|3rd Test, Karachi (Day 2 of five)|
|Pakistan 304 (Babur 78, Salman 56) & 21-0|
|England 354 (Brook 111, Fox 64)|
|Pakistan is 29 runs behind|
Harry Brook scored a brilliant century as England took a crucial lead over Pakistan on the second day of the third Test in Karachi.
Brook’s 111, his third century of the series, pushed the tourists to 354, a 50-run first innings advantage.
England were 58–3, 98–4 and then 145–5 when Brook was involved in the dismissal of captain Ben Stokes for 26.
But Brook shared a stand of 117 with Ben Foakes, who marked his return with 64 after being dismissed on nine.
Although Brook was lbw to Mohammad Wasim, Fox added 51 runs with Mark Wood, while Ollie Robinson and Jack Leach added 30 runs for the last wicket.
Pakistan were given nine overs to survive in the fading light, reaching 21-0 and trailing by 29.
England have already won the series 2-0 and are looking to become the first team to clean sweep Pakistan 3-0.
Memorable series set for finale
This is England’s first series in Pakistan in 17 years, having already produced memorable finishes in the first two Tests and a fascinating Sunday in Karachi raised the prospect of a fitting finale.
The contest swung back and forth on a pitch that offered a lot for the spinners and almost nothing for the pacers.
England, always eager to score quick runs, had to be pragmatic due to the conditions, the match situation and the quality of the bowling. Nevertheless, they still moved at a pace of over four runs an over.
At various stages both teams had opportunities for a sizeable lead and the fact that England managed to claim an advantage could be crucial in their final run-chase on a poor surface.
England bowled only spin at the end of the day, with Leach shouting lbw against Abdullah Shafiq.
Pakistan have all 10 wickets in hand to take a match-winning lead on Monday. It won’t be a draw – just the way England like it.
Brilliant Brooke Does It Again
Brook got his chance in Test cricket after Jonny Bairstow suffered a leg injury but, certain he has secured his place, England have been left to consider how best to get Bairstow back.
The Yorkshireman became the first England batsman to score three centuries in his first four Tests, the first to score a century in each match of a three-Test series, and his 468 against Pakistan was the first for an England batsman in an overseas series. There is record. ,
Stokes’ run out could have derailed Brook. With the captain looking for a third run, Brooke started and left both men at the same end.
Stokes, however, gave the thumbs up to Brook to put the incident behind him, which he did through a sweep down the leg side, an inside-out cover drive and three straight sixes.
Brook reached three figures of four in 133 balls with a back-foot punch off the leg-spin of Abrar Ahmed.
He was eventually trapped at the crease to give Wasim his first Test wicket, departing to a rapturous ovation from the traveling England fans above the visitors’ dressing room.
fantastic mr fox
The first half of the day belonged to Pakistan, who trailed England thrice. Ben Duckett and Joe Root fell to successive Nouman Ali deliveries, Ollie Pope made 51 before being bowled by Abrar’s beauty and Stokes looked in good touch until he was run out.
But wicket-keeper Foakes, who had been ruled out of the Second Test after being ill for the First Test, once again proved the value of his batting qualities.
He successfully reviewed an Abrar delivery caught at short leg, then supported Brook with a wrist flick through the leg side.
After the fall of Brook, 18-year-old Rehan Ahmed managed only one in his first Test innings, leaving Wood to join Fox to keep England ahead.
Wood edged forward down the leg side before being caught well at mid-wicket by Shafiq, while Foakes skied over mid-on. Nevertheless, Robinson and Leach were able to exploit Pakistan’s tired spinners.
When Abrar bowled Robinson, he was joined by left-handed batsman Nouman at four. Between them they bowled around 65 overs, while the other three bowlers bowled 17 overs.
More to follow.