The third day of the ongoing first Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium witnessed yet another run-fest as the hosts inched closer to the English team’s first innings total by showcasing a solid batting display throughout the day.
Resuming their innings after the overnight score of 181/0, Pakistan did lose wickets as the day progressed but also put up a gritty batting performance as they scored well in excess of 300 runs (three sessions combined) with skipper Babar Azam scoring yet another Test century.
Pakistan and England engage in a tug-of-war on Day 3
Even though Pakistan were trailing by a mammoth 476 runs when play stopped on Day 2, they showcased a fearless approach on Day 3 and targeted all the English bowlers on a perfect flat wicket as openers Imam-ul-Haq (121) and Abdullah Shafique (114) not only brought up their respective centuries but also laid a solid foundation for the hosts with a 225-run opening stand.
Veteran Test specialist Azhar Ali missed out on utilising the wicket as he walked back after adding only 27 runs to his name, but captain Babar Azam ensured that he took maximum advantage of the surface and roared back to form with an impressive knock of 136 runs off 168 balls before being caught by Jack Leach off Will Jacks.
After Babar’s dismissal, the middle-order duo of Saud Shakeel (37), and, wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan (29) could not do much damage and in the end, Agha Salman and tail-ender Naseem Shah tried their level best to ensure that Pakistan do not suffer any batting collapse towards the end of Day 3.
Unfortunately for Naseem, he was dismissed after scoring 15 runs off 21 deliveries when he attempted to loft Jacks and only ended up finding Leach who made good efforts to complete a well-judged catch.
In the end, Salman (10*) and Zahid Mahmood (1*) ensured that there were no further setbacks as the hosts finished Day 3 at 499/7. Pakistan still continue to trail by 158 runs.
Here’s how Twitterati reacted to the action on Day 3:
7 centuries in the match so far (four by England and three by Pakistan). The World Record is 8 hundreds in a Test. Happened twice – WI vs RSA in Antigua 2005 and SL vs BD in Galle 2013. #PakvEng— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) December 3, 2022
As we’ve said all along, Rawalpindi is a cracking Test pitch which has left all four results still possible after three days. It was even sufficiently bowler friendly for Anderson to take his first Test wicket in Pakistan, 19 years after debut.— Iceland Cricket (@icelandcricket) December 3, 2022
The most exciting results in the current Tests, and therefore the ones I’m hoping for, are 🏝️ salvaging a draw in Perth & 🏴 somehow taking thirteen more 🇵🇰 wickets in Rawalpindi.— Michael Appleton (@michelappleton) December 3, 2022
Touring teams doing improbable things in Test matches is wonderful.
No Test match saw all four opening batters score centuries before today. No Test match saw two double century opening partnerships before today. More records broken in Rawalpindi 🔥 #PAKvENG— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) December 3, 2022
The Rawalpindi Test could well have a result..and that would be all due to England’s approach #PAKvENG— Hemant (@hemantbuch) December 3, 2022