Crawley hits double century before Anderson rocks Pakistan

By: AFP      Published: 06:34 PM, 22 Aug, 2020
Crawley hits double century before Anderson rocks Pakistan
England's Zak Crawley celebrates reaching his double century on the second day of the third Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. AFP
Crawley hits double century before Anderson rocks Pakistan

Zak Crawley converted his maiden Test hundred into a superb innings of 267 on Saturday as England piled on the runs against Pakistan in their series finale at Southampton before James Anderson rocked the tourists with a late treble strike.

Crawley and Jos Buttler, who made 152, shared a stand of 359 that powered England to 583-8 declared on the second day of the third Test.

England, 1-0 up in a three-match contest and looking for a first series win over Pakistan in a decade, then saw Anderson reduce the tourists to 24-3 at the close -- a deficit of 559 runs -- as he moved to within four of becoming the first paceman to take 600 wickets in Tests.

Shan Masood was plumb lbw for four before fellow opener Abid Ali (one) edged Anderson low to Dom Sibley at third slip. And with what became the last ball of the day, Anderson had star batsman Babar Azam lbw for 11 with one that cut back. Anderson had stumps figures of 3-13 in 5.5 overs.

England's total was their highest in Tests since they made 589-8 declared against Pakistan at Old Trafford four years ago. Three of Pakistan's frontline bowlers conceded over 100 runs each, with leg-spinner Yasir Shah (2-173 from 39 overs) and teenage paceman Naseem Shah (1-109 in 27) both going for more than four an over.

Crawley records  

Crawley's innings was the seventh highest maiden hundred in 143 years of Test-match cricket and the 10th highest score by any England batsman.

His partnership with Buttler was also a new England fifth-wicket record in Tests, surpassing the 254 shared by Keith Fletcher and Tony Greig against India at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai in February 1973. One of the few false shots of his innings saw Crawley, 186 not out at lunch, go to 200 when he edged a four past second slip off Naseem -- his 25th boundary in 331 balls.

But he still received applause from his team-mates in a match being played behind closed doors because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The 22-year-old Crawley was the seventh England batsman to turn his maiden Test hundred into a double century and the first since Rob Key against the West Indies at Lord's in 2004. 

Earlier, Buttler completed just the second hundred of his 47-match Test career and first as a wicketkeeper. Crawley, advancing down the pitch, lofted Yasir over long-off for six before a clipped boundary off paceman Mohammad Abbas saw him to 250.

But his near 10-hour innings end when he was stumped down the legside by Mohammad Rizwan off part-time spinner Asad Shafiq. Crawley faced 393 balls, hitting 34 fours and one six, in what was the 10th-highest Test score by an England batsman.

Together with Buttler, he had taken England from 127-4 to 486-5 against an increasingly ragged Pakistan. World Cup-winner Buttler saw his seven-and-a-half-hour innings -- the longest of his career -- end tamely when he chipped a gentle return catch to Fawad Alam, another occasional spinner.

England resumed Saturday in a commanding position at 332-4. Crawley was 171 not out, in his eighth Test, with Buttler unbeaten on 87. Buttler, in a morning interrupted by rain breaks, had moved on to 99 when, after opposing wicketkeeper Rizwan came up to the stumps, he was given out caught behind off Abbas.

Buttler immediately reviewed umpire Richard Illingworth's decision and replays showed the ball had missed the bat. Next ball, Buttler punched Abbas through point to complete a 189-ball hundred with 10 fours and two sixes. 

It was just the 29-year-old's second Test century in 47 Tests following his 106 against India at Nottingham two years ago. 

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