Pakistan have moved in the right direction on day 4 of the final test match at Sharjah in a match which has seen fortunes fluctuating frequently. Pakistan ended the session on 229-4 and increased the lead to 157 runs.
Pakistan resumed their innings at 146-3 when Hafeez and the night watchman Rahat Ali came out to bat. Rahat was dismissed without troubling the scorers off the bowling of England’s pace bowler James Anderson. After the dismissal Hafeez completed his 9th century in test matches when he swept Adil Rashid for a single towards the leg side. This was the 9th hundred in test matches for the professor while it was the first one versus England.
Misbah-ul-Haq played in his usual fashion and negated any threat that the English bowlers posed and his odd trademark boundaries every now and then. Pakistan are slowly moving towards a position of strength as the lead is slowly turning into a substantial target which must be troubling Cook and co as they have to bat last on this crumbling wicket.
The second session will be another important one as Pakistan should not lose the advantage they have gained by batting sensibly in the first session. It’s time that they capitalise on this and take the lead to around the 300 run mark to say the least so that England are put under pressure in the fourth innings. Ideally anything around the 350-375 run mark should ensure that Pakistan does not lose this match.
Still a lot of work needs to be done especially considering the fact the new ball is available and most probably will be taken by England post Lunch. This should mean that English fast bowlers might generate more zip off the wicket and the spinners will get help in the form of bounce and turn.
The play resumes after a 40 minute lunch break with Hafeez on 145* and Misbah 31*.