn’t good enough for any further play to take place and hence resulting in an early stump, something which did not happen for the first time in this series.
England - 583/8 dec
Pakistan – 273 all out
Day 3: Pakistan trail by 310 runs. CRR: 2.93
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Shan Masood, 2.3 ov), 2-11 (Abid Ali, 4.1 ov), 3-24 (Babar Azam, 10.5 ov), 4-30 (Asad Shafiq, 12.5 ov), 5-75 (Fawad Alam, 36.2 ov), 6-213 (Mohammad Rizwan, 75.1 ov), 7-241 (Yasir Shah, 81.2 ov), 8-247 (Shaheen Afridi, 85.1 ov), 9-261 (Mohammad Abbas, 88.6 ov), 10-273 (Naseem Shah, 92.6 ov)