England vs Pakistan Day Three: Chris Woakes up to 11 match wickets with England set for tough run chase

Chris Woakes took five wickets today, but Pakistan still leads by 281 with two wickets in hand.

England vs Pakistan Day Three: Chris Woakes up to 11 match wickets with England set for tough run chase
Woakes took his best ever figures in a test match to keep England's hopes alive. | Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Pakistan ended the third day on 214-8 leading England by 281 with two days left to play, slightly on top in the first test.

England started the day with the bat in hand, resuming on 253-7 and looking to close the gap on Pakistan's first innings score. Pakistan's bowlers had other ideas, however. England lost their final three  wickets early, only adding 19 runs to their overnight score.

England's bowlers kept the Pakistan batsmen in check as they took six wickets. Good scores from Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq ensured that Pakistan kept the match in the balance.

The test is still perfectly balanced and looks set to reach a thrilling climax with both teams still pushing to gain an early advantage in the series.

Woakes takes his maiden ten-wicket haul

After bowling England out so early in the morning, the Pakistan batsmen were always looking to drive home their advantage and take the test match away from England.

They didn't get off to a good start as Mohammad Hafeez fell early as he edged to the slips off the bowling of Stuart Broad. Chris Woakes then took the ball and took his first of the innings. He removed Shan Masood for just 24 runs. Azhar Ali was the next to fall, Woakes trapping him LBW for 23. 

The off spin from Moeen Ali was useful, he chipped in with two crucial wickets. The all-rounder removed Misbah-ul-Haq for a two-ball duck. The Pakistan captain went for the big shot, but he could only pick out Alex Hales on the leg side boundary.  Ali's took his second removing the defiant Younus Khan for a fighting 25.

Moeen Ali's spin was crucial in removing Pakistan's middle order. | Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Moeen Ali's spin was crucial in removing Pakistan's middle order. | Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Woakes was then re-introduced to the attack and took his third of the innings as he removed Asad Shafiq just one run short of his half-century. The Warwickshire bowler got his maiden ten-wicket haul as he drew Sarfraz into edging behind for a good 45. Woakes made it eleven as Wahab Riaz gloved through to Jonny Bairstow for a duck. Chris Woakes ended the day with match figures of 11-101, the second best figures for an Englishman in a decade.

Pakistan's lower order offer useful resistance

England's fightback could have been far more effective had Pakistan's lower middle order hadn't shown their skills. Their top order failed as they lost their first four wickets for just 60 runs.

Shafiq was the first Pakistan batsman to shine. The number five batsman offered the first real resistance to Woakes' bowling. Once Woakes was removed from the attack Shafiq could really start to fire. Shafiq played some fantastic shots as he scored eight fours including some crunching cut shots off England's pacemen. Shafiq's innings was finally ended when Woakes bowled him, using the crease well to expose Shafiq's middle stump.

Sarfraz Ahmed was involved in two crucial partnerships to build Pakistan's lead. | Photo: Sarah Ansell/Getty Images
Sarfraz Ahmed was involved in two crucial partnerships to build Pakistan's lead. | Photo: Sarah Ansell/Getty Images

Sarfraz Ahmed was a useful partner for Shafiq. The wicket-keeper batsman rotated the strike well on his way to 45 runs. Sarfraz scored just 12 runs from boundaries, his quick running being the main focus of his innings. Woakes was the man to make the breakthrough again as removed Sarfraz.

England will face a difficult run chase once they finally remove Pakistan's tail order in what promises to be a thrilling end to the test match.