England vs Pakistan Day Three: England pull it back at Edgbaston against Pakistan

England survived two days of Pakistan pressure to go into day four just 17 runs behind with all ten wickets in hand in their second innings.

England vs Pakistan Day Three: England pull it back at Edgbaston against Pakistan
Misbah was bowled by Jimmy Anderson for 56. (photo: GettyImages)

After the first two days of the third test saw Pakistan pile the pressure on Alastair Cook’s England, the home side managed to run through Pakistan’s middle order thanks to Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad before Cook and Alex Hales almost restored parity in the third session of the day.

England seamers finish off the tail as Pakistan dismissed for 400

Pakistan resumed on Friday morning 257-3, just 40 runs behind England’s lacklustre first innings total with seven wickets in hand.

England took just 7.4 overs to strike on day three as Younis Khan wafted at a ball miles down leg side and feathered through to Jonny Bairstow, who took a smart catch off Woakes. Khan’s miserable tour of England was continued as he was out for 31 and England smelled blood as they put early pressure on Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq.

That pressure told eight overs later as Shafiq was bowled through the gate by a full inswinging Broad delivery that well and truly rearranged the batsman’s stumps and he was gone for an 18-ball duck.

That brought Pakistan’s last recognised batsman Sarfraz Ahmed to the crease who went about his business in uncharacteristically steady fashion alongside Misbah.

However, they still managed to put on 62 runs in just 15 overs, targeting Moeen Ali once again, who ended up with 17 overs 0-79.

After a frustrating day on Thursday, Jimmy Anderson picked up his first wicket of the day shortly after Misbah had gone to his second half-century of the series. The Lanashire seamer bowled the Pakistan captain in fairly unfortunate style for 56 but was to be removed from the attack later in the session after using up his warnings for running on the pitch.

Misbah’s departure had taken the lead to 61 and the score to 358-6, and England wasted no time in cleaning up the tail, as the last four wickets went down in just 13 overs.

First to go was Yasir Shah for seven, run out by Woakes, who just can’t keep out of the action after Bairstow removed the bails with his elbow, but had the ball in control and the run out stood.

Mohammad Amir was next after being trapped in front by the Warwickshire all-rounder who finished with 3-79, with Broad then wrapping up the last two wickets to finish with 3-83 himself, but it was another frustrating day for Steven Finn who saw Rahat Ali dropped by Cook in the slips.

Broad removed Sohail Khan and Ali to finish the innings, with Sarfraz left stranded on 46 from 91 balls, which got Pakistan up to their final total of 400, a lead of 103.

Cook and Hales take England to the close with small lead

England went back out after tea with Cook and Hales, the latter in desperate need of some runs.

Much like the first innings, England raced away early on as some loose bowling from the Pakistani seamers helped England reach 51-0 from 15 overs.

Hales remained watchful whilst Cook picked off the loose balls at the other end, but the Nottinghamshire opener soon caught up, showing why he has the highest strike rate of the series so far.

Cook went through to his half-century just before the hundred partnership was brought up, the first time in Tests between Cook and Hales at the 18th time of asking.

Alex Hales earned a much-needed unbeaten half-century (photo: Getty Images)
Alex Hales earned a much-needed unbeaten half-century (photo: Getty Images)

Hales earned his half-century with the last ball of the day, refusing to be waiting overnight for his first fifty of the series, as England finished on a strong 120-0 on Friday and will start the weekend in a strong position after a fantastic day three, leading the Test by 17 runs.