Pakistan surge ahead as England lose edge

England's wicket keeper Jonny Baistow (right) tries to catch the ball played by Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez (left). Picture: AFP/Getty Images
England's wicket keeper Jonny Baistow (right) tries to catch the ball played by Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez (left). Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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England’s position of promise ebbed away against Mohammad Hafeez on day three of the third Test at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

First, the tourists lost their last six wickets for 78 runs, to finish with a mid-match lead of 72.

Then, after Hafeez (97no) was initially given out on the field for two but had the caught-behind verdict reversed on DRS, they were powerless to stop Pakistan surging back in front to close 74 ahead on 146 for three.

England’s hopes, when they resumed on 222 for four, appeared to rest with unbeaten overnight batsmen James Taylor and Jonny Bairstow, but they could add only another eight runs between them.

Like Taylor in his comeback Test after a three-year absence, Samit Patel produced an assured career-best 42 before Shoaib (four for 33) and Yasir Shah (three for 99) saw off the tail.

Patel needed 14 balls to get off the mark, but did so emphatically with a pull for four off Rahat – and then in the same over, pushed a drive through cover for two to take England into the lead.

Bairstow soon went, seven short of his 50, picking the wrong one to cut and bowled leg-and-middle by an arm ball from Zulfiqar Babar.

Patel responded with confident defence and clean timing.

But Pakistan hit back with the wicket of Adil Rashid just before lunch, and then Patel too in early afternoon.

Rashid poked a very sharp catch well-held by a diving Azhar at short-leg off Shoaib.

Then Yasir reserved one of his very best deliveries for Patel, finding a perfect length just outside leg-stump and turning the ball sharply to fizz past the forward-defence and take the off bail.

In less extreme mirror image, Shoaib bowled Anderson.

But Ben Stokes bravely came out at number 11, despite the shoulder injury he suffered in the field on day one, and helped Stuart Broad push the total to 306 before he too was bowled by a Shoaib off-break.

Hafeez and Azhar had only brief moments of concern as England’s bowlers drew a blank in the remainder of the afternoon.

There was no breakthrough until the mix-up over a single to mid-off which left Azhar stranded even after one shy at the non-striker’s end had missed and had to be ferried back to Rashid from midwicket.

Hafeez had passed his 50 in 103 balls.

But Anderson found the perfect inswinger to utterly defeat new batsman Shoaib, and before the close his pace partner Broad repeated the dose against Younus Khan.

l Stokes will not bowl or field again in the match, after scans revealed a collar bone joint