England held off Pakistan's fightback to end day three of the second Test on top, with the late dismissal of Imam-ul-Haq teeing up a nail-biting finish in Multan.

Pakistan made a flying start as England were bowled out for 275 in the opening session, and despite being reduced to 83-3 after lunch, the hosts appeared to be in the ascendency thanks to a fine partnership between Imam (60) and Saud Shakeel (54 not out).

There was a final twist as the light drew in, however, as Imam handed Joe Root a simple catch at slip, leaving England requiring six wickets for a series victory as the momentum shifted once more.

The fact England began the day 202-5 owed much to a fine knock from Harry Brook, and the right-hander wasted little time in bringing up his second Test century as the tourists built a 355-run lead.

However, Pakistan soon had their first wicket of the day when Mohammad Ali produced a terrific catch in the deep from Ben Stokes (41), before the Test's breakout star Abrar Ahmed claimed his 11th of the match to remove Ollie Robinson (3).

But it was Zahid Mahmood who took centre stage with a three-wicket haul as England were all out for 275, bowling James Anderson (4) lbw after handing Shakeel a catch from Brook (108).

Pakistan's hopes of chasing down their target looked forlorn when England claimed three quickfire wickets after lunch, the highlight being Robinson's terrific seamer to skipper Babar Azam (1).

The hosts initially made light of those dismissals as Imam and Shakeel took up the mantle, but the former's wild swing at Jack Leach's routine delivery could prove costly.

Root was on hand to make the catch at close quarters, dealing a serious blow to Pakistan's chase at the end of a topsy-turvy day.

Brook repeats the trick

Brook made the third-fastest Test century in England history as Brendon McCullum's men got off to a flying start to the first Test last week, and while his second ton was not quite as emphatic, it could prove equally crucial.

The 23-year-old's century – his second in three Test appearances – gave England something to defend as Pakistan began their fightback.

Zahid and Imam efforts in vain? 

Zahid was the star of the opening session as his three-wicket haul helped cut England's second innings short, with this display representing a vast improvement on his underwhelming debut in the first Test.

Imam, meanwhile, looked to have put Pakistan on course for a successful chase with his knock of 60, but his late swing at Leach's ball may end up costing his side the match. 

Jack Leach says he "never thought" he would reach 100 Test wickets after bringing up a century during England's second Test against Pakistan.

The spinner crossed the mark with figures of 4-98 in Multan as the tourists forced a collapse from the hosts to bowl them all out for 202 on the second day.

Half-centuries for Ben Duckett and Harry Brook saw England reach stumps with a lead of 281, pushing them closer to a series victory on their first red-ball visit to the country since 2005.

Leach, who made his debut in 2018, has played 31 Tests for England, but remains surprised to have reached the magic milestone, given his struggles with Crohn's disease and other matters limiting his game.

"I never thought that would happen," he told Sky Sports. 

"It's crazy to think I've got 100 wickets in Test matches just because of how difficult I've found it at times.

"But then you realise there have been some good moments along the way, you do some good things. I definitely feel like I'm getting better as I play more, so that's pleasing."

Having seen Pakistan set off in pursuit of what looked like it would be a high first-innings total, Leach's spell with ball in hand was crucial to preventing fast progress and ensuring a lead for England.

"On these wickets, it's about being as patient as you can between those [sharply turning] deliveries," he added. 

"It's something I'll try to do better in the next innings, to patiently go about my work. 

"There's a bit more happening than in Rawalpindi so it is just looking to be patient and work your way through. It's really difficult.

"I think it's been a really good day for us. [We'll] look to get a few more [runs] tomorrow, then have another go at them. They [the England batters] played really, really well and put us in a good position."

England took a firm grip on the second Test in Multan despite Abrar Ahmed wrapping up a 10-wicket haul on his Pakistan debut.

Ben Duckett's second half-century of the match and another fine knock from Harry Brook put the tourists on top, leading by 281 runs at the end of day two with five second-innings wickets standing.

Pakistan began the day on 107-2 but crumbled once the third-wicket alliance between Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel came to an end. Babar was bowled for 75 by Ollie Robinson, with the team score on 142, and Shakeel soon followed for 63, fourth man down.

That wicket went to Jack Leach, with James Anderson taking a terrific catch at mid-on to give the England spinner a 100th Test scalp. It was Leach's second wicket of the innings and he went on to take 4-98 as England raced through the tail, knocking over Pakistan for 202.

Armed with a first-innings lead of 79, England had ample time to build on that advantage and set about their task knowing Abrar was the chief threat, after taking seven wickets on Friday.

He was at it again, removing three batters to become just the second Pakistan bowler to take a 10-wicket Test haul on debut and grabbing an early run-out to boot, with a direct hit removing Zak Crawley.

Crawley's opening partner Duckett made 79 before being bowled by an Abrar grubber, with Brook standing defiant on 74 at stumps as England ended the day on 202-5, with captain Ben Stokes 16 not out.

Abrar goes it alone again

He took the first seven wickets in England's first innings, before Zahid Mahmood mopped up the tail, and Abrar was the chief threat once more on Saturday. He was the only bowler to strike, ending the day with 3-81 after delivering 21 of the 49 overs in England's innings so far. The other dismissals were both run-outs.

Duckett chasing perfection

Stuart Broad, analysing for Sky Sports, described it as a "perfect day" for England. For Duckett, this tour has been a game-changer, coming six years after he last featured in the Test side.

Back-to-back fifties in this game should now fortify his position in the team. He made a century and a duck in England's win in the first Test, but this ranks as progress beyond that, as his highest aggregate runs haul in a Test to date (142). He would be unhappy with how he got out, though, so perhaps the day was not entirely "perfect".

Abrar Ahmed expressed his delight at capturing the wicket of his idol Ben Stokes after the Pakistan debutant tore through England on day one of the second test in Multan.

Abrar took seven wickets as Pakistan bowled England out for 281 on Friday, becoming the 13th Pakistani bowler to claim five wickets on debut before lunch.

Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, and Harry Brook all fell to the 24-year-old in the first session, with Stokes and Will Jacks following later in the day as Abrar recorded the best figures by any spinner on Test debut for 14 years.

Asked by Sky Sports for his thoughts on a remarkable first Test outing, Abrar said he took particular pleasure in dismissing England's skipper.

"My favourite wicket was Ben Stokes, my favourite player," Abrar said through a translator. "I definitely thought about taking five wickets, but not so quickly! 

"I cannot forget this day. I wanted to win this match for Pakistan, but also the coming matches as well.

"I started my journey with the Rashid Latif cricket academy in Karachi, then progressed to club cricket, divisional cricket, and then got picked up by the Pakistan Super League Karachi Kings franchise.

"I had two years out with a hairline fracture and then came back into the side."

England batsman Duckett was Abrar's second victim, and the 28-year-old is looking forward to further tussles with the Pakistan spinner after his remarkable introduction to Test cricket.

Asked if Abrar caught England by surprise, Duckett said: "I can only speak individually, I had my own plans for him, he was basically a leg spinner with a good googly, there was no real mystery to it.

"He bowled beautifully today. I'm sure we'll have our plans in the second innings, unfortunately for us, it was his day today.

"There was limited footage [of Abrar], but for me personally, I'd rather not know all of his tricks and worry about them, I'd rather focus on what I can do to him."

England hit back with late wickets from Jack Leach and James Anderson as Pakistan closed on 107-2, and Duckett is hopeful their attack will make inroads when play resumes.

"I'd say its level at the minute, we're a couple of quick wickets away from it being our day, so we'll have to see in the morning," he said. "I think the game's going to move forward really quickly."

Abrar Ahmed enjoyed a stunning Test debut, taking seven wickets to leave England in a spin and put Pakistan in a promising position on day one of the second contest in Multan.

In stark contrast to a flat track in Rawalpindi in the first Test, Abrar took full advantage of a pitch offering plenty of turn to post magnificent figures of 7-114.

Abrar was unable to become the first Test debutant to take all 10 wickets in an innings as Zahid Mahmood swept up the tail to leave England all out for 281.

Prolific Pakistan captain Babar Azam 61, while Saud Shakeel was 32 not out when the hosts closed on 107-2, trailing by 174 runs as they strive to level the three-match series.

England were five wickets down after a first session that would have been significantly worse had Ben Duckett (63) and Ollie Pope (60) not put on 79 for the second wicket.

Skipper Ben Stokes put on 61 with Will Jacks before looking on in astonishment when Abrar beat him all ends up with a sublime delivery that cleaned him up.

The fit-again Mark Wood contributed a rapid 36 as England added 36 potentially valuable runs for the final stand before James Anderson and Jack Leach struck early to send Imam-ul-Haq (0) and Abdullah Shafique (14) back to the pavilion.

But the elegant Babar steered Pakistan to the close alongside Shakeel to leave England work to do on a second day of what has the potential to be another classic after the tourists' sensational win in the first Test.

 

Abrar-cadabra!

Abrar, overlooked for the opening Test, was an absolute magician – coming in after eight overs and bowling 22 consecutively to bamboozle England with flicks and clicks.

He took all five wickets fell in the morning with Zak Crawley (19), Duckett, Pope, Joe Root (8) and Harry Brook (9) all departing, the former just Abrar's fifth ball in Test cricket that left England's opener perplexed with one that came back between bat and pad.

His 7-114 ranks as the third-best bowling figures in an innings for Pakistan on a Test debut - behind only Mohammed Zahid (7-66, 1996) and Mohammed Nazir (7-99, 1966).

'Bazball' faces stern test

England's exciting brand of attacking Test cricket under head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Stokes could be a rollercoaster ride, and a bold declaration in the first Test yielded its rewards with England securing one of their finest Test victories.

The situation here is far from dire but going with just one front-line spinner in Leach may prove problematic on a turning pitch, especially with Babar a daunting presence at the crease.

Mark Wood returns to the England team in the only change for the second Test and Ollie Pope has been named as wicketkeeper-batter once again as Ben Foakes misses out.

Paceman Wood has recovered from an elbow problem and replaces Liam Livingstone, who suffered a tour-ending knee injury.

Pope took the gloves in a famous victory in the first Test at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium after Foakes missed out due to illness.

Foakes was available for selection for a second Test that starts at Multan Cricket Stadium on Friday, but the man captain Ben Stokes regards as the best keeper in the world has not been included.

"The selection is just for this Test," captain Ben Stokes said on Thursday. "I'll still keep saying he's [Foakes] the best keeper in the world, so it must sound silly for us to not pick him.

"Adding Mark Wood into the side gives us a better chance of taking 20 wickets.

"We did say to Ben to not take this as anything for the future. We didn't have this on our radar until the illness he unfortunately had before the first Test. This is definitely no sign for his future."

Stokes revealed he has spoken to Ben Duckett about the possibility of taking over from Pope as keeper if he finds the demands of donning the gloves at batting at number too much during the match.

The tourists will be looking to seal a first away Test series win over Pakistan for 22 years.

England team: Crawley, Duckett, Pope, Root, Brook, Stokes, Jacks, Robinson, Leach, Wood, Anderson.

Ben Stokes says England are mulling sticking with Ollie Pope as wicketkeeper for the second Test against Pakistan which starts in Multan on Friday.

Pope stepped in with the gloves for the ill Ben Foakes in England's 74-run first Test win in Rawalpindi, making 108 in the first innings. Foakes was one of numerous England players hit by illness on the eve of the first Test but was unable to take his place.

Pope, 24, has made three centuries in 31 Tests but kept wicket for only the second time in his Test career in Rawalpindi.

If Pope retains the gloves, England could bring in fast bowler Mark Wood, replacing the injured Liam Livingstone, to bolster their attack which was burdened with a heavy workload in the first Test.

"We found ourselves in that situation and still picked a team that was strong enough to win. We'll consider all our options," Stokes said.

"I think there are a few different options we are going to lay out in front of each other, and try and understand what is the best option to try and win this Test match. Because we have got a few other factors that we have to contend with.

"That's the great thing about where we're at at the moment… As I said, we are going to have a conversation at some point about what we feel is the best route to go."

Beyond Pope's century, he had a mixed Test with the gloves, dropping a catch in Pakistan's first innings, while spurning an opportunity in the second innings with one wicket left.

Pope also pulled off a smart stumping to dismiss Zahid Mahmood along with an acrobatic one-handed catch down the leg side to dismiss the same player in the same innings as England pushed for victory.

Wood has only just returned from a long-term elbow injury, with Stokes adding his availability was "an added bonus".

Another factor impacting selection is the morning smog in Multan, which could delay the start of play, potentially shortening the number of overs available if there is bad light late in the day, like which occurred on four of the five days in Rawalpindi.

"We'll have a sit-down discussion and we'll find a way to pick a team which we find is best to win the game, with those two things: the start time potentially delayed and coming off early because of the light," Stokes said.

"We could end up having only 300-350 overs in the Test match. We might have to get even a bit more adventurous with what we do. We'll see."

Pakistan will be without Haris Rauf for their second Test against England in Multan, with the quick bowler potentially set to miss the rest of the series with a quad injury.

The 29-year-old stepped on the ball while fielding during the hosts' 74-run defeat in Rawalpindi and did not bowl in the second innings.

Now, having undergone MRI scans, Rauf – who made his Test debut in the match – has been a confirmed absentee for his side's next match, in what is a significant blow.

Despite an underwhelming performance against England, his departure - and potential unavailability - for the rest of three-game tour could throw a spanner in their selections.

With Shaheen Afridi already unavailable, Pakistan may have to call upon a name from outside their original 18-man squad, with Mohammed Wasim Jr their only other specialist quick currently in their party.

Hasan Ali and Mohammed Abbas are both among those who could be drafted in, though whether Babar Azam would wish to call upon them at short notice remains to be seen.

Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Nawaz both offer all-rounder experience and are in the squad already, though their inclusion would require a reshuffle in the batting order.

Pakistan will start their second Test on Friday, as they look to bounce back from just a third red-ball defeat on home soil against England, and first since 2000, upon the tourists' return to the country.

An aggressive encounter with the bat saw the two sides rack up the third-highest aggregate score in a match in Test history, in a record-shattering encounter.

James Anderson says England's incredible 74-run Test victory over Pakistan may be the best he has ever played in.

The tourists took a 1-0 lead in dramatic fashion late on the final day at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Jack Leach taking the final wicket with the light fading rapidly.

Seamers Anderson and Ollie Robinson were outstanding, generating reverse swing with an old ball on a placid pitch as Pakistan were bowled out for 268 in a run-fest after a bold day-four declaration from Ben Stokes.

Anderson took 4-36 and Robinson 4-50, while Stokes also bowled brilliantly in England's first away Test victory over Pakistan for 22 years - and only their third of all time in the country.

The evergreen Anderson felt the victory on a surface that was a batter's paradise could be the finest of his long Test career.

Asked if he had seen anything like it, he told Sky Sports: "I don’t think I have actually. It's probably one of the best wins I've been involved in, if not the best.

"On a pitch like that, to play the way we did, to score runs at the rate we did, we gave ourselves a chance to get the result.

"It was an unbelievable effort from everyone. We knew it was going to be difficult, it just feels like with Ben and Brendon [head coach McCullum], their mantra is 'we've got to take wickets'. We look to take wickets all the time.

"We knew it was a big push, we dug deep to get anything out of that wicket."

Anderson, Robinson and Stokes bowled 66 second-innings overs between them in a Herculean effort in the heat.

The 40-year-old Anderson said "I think we all kept each other going. At times each of us was tired and one of us would pick the other up. We managed to get through some long spells.

"It's nice to have the win but I don't think tomorrow will feel great for me. It was a long five days."

Ben Stokes reiterated his England side have little interest in drawing games after a dramatic denouement saw them claim a 74-run victory over Pakistan in the pair's first Test.

In the tourists' first red-ball visit to the country since 2005, an aggressive performance with bat and ball paid off as Jack Leach beat the dying light on the final day to dismiss Naseem Shah.

Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum's tactical approach on a flat surface yielded a Test match with the third-highest aggregate number of runs in history, and an early declaration that set up a thrilling final day.

James Anderson and Ollie Robinson struck in a rip-roaring passage after tea to check the ultimate momentum of any Pakistan chase, and Stokes acknowledged vindication for his game-plan in the aftermath.

"We've no interest in drawing," he stated. "On pitches like this, you have to make things happen, [you have to] make some bold decisions. We had to entice the batters to play a shot at times.

"I think it's maybe up there with England's greatest away wins. The toil everyone has put in is hitting. We've done something very special this week.

England had not won in red-ball cricket in Pakistan since a famed win in Karachi in 2000, and there were similarities to its sundown finale as England raced to snag their final wickets before the light was gone in Rawalpindi.

It is a feat made all the more impressive by how the tourists pulled together after a virus outbreak in the build-up left questions over whether the Test would actually proceed as intended.

"There's a few things you can plan for, which is the way we want to approach Test cricket," Stokes added. "But what you can't plan for is what happened to the squad a few days before. That seems a long time ago.

"I want to give our group of players a lot of credit for coming here and turning up, a little bit under the weather. Will Jacks got the nod to make his debut about three minutes before team-time,

"You can go through this whole Test match and pick out key individuals. I think with what we've had to deal with coming into this Test match makes this win feel a little bit better."

Opposite number Babar Azam was left to rue missed opportunities for his side, Pakistan having entered the final session needing only 86 to win with five wickets in hand after tea.

"We were not up to the mark," he added, "We had a golden chance to win this Test, but session by session we lost wickets. All credit to our bowlers, it was difficult.

"We had our opportunity but we couldn't get partnerships in the end. We have a lot of positives, so we will try to continue that in the next match."

Ollie Robinson and James Anderson starred as England claimed a famous 74-run win in an enthralling first Test against Pakistan at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Ben Stokes was rewarded for a bold declaration when the tourists claimed a first away victory over Pakistan in the longest format for 22 years on a benign pitch late on the final day.

Robinson took 4-50 and the evergreen Anderson 4-36 before Jack Leach ended a defiant last-wicket stand with the light  fading to bowl Babar Azam's side out for 268 after they were set 343 to win.

England's seamers were outstanding, generating sharp reverse swing with an old ball to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series in their first Test in Pakistan for 17 years.

Anderson struck an early blow after Pakistan resumed on 80-2, snaring Imam-ul-Haq caught behind by Ollie Pope down the leg side for 48.

Saud Shakeel (76) and Mohammad Rizwan (46) took their side on to 169-3 at lunch, but Pakistan's wicketkeeper-batsman nicked Anderson through to Pope early in the afternoon session.

Keaton Jennings, the substitute fielder due to a tour-ending knee injury sustained by Liam Livingstone, took a brilliant diving catch at short cover off the bowling of Robinson to remove Shakeel.

Azhar Ali (40) played with great composure, after retiring hurt on day four with a finger injury, as he combined with Agha Salman to frustrate the tourists, Stokes and Anderson bowling excellent spells without further reward.

Pope dropped Azhar off Robinson down the leg side off the next ball, but the seamer ended a stand of 61 by trapping Salman leg before and then had Azhar caught by Joe Root at leg slip.

Naseem Shah had a huge stroke of luck with the first ball he faced when Robinson clipped his off stump but the bails stayed on, but Pakistan were eight down when Pope took a stunning catch for Anderson down the leg side to see the back of Zahid Mahmood.

Anderson got Haris Rauf lbw and although Mohammad Ali and Naseem dug in for just under nine overs, the latter fell lbw to Leach to give England one of their greatest wins after Stokes left it late to take the new ball.

 

Robinson and Anderson swing the game in England's favour

You would expect the spinners to play a massive part on the final day, but it was the reverse swing generated by England's seamers that was crucial.

Robinson generated sharp movement in the air, striking twice early in the last session to set England well on their way to victory.

Anderson was also magnificent, the 40-year-old once again showing age is no barrier as he bowled 24 probing overs on a lifeless pitch.

Stokes can do no wrong

Captain Stokes became only the third England captain to win a Test in Pakistan after Ted Dexter and Nasser Hussain.

The skipper could not have wished for a better start to his reign, beating New Zealand, South Africa and India on home soil this year and leading the side superbly in this remarkable Test.

Liam Livingstone has been forced to withdraw from England's tour of Pakistan after suffering a knee injury.

The all-rounder was making his debut Test appearance in the first encounter in Rawalpindi, and scored nine runs from 10 balls in the first innings as the tourists posted 657.

Livingstone jarred his knee while fielding by the boundary on day two and has played no further part in fielding since, though did return to score seven not out in England's second innings.

After undergoing a scan on Sunday, it has been decided the 29-year-old will head home to begin treatment.

England have not yet made a decision whether to call up a replacement, but potential options of those already in the squad include teenager Rehan Ahmed, also a leg-spinning all-rounder, and pace bowler Mark Wood.

The second Test in Multan begins on Friday.

England's bold declaration on the fourth day of their first Test with Pakistan shows how Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum are "pioneers", says Paul Collingwood.

The captain and head coach's aggressive approach to red-ball cricket has been rewarded with rapid runs during their encounter in Rawalpindi, as they look to win in their first long-form visit since 2005.

Having bowled out their hosts for 579, to earn a first-innings lead of 78, a rampant 264-7 followed by an early declaration at tea set Pakistan an achievable 343 in pursuit.

England reduced their opponents to 80-2 at the close of play, heading into the last day, but their swing-for-the-fences approach continues to delight many, including assistant coach Collingwood.

"Sometimes I think it's crazy – crazy in a good way," Collingwood said. "I know I would never have come up with some of the ideas Ben and Baz [McCullum] come up with, but it's great to see. It's going against convention.

"When it comes off, it's genius. If it doesn't come off, so be it. The bigger picture of what Baz McCullum and Ben Stokes are doing is for Test cricket to be entertaining.

"It feels like they have been pioneers in the way they go about playing the game. You've got two guys willing to risk everything to make sure that this game survives.

"It's great to watch. If you play the game in the right way and put yourself in the right position to win the Test match, there's no shame in losing a cricket match.

"If Pakistan knock the runs off tomorrow, they deserve the win. It's very well-balanced. It's up to us to come out tomorrow with plenty of energy, and if we get a couple of early wickets, we're right ahead of the game."

Stokes, who succeeded Joe Root as skipper earlier this year, has forged a thrilling partnership with former New Zealand captain McCullum since he took the reins.

Their run rate of 6.73 per over in Rawalpindi is the fastest ever set by a Test team batting twice in a match.

England need eight wickets to win the first Test on the final day and Pakistan require 263 runs to go 1-0 up after a bold declaration from Ben Stokes at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Stokes set Pakistan 343 for victory on a flat pitch when he ended the tourists' innings on 264-7 from 35.5 overs during the tea break on Sunday and they closed on 80-2.

Debutant Will Jacks had earlier taken 6-161 to bowl Pakistan out for 579 before England put their foot down again, with Harry Brook (87), Joe Root (73) and Zak Crawley (50) scoring rapid half-centuries.

Having kept the match alive with such a positive approach on a placid track, England got rid of Abdullah Shafique and Babar Azam, with Azhar Ali also departing retired hurt to leave the game well poised heading into the final day.

Agha Salman (53) and Zahid Mahmood (17) held England up with an eighth-wicket stand of 57 after they resumed on 499-7, but the impressive Jacks removed that pair and Haris Rauf to end the innings.

Ben Duckett was taken by Salman at second slip off Naseem Shah for a golden duck in the first over of England's second innings and Ollie Pope made only 15, but Crawley and Root piled on the runs.

They put on 60 before the elegant Crawley, one of the tourists' four first-innings centurions, was removed by Mohammad Ali, with Brook then sharing a rapid stand of 96 with Root.

Former captain Root batted left-handed at one stage as he made a classy half-century, while Brook showed his full repertoire of shots on both sides of the wicket as the runs continued to flow.

Root was caught when sweeping Zahid and Stokes fell without scoring in the same over, before declaring after the brilliant Brook was cleaned up by Naseem on the stroke of tea.

England's short-ball approach paid off when Ollie Robinson dismissed Shafique and Stokes claimed the huge wicket of Babar, caught behind for only four, after Azhar departed having taken blow on his index finger.

Imam-ul-Haq (43 not out) and Saud Shakeel (24no) saw Pakistan through to the close, the debutant getting a late life when he was dropped by Keaton Jennings at short leg. 

The joy of six for Jacks 

Jacks came into the England set-up better known for his explosive batting than his bowling, but the spinning all-rounder has made a big impact with the ball on his Test bow.

He polished off Pakistan's first innings in the morning session to double his wicket tally, earning his rewards for bowling 40.3 overs. 

Jacks later struck three sixes as he made a quickfire 23 from 13 balls as England batted in one-day mode once again before the declaration.

Blistering Brook, Stokes strikes

Following a 153 from 116 balls in the first innings, Brook put on another show as he took the Pakistan bowling attack apart.

He struck three sixes and 11 fours, demonstrating great timing and clean hitting to enable Stokes to declare during the tea interval.

Stokes then claimed the huge scalp of Babar to give England the upper hand after Robinson had Shafique taken by Brook in the deep.

Joe Root has explained why he shined the ball on Jack Leach's head during day three of England's first Test against Pakistan, where a late flurry of wickets shifted momentum in the tourists' favour.

England ended day three of the first Test needing just three wickets to bring the hosts' first innings to a close, with Babar Azam's side on 499-7, still 158 runs behind.

Having laboured to stop Pakistan from chipping away at their lead, England struck late through Will Jacks, James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, taking four wickets in just over 20 overs.

But it was footage of Root rubbing the ball over Leach's head during the day that caught the eye of spectators and now the former captain has spoken out on his strange tactic.

"You've got to get some moisture in it somehow, some weight to try to get it to move around on a placid wicket like that," he stated.

"A nice sweaty, bald head like Jack's is perfect for it. You can see it sat there on his head. He's more than just a pretty face Jack, he is very useful in lots of ways."

Leach, a folk hero among England fans for his role in their famed Headingley comeback against Australia in 2019, has posted figures of 2-160 from 42 overs so far in Rawalpindi.

Despite the cost however, his efforts helped lay the platform for his side's closing flurry, with Root hopeful they can push on over the final two days.

"All the hard work we put in, we got our just rewards," he added. "We had to be quite creative, try to do things differently and think outside the box."

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