Srinagar: After three days of play with more than 1100 runs scored in three days in the first test between Pakistan vs England, the test remains evenly poised with all results possible at Rawalpindi.
Seven individual hundreds and a plethora of broken records aside, the first Test between Pakistan and England has been quite slow-going.
However, with seven wickets falling in the day and England’s part-timer Will Jacks getting good turn, the teams are confident of this Test taking a quick turn in the final two days.
“We have lost some wickets here, but we’re in a good position,” Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique told Sky Sports.
“In the first two days, the wicket is good to bat on but the ball is spinning now, so we’ll get some favour with the wicket in the third and fourth day, so it will be a good contest.”
England spinners Jack Leach (2/160) and Jacks (3/132) have shared five wickets between them while Pakistan’s debutant spinner Zahid Mahmood took four wickets late in England’s innings despite going for runs in plenty.
England, meanwhile, have no plans of letting this match go out of hand with Joe Root stressing that the team wasn’t interested in a draw.
“With our team and the way that we play our cricket now, we’ll be making sure we give ourselves a chance of winning the game,” Root said.
“We’re not really interested in drawing the match. We want to make sure that we give ourselves the best chance of winning it.
England’s unique field sets during the Pakistan innings were a talking point on day three and Root said that they were hoping to force Pakistan batters to “think outside the box”.
“We tried different things, tried to keep it fun and interesting, I suppose get them to think a bit outside the box as well, and ask questions of what we were trying to do.”
Shafique too stressed that Pakistan were looking at a win after a good day with the bat on day three.
“There is no approach of going for the draw, because the way England play, they will play attacking again. It will give us a good total, so we will fight it out.”
While England are out of contention to reach the ICC World Test Championship final, a win in this Test would be a massive boost for Pakistan, who are placed fifth, but still in with a chance to make the final next year.