How good has this series been? Worth the 17 year wait! England managed to churn out another unlikely win, to win the series with a game to spare. Now, we move onto Karachi for the third Test. We’ve previewed this one and given you our best bets for the occasion.
Pakistan vs England 3rd Test Tips
I’ve run out of superlatives to describe this England team under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes. After probably one of the greatest test matches ever seen on foreign soil, the tourists did it again!
On a totally different wicket to Rawalpindi, the scores were much lower in Multan, but the excitement levels were just as high.
Pakistani newcomer Abrar Ahmed caused havoc in the England ranks, moving the ball both ways and picking up seven first innings wickets as England reached just 281.
Pakistan looked like surpassing that total until a stunning collapse saw them fall from 142/2 to 202 all out, Jack Leach the star man with 4-98.
England set an unlikely looking target of 355, after another stunning knock from, that man, Harry Brook (108) but the hosts chased it with enthusiasm.
Despite 94 from Saud Shakeel and 60 from Imam-ul-Haq, a late blitz from a clearly shattered Mark Wood saw Babar Azam’s men fall just 26 runs short.
Now England are on the verge of history and would be the first touring team from these shores to win a series to nil, should they win in the strong hold of Karachi.
Azhar Ali has confirmed this will be his last ever test match, as he retires from the format and finishes as the 5th highest run scorer in Pakistan history.
Pakistan XI – Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf/Naseem Shah, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Ali, Abrar Ahmed
England make two changes to their winning side, with Ben Foakes returning to take the gloves from Ollie Pope. More importantly, 18-year-old Leicester mystery spinner, Rehan Ahmed will become England’s youngest ever test player. Will Jacks and Jimmy Anderson are rested.
England XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes(wk), Jack Leach, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Rehan Ahmed
England to win – 6/4
How can you back against England in the current climate? Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have transformed this side completely, from the one that got battered in Australia and then lost in the West Indies.
Since then, they have not only reinvented how test cricket can be played, they’ve changed the side into one with a winning mindset. And, boy, has it worked.
England are seeking their ninth win in the last 10 matches and to become the first England side to win three matches in a series in Pakistan.
Just like Stokes & co, I’ve no reason at all to doubt them.
Abrar Ahmed Top Pak bowler – 5/2
One huge plus from the second test was the discovery of leg Spinner Abrar Ahmed. Harry Brook sated this week that he finds him fairly easy to pick but that’s certainly not the case for the rest of the team.
It looks like another big turner has been prepared in Karachi, which should see much hotter temperatures than in Multan and Rawalpindi, which should suit Ahmed down to the ground.
The 24-year-old returned a match analysis of 11-234 at Multan and he can be Pakistan’s leading light yet again here.
Ben Duckett Top Eng batter – 18/5
One man who does look fairly comfortable against spin at the top of the order is Ben Duckett. The diminutive left hander sweeps and reverse sweeps in equal quantities and has scored prolifically since his test recall.
The 28-year-old showed his prowess for these wickets in the T20 series and was very unlucky to miss out on the World Cup winning side.
He has carried that form into this series and has scores of 107, 63 and 79 as a reward for his positivity.
At 18/5 he’s a good bet to top score in Karachi.
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