England on cusp of clean sweep over Pakistan

Visitors are 55 runs away from victory in the third Test

By Web Desk
December 19, 2022
England openers provided an explosive start in the run-chase — AFP

England were on the cusp of victory at stumps on day three of the third Test against Pakistan in Karachi.

Chasing a target of 167 runs, England had already reached 112-2 courtesy a quick start by openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett.

After an explosive opening stand of 87 runs, Abrar finally got the breakthrough for Pakistan after trapping Crawley in front of the stumps. The right-hander scored run-a-ball 41 with the help of seven fours.

Rehan Ahmed, who was sent in as nightwatchman, became Abrar’s second wicket after scoring 10 runs.

At the close of play, Ben Duckett and Ben Stokes were unbeaten on 50 and 10 runs respectively. 

Earlier, England were set a target of 167 runs to win the third and final Test after dismissing Pakistan for 216 in their second innings.

Teenage leg-spinner Rehan finished with 5-48 and Jack Leach with 3-72 as Pakistan lost their last seven wickets for 52 on a spin-assisted National Stadium pitch.

At 18 years and 126 days, Rehan became the youngest bowler in men's Test history to take a five-wicket haul on debut. The leg-spinner beat the record held by Pat Cummins when he picked up his fifth wicket on day three of the Karachi Test.

Rehan became the 53rd England bowler to take a five-wicket haul on Test debut, a feat that Will Jacks had achieved earlier in the series.

For Pakistan, skipper Babar Azam scored 54 and Saud Shakeel 53.

Babar Azam became the first Pakistani in six years to score 1,000 Test runs in a calendar year and the fourth batter to reach the milestone in 2022 during the second innings.

He is the sixth Pakistani batter to reach 1,000 in a year, crossing the total when he reached 45 during an innings that ended on 54.

Azam and Shakeel added 110 runs for the fourth wicket to put Pakistan in a decent position but the former's dismissal, when the score had reached 164, started a collapse with the home being bowled out for 216.

Pakistan lost their last seven wickets in the second innings while adding only 52 runs.

Despite Babar´s solid form, Pakistan are staring at a first-ever 3-0 series whitewash on home soil.

England won the first Test by 74 runs in Rawalpindi and the second in Multan by 26 runs.