Bad light, followed by rain, forced early stumps on Day 4 of the third and final Test with Pakistan at 100/2 trailing England by 210 runs.
England’s victory push and James Anderson’s quest to reach 600 Test wickets were frustrated by a dogged rearguard effort by Pakistan’s top order.
Pakistan showed enough grit following on the English total after being bowled out for 273 in their first innings the previous day, as Shan Masood (18) and Abid Ali (42) started solidly facing the new ball, occasionally beaten by Anderson and Broad’s tight lines and lengths.
After Abid Ali and Shan Masood had successfully negotiated 18 overs in the morning session, a heavy downpour and a significant amount of standing water held play up for quite a long time.
After a lengthy mopping-up operation, the umpires decided that play would resume after an early tea interval, with 52 overs due to be bowled in a mammoth evening session.
Stuart Broad struck early after play resumed as he trapped Masood lbw. This brought inform Azhar Ali into the crease, on the back of a brilliant unbeaten 141 in the first innings. Azhar and Abid looked good with their short 39-run partnership before he was dismissed by Anderson at 42. Anderson trapped Abid lbw with a fullish inswinger to pick up his 599th Test wicket.
Anderson had all of seven balls to reach the 600 marks, as the umpires decided that the light was too poor for seamers to continue, leaving Dom Bess to operate in tandem with Root. But, just after 15 minutes of spin bowling with Root and Bess having bowled two overs each, the umpires decided to go off the field due to very poor light, and drizzle soon accompanying the bad light meant, once again early stumps had to be called, with Pakistan batting at 100/2.
The overnight forecast suggests that a delayed start is inevitable on the final day. With in-from Azhar still out there, Pakistan must be fancying their chances to save the match.
While England will look to pick up the remaining eight wickets to complete the Test series with a 2-0 win, with Anderson just one scalp away from becoming the first pacer to pick up 600 Test wickets.
England – 583/8 dec
Pakistan – 273 & 100/2(f/o)
Day 4: Pakistan trail by 210 runs. CRR: 1.78