The third test played between England and Pakistan saw change in fortunes from one side to another.The first three days at Edgbaston seemed to going Pakistan’s way as Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and decided to bowl first in some overcast conditions.Sohail khan came into the side and made his impact immediately with 5 wickets as England were restricted under 300 in the first innings.Gary Ballance and Moeen Ali made vital contributions to see England bundle out for a decent 297 runs.
The start for Pakistan was not ideal as opener Mohammad Hafeez was gone in the first over of a delivery from England premier fast bowler James Anderson.Left handed batsman Sami Aslam who came in place of Shan Masood in this test played well as he put 180 run partnership with Azhar Ali.The most consistent batsmen for Pakistan has been Azhar Ali who was not producing substantial scores in the first two games came good in this game as he went to score his tenth hundred in test cricket to see Pakistan pile on 400 runs on the board in their first innings.The game at the end Day 2 saw all sessions belonging to Pakistan but the turnaround came for England as they batted with intent in the second innings.
Captain Alastair Cook and Alex Hales put on 126 run opening partnership to remove 100 lead set by Pakistan in the first innings.Hales looked good and scored his first half century after a string of low scores while Cook continued his good run of form with another fifty.However,Pakistan made a comeback as Cook was dismissed for 66 runs while Hales once again gave a catch to slips after grinding hard for 54 runs off 131 balls.James Vince and Joe Root also put 95 run partnership to continue the good work done by openers.The bowling looked flat for Pakistan in the second innings as no one produced probing spells to trouble England batsmen who increasingly looked positive and kept the scoreboard ticking nicely to build a lead.Vince again put on a good score but flashed a delivery outside off stump to be dismissed for 42 runs.Joe Root played a ugly sweep that saw him get out for 62 runs.
The turning point for England came as wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali put on a brisk partnership of 163 runs off 32 overs to see England take a lead of 343 runs on the final day.The game at the moment looked set to be dull draw as Pakistan had to only bat out 81 overs on the final day.Mohammad Hafeez failures continued as Stuart Broad made early breakthrough for England.Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali once again put on a good partnership of 73 runs to ease the nerves in the dressing room.Moeen Ali came and turned the game for England as he dismissed Azhar who played lose shot to be caught at slips.Younis Khan struggles looked horrible more than ever as many felt that he has finally past his prime as he was beautifully setup by James Anderson to depart after scoring 4 runs off 17 balls.
Pakistan Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq once again came to the crease with the side in a difficult situations.Steve Finn who has struggling for sometime has finally found the right length to dismiss Misbah to leave side in sorts of problems.Alastair Cook made a change and it clicked as Woakes grabbed two wickets of Asad Shafiq and Chris Woakes to see Pakistan slip for 79 for 1 to 125 for 6.Steve Finn grabbed his second wicket after cleaning up left handed Sami Aslam who played well for his 70 runs.The last pair of Sohail Khan and Rahat Ali did show fight and defiance as they put on 50 run stand but the result looked inevitable once the main players fail to deliver as Pakistan conceded their second consecutive defeat at the hands of England at Edgbaston.England now lead the series 2-1 in the four match series with the last game to played at The Oval,London on Thursday.Pakistan still have a chance to draw the series if they put up a better performance against England.