About the Match
England cruised to an emphatic 141-run victory against Pakistan in the 3rd Test to take a 2-1 series lead and will try to seal it with another win or draw when they meet the visitors for the 4th and final test at the Oval on 11th August. While Pakistan won the first test convincingly, they seem to have lost the tempo and will need to win to draw level here; on the other hand, England has showcased brilliance with bat and ball and their consecutive victories by a big margin speak volumes on the core strength they have built in recent years. Both sides have match-winners who can turn the tide in their team’s favor; it surely will be a keenly fought contest over the coming weekend.
England staggered in the first innings of the third test at Edgbaston as they got all out for 297 but made a comeback in the second innings with 445 and win the match by 141 runs thanks to a superb combined effort by the bowlers. While Bairstow and Ali scripted 80+ runs each, Alastair Cook led from the front to inspire his mates; Alex Hales, Gary Balance, Joe Root and James Vince are in good form to keep the scoreboard ticking and they exude confidence in stabilizing the innings.
Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson are consistently taking wickets with their pace while Steve Finn and Moeen Ali can stifle the opposition with their variations. They have a well-balanced mix of pace and spin and all-rounders like Root and Ali are strong assets for the team.
In the second test, Root’s exemplary 254-run innings along with Cook’s well-made century, gave England the required impetus while Woakes, Anderson, Broad and Stokes outwitted the Pakistani batsmen to win the match by 330 runs. The batsmen and bowlers are in good form and they can surely prove to be a formidable force to reckon with in the upcoming game.
Azhar Ali shone with the bat in the first innings of the 3rd test as he posted a heroic 139 but barring Sami, Misbah and Sarfraz all others succumbed to English pace attack without much of a fight. They were all-out for 400 runs on board and the second innings was a dismal show with Sami being the lone fighter with a 70-run knock; Sohail Khan finished with a total of 7 wickets in the last match while Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah and Rahat Ali can stifle the hosts with their clever spells.
Misbah’s 114 runs in the first test had given Pakistan the motivation to drive towards a win and they do have the resources to make a comeback here; Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed and Younis Khan can stabilize the middle-order while Sami Islam and Azhar Ali can do well to build the foundation at the top.
Overall, the bowlers are putting up disciplined attacks and they can surely pull out some tricks to upset the English batsmen; the batting performance can improve and they will try to fight harder in this final match so as to draw level in this 4-match series.
Pakistan will be eager to wipe out the recent memories and make a fresh attempt to contain the hosts here; England on the other hand has raised its game to another level and look better placed to win the match and series here