Sunday, July 14, 2024

PCB: Crawley 267, Buttler 152 steer England to 583-8d before Anderson takes three

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Photo Credit: Pakistan Cricket Board

Zak Crawley produced a brilliant knock of 267 and Jos Buttler added 152 as the pair shared a record-breaking stand on the second day of the third ICC World Test Championship fixture between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl.

The duo came together on 127 for four on day one, with matters delicately poised and the hosts’ 1-0 lead somewhat precarious, and proceeded to pile on 359 before finally being parted deep in the second afternoon.

As well as being England’s highest ever fifth-wicket partnership, ousting Keith Fletcher and Tony Greig from the books after 47 years, it lies joint sixth on the all-time list for any wicket and powered the hosts to 583 for eight declared.

James Anderson then worked wonders with the new ball, taking out Shan Masood, Abid Ali and Babar Azam as the tourists were 24 for three at stumps. The latter was the 38-year-old’s 596th Test, teeing up another historic landmark before the end of the match.

England began the day at 332 for four and added 41 in an opening session that was twice interrupted by rain and dragged until 2pm.

The spotlight belonged to Crawley on Saturday, who turned his overnight 171 into a true touchstone innings – the 10th best by an Englishman in Tests amid some truly elite company.

Having played so impressively to reach a maiden hundred he delivered handsomely again, adding another 96 in 124 balls to finish with 34 boundaries and a first ever six from a knock lasting well over nine hours.

Buttler, meanwhile, ended a wait of two years and 45 innings for his second Test hundred, occupying the crease for more than 300 balls for this first time in his career.

Crawley was stumped down leg charging part-timer Asad Shafiq and Buttler pushing a long-hop straight back to Fawad Alam. Crawley departed to fist bumps from the Pakistan fielders, walking into a new phase of his short career.

England would add another 97 runs before Root waved his men in, Buttler dropping anchor as he made certain to follow Crawley to 150 only to give away a brilliant knock when he popped a return catch back to Fawad.

The slow left-armer nicked a second when Chris Woakes (40) slashed to cover, with Dom Bess and Stuart Broad enjoying some late hits before Shaheen bowled the latter. The declaration left Pakistan 13 trying overs and Anderson cashed in.

He took out both openers – Masood was lbw to one that straightened off the pitch and Abid edging to third slip – before the prize scalp of Babar, leg before to the final delivery of a remarkable day.

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