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2nd Test, Day 3: Imam, Shakeel fifties keep Pakistan in the hunt against England

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Multan, Dec 11 (Ajit Weekly News) Defiant half-centuries by Imam-ul-Haq (60) and Saud Shakeel (54 not out) revived Pakistan’s chase and kept them in the hunt as they reached 198 for 4, chasing a target of 355 runs, at the end of the third day’s play in the second Test, here on Sunday.

Imam and Shakeel added 108 runs for the fourth wicket before the former fell late in the day to set up an interesting finish to the second Test. At stumps, Saud was unbeaten on 54 with Faheem Ashraf on three with Pakistan still 157 runs short of their target.

Earlier, England added 73 runs to their overnight score of 5-202. Ben Stokes (41) needed 43 balls to score his first boundary and was the first to fall, holing out in the deep to trigger a collapse. Spinner Abrar Ahmed picked up his 11th wicket in his debut Test by bowling Ollie Robinson through the gate.

Overnight batter Harry Brook (108) reached his second hundred of the series before leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood (3-52) polished off the English tail to bowl out visitors for 275 in their second innings.

Chasing a 355-run target, Pakistan had to rejig their opening pair following a hamstring niggle to Imam. They promoted the struggling Mohammad Rizwan, who hit a flurry of boundaries early in his knock to transfer the pressure back on England.

James Anderson removed Rizwan for 30 immediately after lunch with a peach of a delivery that angled in and beat the outside edge to hit off stump. Robinson produced a similarly stunning ball to dismiss Pakistan captain Babar Azam for one.

Abdullah Shafique made 45 but could not protect his off-stump from the pace and movement of Mark Wood. Imam came in at number five and revived Pakistan’s chase with Saud. Having added 53 runs before tea, they continued to keep the English bowlers at bay for most of the final session, before Leach finally bagged his first wicket of the innings by removing Imam.

Thereafter, Faheem Ashraf and Shakeel dropped anchor to see through the remaining period of the day’s play safely.

Brief scores: England 281 & 275 (Harry Brook 108, Ben Duckett 79; Abrar Ahmed 4-120, Zahid Mahmood 3-52) lead Pakistan 202 & 198/4 (Imam ul Haq 60, Saud Shakeel 54 not out) by 156 runs.

–Ajit Weekly News


News Credits – I A N S

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