Zak Crawley became the youngest England batsman to score a Test double century for 41 years as the hosts piled on the runs on day two of the series decider against Pakistan. 

Crawley had reached his maiden international hundred on the opening day at the Rose Bowl and was raising his bat again at the venue on Saturday. 

Aged 22 years and 201 days, he is the youngest Englishman to reach 200 in the format since David Gower, who achieved the feat against India in 1979 at 22 years and 102 days. 

Only the great Len Hutton (22 years and 58 days) and the elegant Gower have made double hundreds for England at a younger age than Crawley, who had resumed in the morning on 171.  

Jos Buttler completed his second Test century, albeit only after using a review to survive on 99 having been given out caught behind.

The wicketkeeper-batsman combined with number three Crawley to put on a new record fifth-wicket stand for England against any opposition. 

Crawley and Buttler surpassed the previous best of 254 set by Keith Fletcher and Tony Greig against India in 1973, taking England beyond 400 for the loss of just four wickets and well on course to win the series.

Zak Crawley hit his maiden Test century as he combined with Jos Buttler to help England end the opening day of the series finale against Pakistan firmly on top. 

Going into the third Test holding a 1-0 lead after rain ruined the previous encounter in Southampton, the home side were teetering when 127-4 midway through Friday's play.

However, Pakistan were unable to get another breakthrough in the remainder of proceedings, Crawley finishing up unbeaten on 171 as England progressed to 332-4 by the close.

The 22-year-old, who has made just three hundreds for Kent in his first-class career, shared an unbroken stand worth 205 with Jos Buttler, who will resume on the second morning on 87 not out.

The stunning fifth-wicket alliance completely changed the complexion of proceedings, as well as vindicating the decison by captain Joe Root to bat first.

Crawley had arrived at the crease midway through the fifth over after Rory Burns fell cheaply again, the left-handed opener edging Shaheen Afridi through to Shan Masood in the slips when on six. 

Dom Sibley (22) helped add 61 for the second wicket but also departed before lunch, given out lbw to leg-spinner Yasir Shah following a successful review by Pakistan. 

Naseem Shah produced a sublime delivery to end a promising start for Root (29), while Ollie Pope's decision to play back to Yasir resulted in his downfall, bowled for three to leave the hosts in a spot of bother. 

But, as was the case in the first Test in Manchester when his 75 helped England recover from 127-5 to reach a victory target of 277, Buttler emphatically tipped the balance in his side's favour.

The wicketkeeper-batsman will hope to reach three figures for a second time in the format on Saturday, while batting partner Crawley has a double ton in his sights.

Having been stuck at tea on 97, he made it to three figures with a drive on the up through the covers and, impressively, continued to pile on the runs after reaching the landmark, Pakistan becoming increasingly ragged as not even a second new ball helped them find a late breakthrough.

Naseem Shah is poised to make his limited-overs debut for Pakistan after the 17-year-old fast bowler was picked for the Twenty20 series against England.

He was included in a 17-player squad named on Friday ahead of the upcoming three matches, to be played at Old Trafford on August 28, August 30 and September 1.

Naseem has played seven Tests, making his debut against Australia last November, but has yet to be utilised by Pakistan in shorter formats. 

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said: "This is mostly the same team which has been featuring in the shortest format for us. Besides retaining the core, we have inducted youngsters like Haider Ali ... and Naseem Shah as we had an opportunity to keep a bigger pool due to COVID-19 pandemic, which also increases our options.

"Usually, the T20I team comes together for a brief period but due to the current situation most of the players have been here with us for more than a month and it has provided us a good opportunity to work on the development of the team and the young players. So, even the players who might not get an opportunity to play will benefit from the experience they are getting here.

"It is going to be a competitive series as England are a strong side. We are looking forward to [trying to] play good cricket and win the series."

Pakistan T20 squad: Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz.

Struggling captain Azhar Ali knows he and Asad Shafiq must "step up" and contribute with the bat when Pakistan attempt to avoid a Test series defeat to England. 

Azhar is under pressure after making only 38 in his three innings against Joe Root's side so far, while Shafiq has only three more runs to his name from a defeat in the opening Test and a weather-hit draw at the Rose Bowl. 

The tourists must win the third and final match, which starts on Friday, to avoid their first series loss in England for a decade in the longest format. 

Azhar is aware that he, along with Shafiq, needs to deliver in Southampton, though the skipper said he retains the backing of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). 

He said: "Being a captain, it is my responsibility to score runs. Asad Shafiq has been a match-winner and one of the best players we have got. 

"He has always scored runs under pressure. As senior batsmen, we both need to step up and make contributions for Pakistan in the third Test. 

"We have such a good bunch of guys with us. They make my job as captain really easy. I have the full backing of the PCB as captain. 

"Right now, my entire focus is on the third Test match and not thinking about the criticism from outside."

Azhar is backing young pacemen Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi to deliver, too. 

"We are lucky to have exciting fast bowlers. Although they are young in terms of age, they are exciting characters," he said.  

"You can't buy experience without playing, so we have to back them [Naseem and Shaheen] because they are bowling really well and putting opposition under pressure. 

"You can’t sit outside and gain experience. These guys have taken up the challenge and impressed everyone around the world, so I still feel they are good enough to win Test matches for Pakistan." 

Azhar said Pakistan would assess the pitch before naming their side after recent poor weather on the south coast. 

Meanwhile, former internationals Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq are among a host of former players who have taken up coaching roles with the PCB.

Joe Root has urged England to seize the moment when they attempt to seal a series win over Pakistan with uncertainty over exactly when they will play Test cricket again.

England will start the third Test at the Rose Bowl on Friday with a 1-0 lead after a frustrating weather-ruined contest at the same venue ended in a draw on Monday. 

The tourists have not suffered a series defeat in England in the longest format for a decade, drawing on their previous two visits. 

England beat West Indies 2-1 when international cricket returned following a coronavirus-enforced hiatus and with scheduling still to be confirmed in such uncertain times, Root has called on his team-mates to step up again in Southampton. 

The England captain said: "My message to the guys was quite simple today, that we don't know when the next time will be that we play Test cricket, so let's make sure we throw everything into this week. 

"Let's make sure we leave no stone unturned and we give everything to each other and the badge going into this last game. 

"The guys have prepared really well over the last couple of days and I fully expect everyone to give everything over the next five days and give ourselves the best chance of winning the series 2-0." 

England have named an unchanged squad for the finale, but Root says the hosts will leave it late to name their final XI. 

Asked if spinner Dom Bess could miss out in favour of an all-seam attack, he said: "We've not settled on an 11 yet. It's so hard to tell with that wicket right now, it's obviously been under cover for a large proportion of the last week. 

"With finally some sunshine and a bit of wind, it could change drastically over the course of today. Try and keep everything on the table for tomorrow, then we'll make a call." 

The two sides agreed to start 30 minutes earlier than scheduled in the final Test if time is lost due to bad weather on the previous day.

England and Pakistan have agreed to flexible start times for the third and final Test of their ongoing series.

The decision comes after bad light delays in gloomy, but often dry, Southampton conditions ruined the second meeting between the two teams, with only 134.3 overs of play possible across five days in a frustrating draw.

England head coach Chris Silverwood and captain Joe Root had spoken positively about an idea to make up lost time by starting at 10:30 local time, rather than the fixed usual 11:00 start for the team's home Tests.

That has previously been avoided due to complications it causes spectators travelling to grounds, but that is not presently an issue with the coronavirus pandemic meaning the series is being played behind closed doors.

A deal has now been agreed for the next match, which begins on Friday, so time can also be made up at the start of a day's play.

Implementing the new rule for future series which take place in England is also under consideration.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed "positive discussions" on the subject were held with the International Cricket Council (ICC), match referee Chris Broad and broadcast partners.

A statement from the ECB on Thursday read: "Revised start times have been agreed with the captains and coaches of both England and Pakistan and will be implemented for the final match of this series.

"The flexible approach will enable the prospect of making up time for inclement weather during the morning session of subsequent days rather than at the end of the day.

"Match officials will ensure that light is monitored to maximise playing time while it is still safe to do so. The safety of the players is still the number one priority for this protocol."

England, who lead 1-0 as they seek a first series win over Pakistan for 10 years, have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the contest.

England head coach Chris Silverwood believes an earlier start time for Test matches could be beneficial after poor light ruined the second game of their series with Pakistan.

The gloomy conditions at the Rose Bowl ensured the two teams were left to settle for a draw, with only 134.3 overs of play possible.

Afterwards, England captain Joe Root floated the idea of bringing the start forward from 11:00am to 10:30 to help make up for potential lost time.

Asked about the possibility, Silverwood said: "In my opinion it will probably be a good idea.

"I know there is chat around it so we'll just wait to see what they [the ECB] come back with.

"But there would be no complaints from us should it happen. We are all here anyway. It's not like any of us are travelling so it wouldn't be very hard to make it happen.

"If there were spectators in, you'd feel for them as well - the sense of frustration that you get when people have paid money to go and watch cricket.

"If it got out there that we were starting half an hour earlier then people would probably make an effort to get in half an hour earlier."

 

Zak Crawley capitalised on a late opportunity to impress with the bat as the second Test between England and Pakistan petered out to a predictable draw in Southampton.

Crawley made an entertaining 53 as the hosts – who remain 1-0 up in the three-match series – reached 110-4 before declaring on day five, a move that allowed an early finish to proceedings.

The combination of bad light and rain had decimated the game to such an extent over the course of the previous four days that the chances of a positive result had long disappeared.

Only 10.2 overs had been possible on Sunday, with England losing Rory Burns for a duck as they reached 7-1 in reply to Pakistan's total of 236.

They were made to wait to continue their first innings still further, though, as Monday's action was held up by a heavy storm in the early hours that left sections of the outfield heavily saturated.

Still, when play finally began at 15:20 local time (14:20 GMT), Crawley proceeded to hit seven boundaries to post a third Test half-century before falling lbw to the excellent Mohammad Abbas.

Dom Sibley, who had shared in a second-wicket stand worth 92, also fell to the same bowler, caught down leg by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan having battled hard to reach 32.

Yasir Shah also dismissed Ollie Pope for nine but Joe Root survived some tricky moments to finish unbeaten on the same score, while Jos Buttler had not managed to get off the mark by the time the innings was cut short.

Crawley shows further promise 

Returning to the XI in place of the absent Ben Stokes, who has departed the bio-secure bubble at the Rose Bowl for family reasons, Crawley offered a reminder of his talent with some eye-catching shots in a 99-ball knock. There was one slice of luck, though, as he should have been stumped on 37. 

England hold slender advantage

Both teams will hope for better fortunes with the conditions when the series concludes at the same venue, with the finale beginning on Friday. A better forecast, combined with a similar pitch on the south coast, could make for an entertaining finish to England's Test schedule on home soil in 2020.

Sohail Tanveer knows the "biggest party in sport" will not be the same without fans but hopes he can celebrate a Pakistan recall after starring in the Caribbean Premier League. 

It is five months since Tanveer was last in action, claiming figures of 3-26 in a Pakistan Premier League victory for Multan Sultans. 

The paceman will finally get the chance to charge in again for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on Tuesday, when the first major global Twenty20 competition since the coronavirus pandemic ground sport to a halt gets under way. 

Tanveer has showcased his talents all over the world at international level and in franchise tournaments, thriving on the atmosphere at packed venues. 

The 35-year-old quick understands why CPL matches will be played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 crisis, but he will miss the special atmosphere in a part of the world where they certainly know how to enjoy themselves. 

He told Stats Perform News: "You definitely need spectators who applaud your good performances and that is what we are used to. 

"It will take time to get used to these new rules and lack of fans, it's going to be tough for sure. Especially in the Caribbean, because the CPL is the biggest party in sport. 

"You see people coming and cheering for both teams and whoever wins they don't care, and they will celebrate anyway. You see them drinking, dancing and enjoying themselves and that is what makes CPL a bit different than other leagues. 

"We're going to miss that, but obviously we know that cricket is the most important part and luckily we have the chance to play. 

"The first thing that came into my mind when I signed for St Kitts was 'Oh, I'm going to play cricket!’. 

"As a passionate cricketer, as a fan of cricket, it's just in our blood. I'm just so pleased we have some cricket to play. Yes, there are some hard rules, but the bottom line is we at least get to play." 

He spent a fortnight largely consigned to his hotel room in Trinidad under strict quarantine rules and has only had a short time to prepare for the CPL with his team-mates. 

Tanveer will be unleashed on the Barbados Tridents at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba on Tuesday and plans to show the Pakistan selectors he be will ready to come to the party at the ICC T20 World Cup in India next year. 

He said: "My priority will be to play for Pakistan and now we have two World Cups coming back-to-back [the second in Australia in 2022].  

"I'm looking forward to playing in those big competitions before moving on, because obviously one day you have to retire.  

"I've already been part of a team that has won a World Cup for Pakistan, so I would highly hope that I can finish on a high note.  

"The way I have been performing in domestic cricket and in the PSL, I'm bowling well and I have a chance to make it into the Pakistan team. It's down to what the selection committee and management decide obviously, but I'll be trying my best to get back into the Pakistan team." 

England and Pakistan were once again held up by rain as only 10.2 overs were bowled on the fourth day of the second Test.

After downpours had wiped out the previous day without any play possible at all, there was at least some action on Sunday in Southampton.

Resuming on 223-9 in their first innings, Pakistan added a further 13 runs to their total before the last wicket fell to the impressive Stuart Broad, giving the seamer final figures of 4-56.

Mohammad Rizwan had hit two boundaries but perished when trying to flick a swinging delivery to leg, a leading edge providing Zak Crawley with a simple catch in the covers.

The wicketkeeper-batsman finished as top scorer for his country with 72 to his name, while last man Naseem Shah was left on one not out.

England's reply suffered an early setback when Shaheen Afridi had Rory Burns caught in the slips without scoring, the left-hander well held by Asad Shafiq having edged the fourth ball of the opening over.

Dom Sibley and Crawley found life tough going against new-ball pairing Shaheen and Mohammad Abbas but managed to survive and will resume on Monday unbeaten on two and five respectively.

The hosts, who sit 1-0 up in the three-match series, had reached 7-1 when the players made their way off the field just over an hour into the morning session, with no further action leaving the game heading for a weather-ruined draw.

The second Test between England and Pakistan looked to be heading for a draw after day three was washed out at a gloomy Rose Bowl.

Pakistan were due to resume on 223-9 in their first innings, but no play was possible on a rainy, dismal Saturday in Southampton.

Only 86 overs have been bowled in the first three days of the contest. The tourists are seeking a win to set up what would be a series decider at the same venue next week.

With more wet weather and storms forecast, it would appear unlikely Pakistan can draw level at 1-1 in this match, after England pulled off a stunning victory by three wickets in the first Test at Old Trafford.

Mohammad Rizwan showed fight for Azhar Ali's side with an unbeaten 60 on day two after Pakistan were reduced to 176-8.

West Indian players have made a big impact on the T20 game the world over and a panel of experts deciding on the final list of impact players to be discussed as part of a SportsMax Ultimate XI.

The panel, which makes up 40% of overall votes towards the decision in coming up with a final XI, picked Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell to be part of a list of six for a final discussion on Monday.

The discussions take place on the SportsMax Zone at 5pm Jamaica time and 6pm in the Eastern Caribbean.

When the votes are all tallied, the SportsMax Zone will have contributed 25% of them, while fans have an input too, there’s counting for 35%.

The panel, today, had to pick from among 12 short listed as the best impact players the T20 game has ever seen.

That list of 12 read; Shane Watson (Australia), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Bravo, Russell, Pollard, Jos Buttler (England), Imad Wasim (Pakistan), Ben Stokes (England), Colin Munro (New Zealand), Yuvraj Singh (India), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), and Daren Sammy (West Indies).

When the cuts were made, Sammy, Imad, Buttler, Vettori, Munro, and Stokes, were deemed just a little off the pace.

So, for final discussion on Monday, Watson, Afridi, Bravo, Russell, Pollard, and Yuvraj will be the men being considered.

But the panel’s list is not final and fans, called fanalysts, can still sway the outcome of who makes the SportsMax Ultimate XI, no matter what the panel decides.

To do that, to have your say, vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

England were left frustrated by both Mohammad Rizwan and bad light on a truncated day two of the second Test against Pakistan.

Rizwan was on 60 not out when play was called off amid the gloom in Southampton, only 41.1 overs of play possible on a Friday that had also seen a delayed start due to rain.

Pakistan were on 223-9 at stumps thanks to some lower-order resistance, despite the best efforts of England seam duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Anderson (3-48) dismissed Yasir Shah for five to take his Test tally to 593 wickets, while Broad claimed the key scalp of Babar Azam with a superb delivery that the right-hander edged through to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler when on 47.

But, having slipped from 78-1 to close a shortened opening day on 126-5, the tourists battled hard in bowler-friendly conditions, Rizwan leading the way with some help from the tail to keep England's opening batsmen waiting for their opportunity.

Early showers had already held back the home team's push for a series-clinching victory, while they failed to take a wicket in a shortened opening session once play finally got under way.

However, having appeared on course to record a Test half-century in a sixth successive first innings, Babar fell to Broad not long after the lunch interval.

Yasir's departure was followed by the careless run out of Shaheen Afridi, who was beaten by Dom Sibley's direct hit when considering a single that was never on, leaving the score at 176-8.

Yet Rizwan added 29 with Mohammad Abbas and while the latter was trapped lbw by Broad (3-56), the wicketkeeper-batsman was still fighting when the overhead conditions forced the players off not long after tea, with no further resumption possible.

Rizwan shows fighting spirit

Aided by a considerable amount of luck, Rizwan posted his second half-century in Test cricket. He played and missed plenty as the ball continued to swing throughout, yet also played some gloriously aggressive shots at times to carry his team's total past 200.

Light work needs to be longer?

It does Test cricket few favours when players are seen trooping off despite no real obvious change in conditions. There is undoubtedly a stage when bad light becomes dangerous to all involved, but it also must be remembered that this a spectacle for viewers, even if there is not a paying crowd inside the Rose Bowl.

England had the better of a weather-affected first day of the second Test against Pakistan as the tourists were limited to 126-5 at the Rose Bowl.

In stormy conditions in humid Hampshire, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat, but James Anderson (2-35) struck early to dismiss Shan Masood for only one.

Dom Sibley and Rory Burns dropped catches as Abid Ali (60) and Azhar Ali (20) took Pakistan to 78-1, though the captain then fell to Anderson - who this week denied talk that he could be set to retire.

England did further damage in between rain breaks – Sam Curran, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes striking before play was finally ended by bad light with only 45.4 overs possible.

It was advantage England at the close on a day which saw Zak Crawley replacing Ben Stokes after the vice-captain flew to New Zealand to be with his family and Curran coming in for Jofra Archer

Questions were asked over Anderson's place in the side following a disappointing showing in England's stunning victory at Old Trafford, but England's record Test wicket-taker soon let his class do the talking, swinging a brilliant delivery straight into Masood's pads.

Abid should have been dismissed in the next over, only for Sibley to put him down after Broad drew an edge.

Azhar's luck was in when the ball trickled back and hit the stumps without dislodging the bails, before Burns dropped Abid at second slip as Pakistan made it to an early, rain-enforced lunch without suffering further damage.

Pakistan's luck ran out shortly after the restart – the probing Anderson drawing an edge from Azhar, with Burns holding on this time.

Another rain break followed, with dark skies forcing tea to be taken early, but Pakistan resumed brightly – Abid passing 50 in nervy fashion with a thin edge which scuttled between fielders.

Successive fours took Pakistan beyond 100, yet Abid was soon on his way back to the pavilion when he nicked a delivery from Curran to Burns.

Sibley then took a low catch to send Asad Shafiq (5) walking, before Fawad Alam – making his first Test appearance since 2009 – was trapped lbw by Woakes, with England successfully reviewing before the weather closed in to halt the day's play.

 

Evergeen Anderson responds to his doubters

It took Anderson, who came in for criticism after posting poor bowling figures of 1-97 in Manchester last week, just eight deliveries to dismiss Masood, with the 38-year-old striking Pakistan's opener bang in front.

His second wicket was another fantastic delivery, drawing Azhar into a flick outside of his off stump, as the seamer moved just eight shy of 600 Test wickets.

Azhar's troubles in England continue

Pakistan's captain scored 0 and 18 in his two innings in the first Test, and despite facing 85 deliveries on Thursday, only managed 20 runs before he succumbed to Anderson.

Azhar came in for criticism after England's stunning turnaround in the first match of the series and really needs to start contributing with the bat to ease the pressure on him.

Sam Curran replaced Jofra Archer as one of two changes to England's line-up for the second Test against Pakistan.

With James Anderson's place in the side having all but been confirmed on Wednesday, it was Archer – struggling to replicate the form he showed in 2019 – who made way for Curran.

Ben Stokes was already a guaranteed absentee after he left the squad on Sunday to travel to New Zealand for family reasons, with Zak Crawley replacing the all-rounder.

In Stokes' absence, England captain Joe Root elected to give seamer Curran an opportunity to build on some impressive performances against West Indies while also adding extra depth to England's batting order.

"I think more than anything it was to lengthen our batting, with Ben missing out making sure we had that depth there," Root told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.

"Also, Sam's record in England is fantastic and he deserves an opportunity. It gives Jofra a chance to rest up and be fully fit for the next game."

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first in sweltering conditions at the Rose Bowl, though Root believed England's swing bowlers could exploit the humid conditions.

"We would have batted first as well, but it's muggy and we've got a very good swing attack," Root said.

"We're looking forward to exploiting these conditions early and hopefully getting some wickets. Getting the first go at it isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially coming on the back of our bowling at Old Trafford."

There was just one change for Pakistan, with Fawad Alam earning his first Test appearance since 2009.

"He's been scoring lots of runs in first-class cricket. He's been patient for a long time," Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said.

"Seasoned character, seasoned player and waiting for this opportunity for a long time. He has all the potential."

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