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Old Trafford Test: Day Three

England lead by 489 runs after Pakistan’s batting collapse

Manchester – July 24, 2016: It was England’s day again on the third day of the Old Trafford Test match. Despite rain delays they bowled Pakistan out for 198. There was much criticism of captain’s Cook’s decision not to enforce the follow on but by the close England were 489 runs ahead with two days left of this Test match.

Pakistan began the day at 57-4. At 71-5 Shan Masood was caught by Root from Anderson for a battling 39, extra bounce defeating the batsmen. This was the fifth time in Tests that Anderson has removed Masood.

The reliable Asad Shafiq now joined Misbah. A big shout from Broad against Misbah was turned down by umpire Rod Tucker because there was an inside edge.

By 11.30 though the rain had intervened and the players trooped off. There was an hour’s break and then play resumed with lunch delayed by half an hour.

Scoreboard pressure then took its toll and Shafiq was caught by Hales from a wide delivery from Broad for 4 –making it 76-6.

Sarfraz came next and came out swinging. Soon three figures came up for Pakistan. It was too good to last and Sarfraz nicked one from Ben Stokes to Joe Root at second slip for a quick fire 26.

Woakes looked menacing again and struck a bouncer into the back of Misbah’s helmet. Shortly afterwards Woakes removed Yasir with Root taking him at second slip.

At lunch Pakistan were 119-8.

At last Pakistan found a partnership in Misbah and Wahab. Misbah moved steadily towards his own fifty with a sweep from Moeen shortly after bringing up the fifty partnership. 

Then Wahab joined the party, smashing Moeen for a huge six over midwicket.

Unfortunately it wasn’t to last and Misbah misjudged a sweep from Moeen and was caught by Cook at short fine leg. 

Mooen removed Wahab too after a struggle for 39 after Hales caught him in the deep. 

The England lead was 391 but surprisingly they declined to enforce the follow on. 

So Cook and Hales came back to the middle. Wahab remained off the field after having been struck by Woakes bouncer in the elbow of his bowling arm. 

By 4:oo pm rain had stopped play and England were 11-0. An early tea was taken now.

Play did not restart until 5.40pm. Amongst the pundits there was now a lot of criticism of England’s decision not to enforce the follow-on.

Hales was dropped on eight with the ball flying over first slip from a hard slash, Mohammad Hafeez looked disappointed not to have taken it.

A partnership now developed but there was a strong appeal on 41-0 when Cook was trapped on his pads by Rahat. He decided against reviewing the not out decision. 

Yasir Shah now came into the attack but again there was a rain delay at 6.20pm

Despite murky light the players reemerged 25 minutes later and the openers carried on their partnership. Finally there was a wicket on 68 when Hales was caught behind from an inside edge from Amir for 24. 

Root came to the scene of his first innings triumph and carried on in good nick. At the close England were 98-1 with a huge lead of 489.