Pakistan v England: 3rd Test, day four commentary

By Dave Tickner   Last updated: 6th February 2012  

Pakistan win by 71 runs Pakistan become the first side since 1907 to win a Test match after being rolled over for under 100 in the first innings of the game as their bowlers completed their humiliation of England's batsman. It's misleading to say Pakistan thrashed England; it's more accurate to say Pakistan's bowlers thrashed England's batsmen, who simply had no answer to Ajmal and Rehman. England's four frontline bowlers all ended with series averages under 27 and have every justification for looking at this scoreline and giving quizzical looks to the batsmen. And then attacking them with big sticks.

Over 98: Rehman 0-1-W 252 WICKET! All over, and fittingly it's a marginal lbw decision to end the series. Panesar tries a slog-sweep, misses, and is given out by Steve Davis. Hawk-eye shows the ball clipping the outside of leg stump and Pakistan have sealed a 3-0 whitewash. England's batsmen utterly humiliated.

Over 97: Ajmal 0-2-1-2-0-2 251-9 - A back-cut brings Prior two runs before he eases Ajmal down the ground for a single. Panesar Scoop-swats through midwicket for a couple and then hammers the ball to mid-on where it's half-stopped but will still bring two runs. All hail the Scoop. And to a lesser extent the bloke wielding it. In all seriousness, it's great to see them back - both of them. England go past 250 as they continue to rack up the moral victories.

Over 96: Rehman 0-1-2-0-0-0 244-9 - Prior cuts to deep point for a single before the sheer power of Monty and the Scoop forces mid-off to let the ball through his legs and give Panesar another couple of runs.

Over 95: Ajmal 0-1-0-0-1-0 241-9 - Panesar defends to point and is called through for a quick single by Prior, who picks up a single to long-off from the penultimate ball of the over. Panesar blocks the last one.

Over 94: Rehman 0-1lb-0-0-0-1 239-9 - Prior goes for an elaborate reverse-sweep and gets a leg-bye off his backside. Ludicrously, the batsmen take a single after Panesar works the last ball of the over into the legside. Prior after a red-inker, it seems.

Over 93: Ajmal 0-0-0-0-0-W 237-9 WICKET! Nearly done. Anderson tries an optimistic cut shot against a ball spinning back at him from outside the rough. A healthy edge that goes fast to first slip, where Younis Khan holds on to a sharp chance. The size of the Pakistan celebrations tell you that this partnership was just beginning to make them a teensy bit nervous. Unnecessarily at that stage, you'd have to say. Another 50 runs, then maybe they should've been getting worried. They should be worried now, though: Monty's striding out to the middle with his Scoop.

Over 92: Rehman 0-1-1-0-0-1 237-8 - Misbah decides Rehman's had quite enough rest now, and brings his left-arm tweaker back on. Anderson's actually playing him as well as any of England's southpaws, although it should be said that the ball is hardly leaving Rehman's weary fingers with quite the same snap he managed earlier. Twice Anderson nurdles him away for singles, either side of Prior cutting a dangerously straight delivery to deep point.

Over 91: Umar Gul 1-1-1-1-0-0 234-8 - Prior happy to take a single from the first ball of the over, and Anderson shows why by calmly knocking the next ball into the legside off his hip for a single to get the England keeper back on strike. Gul bangs the ball in short, and Prior tries to pull but the ball comes right off the toe of the bat and dribbles past the bowler for a single. Anderson is once again able to hand strike straight back to Prior, who can't manage to pinch it back for the next over.

Over 90: Ajmal 0-2-0-2-1-0 230-8 - Ajmal back into the attack after that one-over dent to Rehman's figures. Prior carves through point for a couple and then scampers two more after working the ball into the legside. Anderson had to get his skates on but the full-length dive he produces was ultimately a bit unnecessary. Looked good, though. Prior helps himself to a single from ball five, to leave Anderson one ball to negotiate before DRINKS. Safely done.

Over 89: Umar Gul 0-3-0-1-0-0 225-8 - England will lose this Test by a double-figure margin. A positive for Strauss to take at the post-match presser there, as Anderson whips the ball quite nicely into the legside for three runs and Prior scampers a single after blocking to cover. England need 99 to win.

Over 88: Rehman 1-2-4-4b-0-0 221-8 - Rehman's had a nice long rest since tea after his first spell, which was only 37 overs, so I'm not quite sure why he looks so tired, the lazy so and so. A scampered single gets Prior back on strike, and he hammers successive deliveries through point for first two and then a boundary. Rehman fires the next ball down the legside and, with Akmal unable to gather, four more go on the total. England need another 103, or, put another way, 26 more sets of four byes.

Over 87: Umar Gul 0-2-1-0-1lb-0 210-8 - Strong competition for the coveted 'Most Village Piece of Cricket of the Series' award, but here's a late contender from Akmal. Prior dances down the track and has a big swoosh at a ball from Umar Gul. He misses. Akmal collects and tries to throw - overarm no less - down the stumps even though Prior had got back long before the keeper even collected the ball, so far back is he standing.

Over 86: Cheema 1-0-1-0-1-0 206-8 - Three singles, three dots. An over more pleasing to the eye on paper than in real life.

Over 85: Umar Gul 0-0-0-W-0-0 203-8 WICKET! I'm pleased Gul's getting some late reward here, even if his wickets aren't exactly due to classic pieces of bowling. He was so good earlier. Swann the latest to go, slicing the ball to point where it just about carries to Asad Shafiq who does pretty well in the end to get his hands under the ball as it dips late. Slight delay to check the no-ball, but there's a slither of Gul's boot behind the line and Swann has to go, taking Neil's double-figures dream with him.

Over 84: Cheema 1-0-0-0-0-0 203-7 - Cheema gets a rare chance for a bowl after the new ball is taken. Swann gets a single before Prior is given out lbw trying to work the ball into the legside. Cheema bowls from so wide on the crease that it's very hard for him to get a leg-before verdict, and Prior reviews instantly. Hawk-eye shows the ball sliding a good two inches down the legside, and that's a rare black mark against Steve Davis in this series. Prior survives, and Cheema is cruelly but rightly denied a rare moment in the spotlight.

Update "Actually," reports Neil, "Now I look, if you remove the ones where someone has mucked it up by scoring 100, it'll be the 5th time. It's even more exciting than the most runs scored without a leg bye and how many innings Jimmy Anderson played before he got a duck." Ah yes, we all look back with great fondness on those Jimmy-Anderson-never-getting-a-duck days. A golden age for the game.

Over 83: Umar Gul 0-3nb-W-4-1-1lb-0 202-7 WICKET! After Prior creams a no-ball through the covers for three runs, Gul decides to take the new ball. This proves to be a good idea, as Broad slaps the very next delivery straight up in the air and is caught by a back-pedalling Taufeeq Umar at mid-off. Not, admittedly, the classic new-ball dismissal, but - due to the incompetence of his team-mates (including Taufeeq as it happens) - Gul wasn't having much luck with the more orthodox new-ball wickets. The batsmen crossed, so Prior's on strike to slap the next ball through point for four to ensure England reach 200 for just the second time in the series and the first in four attempts here in Dubai.

Double trouble Neil Rees is a man after my own heart. "It's about that time in the innings when I get excited about all players scoring double figures. (It's only happened 11 times.) Do you think Monty will let me down by scoring a ton?"

Over 82: Ajmal 0-0-4-0-1-4 191-6 - Broad's got the broom out against Ajmal, hammering a sweep shot between two deep fielders for four and then collecting a single with a top-edge that lands safely. Ajmal drags the last ball of the over down, and Prior cracks it up and over point for four more. Won't be dull while this pair are together. Swann won't be blocking, either.

Over 81: Umar Gul 1-1-0-4-2-1 182-6 - Broad's doing his technically-correct-slogging-cos-the-game-is-up thing. And that is a good thing. A high-elbowed biff over extra-cover brings four runs, and a chip into the legside that might've been caught by an orthodox fielder brings two more runs because everyone has scattered. A thick edge past the solitary slip brings a single and keeps the strike.

The Buttler did it "Dave, After their abject performances, Pietersen & Bell should be rested and Morgan should be permanently rested, and kept for what he's best at - the ODIs," declares Tom. "Who's waiting in the wings for an opportunity? There must be someone. Thanks for the great commentary." It's inconceivable that all three of them will survive, but equally there's no way all three of them will go. It's simply not the way this England side operates, and hurrah for that. Jos Buttler's the one to come in for me. He's ludicrously talented and has been smashing the Sri Lanka A side all round the country for the last couple of weeks - I mentioned his stats earlier. He's a shoo-in for the one-day side at the back end of this tour, and a good showing there could well propel him not only into the Test squad for Sri Lanka but even the team.

Tea England clung on during the morning, but their increasingly tenuous fingerhold on this match has surely gone now. Cook's attempt to out-Azhar Azhar ended about five hours early, before the England middle order did what it's done throughout the series and fell over in a heap. In fact, with Pietersen, Bell and Morgan all reaching double figures, this represented something of a high watermark in the series for a trio who between them managed not a single individual score higher than 32. Good to see Gul getting some belated reward in that session. Less good to see Akmal dancing about like a bird for some reason and giving it the big I am after managing to hold 50 per cent of the easy catches he's been offered in this innings.

Over 80: Rehman 1-0-0-0-0-1 173-6 - Rehman into the 37th over of his spell. He's bowled unchanged since coming on in the eighth over of the innings. Pakistan happy to give Prior a single here and have a go at Broad, which is exactly what happens. Drop! Ish. Broad smacks a slog-sweep, and short-leg can't hold on. Need a Russel Arnold baggy shirt to catch those really. Broad gets a single from the last ball of the over, and that will be tea.

Over 79: Umar Gul 0-0-1-0-1-0 171-6 - Good yorker from Gul, and it's a solid option against a batsman as tall as Broad. He just manages to squeeze the bat down on the ball, and even picks up a single as the ball runs away towards mid-on. Prior adds another run with a steer to third-man.

Over 78: Rehman 4-0-0-0-4-0 169-6 - Should see some shots in this partnership. Might not do any good - almost certainly won't, in fact - but shots will be played. Couple of nice boundaries in this over for Prior, giving himself room to drive inside-out through cover and then cutting hard behind point. England need another 155 to win. What? Stop laughing. They do. Pakistan need four wickets which, I'll concede, is probably more likely.

Over 77: Umar Gul 0-2-W-0-0-2 161-6 WICKET! The series ends with England's four, five and six failing to provide a single innings above 40. Morgan looking to give Gul the charge here before adjusting his shot and looking to defend. All he can manage against a hint of reverse swing is a thin edge through to Akmal, who manages not to drop it. Stuart Broad is the new batsman, and just gets the toe of the bat to his first ball to avoid bagging a golden duck and, inevitably, pulling a pained face and wasting England's last review. A chip into the legside brings Broad a couple of runs.

Over 76: Rehman 0-0-0-1-0-0 157-5 - That Bell dismissal doesn't get any better with repeat viewing. An absolute rank long-hop, and he contrives to lob it to point. I'm not quite sure how it happened. Umar Gul, though, deserved that literal slice of good fortune after his unrewarded efforts earlier in the innings.

Over 75: Umar Gul 4-0-0-0-1-W 156-5 WICKET! Ian Bell's horrible series reaches a horrible conclusion. Umar Gul back into the attack to bowl an over of long-hops. Morgan thrashes one for four, Bell slices one straight to point for the tamest of tame dismissals. Last year, he scored 950 runs at 118. This series, 51 at 8.5. That's just awful, and Pakistan are now just five wickets away from completing a hard-to-dispute 3-0 whitewash.

Over 74: Rehman 0-0-0-0-0-0 151-4 - Bell plays out a maiden over from Rehman. All of England's top six have reached double-figures in this innings, which conclusively proves all those people saying they're out of form WRONG.

Over 73: Ajmal 0-0-6-0-0-0 151-4 - Lovely stuff from Morgan, effortlessly chipping Ajmal back down the ground and carrying the boundary for six. Outrageously good stroke. The 150 comes up for England which means, morally, they should be awarded victory in the second Test. Obviously.

Over 72: Rehman 1-0-0-0-1-0 145-4 - Big puff of dust as Rehman gets one to spin sharply back at Morgan. I half-expected the dust to clear to reveal that Morgan had disappeared, or Bell had been given genuine actual bunny ears and appeared out of a massive hat. Then the camera would cut to Rehman, wearing a cape and a moustache. But none of that happened.

Over 71: Ajmal 0-0-1-0-0-4 143-4 - Bell works to leg for a single and Morgan ends the over in fine style with a confident and effortless chip over midwicket for four. That's a lovely shot. He's looking to be positive here, which has to be the way for him to go. Play as close to his one-day style as he possibly can.

Over 70: Rehman 0-0-0-0-0-0 138-4 - We're currently running at an average of three appeals an and very nearly two runs per over. Morgan hit on the pads a few times, sending the ball looping up to various close fielders. Cue much shrieking and excitement but no actual wickets.

Over 69: Ajmal 0-0-0-0-0-0 138-4 - Double-dip appeal from Pakistan as the ball bobs up to short-leg off Bell's pad. No bat involved, missing leg stump. Possibly high as well. Ajmal ends the over with the doosra, and it beats Bell's outside edge. It's almost cruelty.

Over 68: Rehman 0-0-0-1-0-4 138-4 - Bell nurdles a single before Morgan makes good contact with a sweep shot and collects a boundary thanks to Umar Gul's unsuccessful and nasty two-footed challenge on the square-leg fence. He's not that kind of player, but players have seen red for a lot less in recent times.

Over 67: Ajmal 0-1-1-0-0-2 133-4 - Morgan hits Ajmal to mid-on and takes a slightly dicey single but gets home safely before going all Superbowl and colliding with the bowler. Not a bad option: if you can't play Ajmal, knock him out instead. No, it's all good-natured, and batsman and bowler end up with smiles on their faces and their arms round each other. Bell squirts a single to point before Morgan picks up two more for a clip off his toes through square-leg.

Over 66: Rehman 3-0-1-0-0-0 129-4 - Ooh, lucky here for Bell, who is down the track looking to hit Rehman over the top but manages only to drag the ball to square-leg to collect three sheepish runs. Horrible shot, but I suppose he deserves a slice or two of luck in this series. Morgan pushes to mid-on for a single, and the players will have a DRINK. England fans might think a Bell's or Captain Morgan a legitimate option.

Over 65: Ajmal 0-1-1-0-0-1 125-4 - Two unsurprising events in this over. One, Morgan playing a sweep. Two, Bell gets beaten by the doosra.

Over 64: Rehman 0-0-0-0-0-2 122-4 - The bowlers and fielders sniffing blood now. Suddenly every ball from Rehman is spitting and bouncing out of the rough, and Morgan's having a devil of a job dealing with it. Not easy. Not easy at all. Rehman overpitches fractionally to end the over, and Morgan manages to get a drive away for a couple of runs. He's got to be positive here. It's probably a hopeless cause anyway, but if he just tries to prod and poke then something's going to come along and get him out.

Over 63: Ajmal 1lb-0-0-1-W-1 120-4 WICKET! This won't take long now, I don't think. Cook looks to work the ball into the legside and gets a leading edge to Younis Khan's left at slip. Pakistan have dropped some dollies in this innings, but this time they've held a good 'un as Younis dives away and grabs the ball with both hands. The woefully out-of-form Eoin Morgan joins the woefully out-of-form Bell in the middle, and gets off the mark with a thick inside edge.

Over 62: Rehman 0-0-1-0-0-0 117-3 - Cook dabs the ball to third-man for a single. Ian Bell is the new batsman. There's an appeal for a bat-pad catch, but it came straight off the pad. Bell's problems, you suspect, will mainly come at the other end. Ajmal's had the bunny ears on him in this series.

Over 61: Ajmal 1lb-1-0-0-1-W 116-3 WICKET! That might be that for England. Ajmal sneaks the ball between Pietersen's bat and pad to knock back the off stump. He was the one batsman who might've scored fast enough to get England over the winning line. With England's shellshocked and shot-shy middle-order exposed, Pakistan should be hopeful of finishing things off pretty quickly. Nice delivery that from Ajmal, but a poor shot from KP really. Big gap between bat and pad, and once again the bat came across the ball at a wonky angle. There's a technical kink in Pietersen's defensive shot against spin at the moment, however much he denies it.

Over 60: Rehman 2-0-0-0-0-0 113-2 - A thick inside edge into the legside brings Pietersen a couple of runs, and he defends the rest of the over with his bat way out in front of his pads.

Over 59: Ajmal 0-1-0-1-1-0 111-2 - Some nice strike rotation from Cook and Pietersen - more of that please - before Cook tries to cut a doosra and just succeeds in getting his pad out of the way and jabbing a desperate bat down on the ball. Close.

Over 58: Rehman 2lb-0-0-0-0-0 108-2 - Rehman slips one down the legside, and England collect a couple of runs via Cook's pads. It's a game of patience for Pakistan at the moment. They remain firmly in the box seats here, and will do so for a long time yet as long as the run-rate stays below two an over. Chances will come.

Over 57: Ajmal 0-0-0-0-0-0 106-2 - I must admit, I do love this kind of cricket. Batsmen digging in in pursuit of a testing fourth-innings target on a worn pitch against top-class spinners. Great stuff and, of course, just one of the many, many things that make Test cricket mankind's standout achievement.

Over 56: Rehman 0-0-1-1-0-0 106-2 - Cook works to leg for a single, and Pietersen's assault in the last over has done the trick. Couple of scouts sent out, and an easy single available for him. Rehman asks the last couple of balls do too much out of the rough, and Cook is able to let them go safely enough.

Over 55: Ajmal 0-0-2-0-0-1 104-2 - Cook flicks the ball wide of mid-on for a couple of runs and then cuts to an inexplicably deep point for a single.

Over 54: Rehman 0-0-0-4-0-6 101-2 - Here we go. Twice in the over Pietersen skips down the ground and whacks the ball back over Rehman's head. The first is flat, fizzing over the bowler and the frantically ducking umpire before thudding into the sightscreen, while the second is high and handsome and carries all the way for six.

Over 53: Ajmal 0-0-0-0-0-0 91-2 - Another maiden. Something has to give here.

Over 52: Rehman 0-0-0-0-0-0 91-2 - Pietersen survives a marginal leg-before appeal after being hit on the front pad lunging forward at Rehman. No reviews left for Pakistan, of course, but it matters not: clipping the outside of the leg stump, so the original decision would've stood. But it was hitting a good chunk more of the stump than Pietersen's first-innings dismissal.

Over 51: Ajmal 0-0-0-0-0-0 91-2 - Cook getting right across his stumps to defend Ajmal into the legside.

Over 50: Rehman 1-1-0-0-0-0 91-2 - Chance! That lovely quirkstat is immediately ruined as Pietersen gets an inside edge into his pad and past short-leg for a single. We're being extremely harsh to call it a chance; it's the sort of thing that a short-leg almost needs to hit him and pop up into the air. Almost no chance of catching it clean first time. Cook nurdles a single. Wonder how many of his first 6000 Test runs came in that fashion. Big leg-before shout against Pietersen, but it's sliding down the legside. Pakistan not yet made to rue their profligate reviewage in this innings. Averagewatch: Pietersen and Cook both now 49.94, but Rehman's spirals to a disgraceful 27.01. Ajmal will be laughing at him now, I reckon.

Slow "Dave - what's the slowest ever test century in terms of balls faced?" asks Tom. "By my calculations, if Cook carries on like this, it will take him 354 balls to reach 3 figures. Awesome stuff - he's making Azhar look like a dasher. Trouble is, I can't see the others sticking around long enough to help him get there! Enjoy the war of attrition." Unfortunately, routine recording of balls faced is a fairly recent phenomenon, so we don't have anything like a complete record. However, the slowest century in terms of minutes at the crease is Mudassar Nazar's 557-minute effort for Pakistan against England in Lahore in 1977/78. A bit of rough-and-ready calculation has Cook batting for 193 minutes, meaning his hundred will take just short of 432 minutes. That's rapid!

Quirkstat At this precise moment, the not out batsmen, Pietersen and Cook, both average 48.93, while the two bowlers operating before lunch, Rehman and Ajmal, both average 26.98. I make no apologies for the fact this delights me.

Bressie Lad Good to see Tim Bresnan having a bowl on the outfield during the lunch break, while Nasser Hussain is proving to be the very ideal man to give a masterclass on how left-handers should play spin out of the rough. David Gower and Marcus Trescothick watching on from the studio, nodding politely. Nasser quite rightly throws it back to that pair. Tres says he'd be looking to play Rehman off the front foot, utilising that big old slog-sweep of his, but Ajmal more off the back foot.

Sky BetBetting The closeness of the session reflected in the fact the match odds haven't changed much at Sky Bet. Pakistan are 4/11, England 2/1. The draw - which can't quite be ruled out entirely while England are scoring this slowly (it can really) - is 66/1. Pietersen is 4/6 to be the next man out, Cook 11/10. Head to www.skybet.com for a whole bunch of in-play markets.

Feedback Plenty of talking points already today. Thoughts and views to Dave.Tickner@bskyb.com please.

Lunch Absorbing session again. Umar Gul bowled brilliantly first up, with no support from his fielders, and then himself offered inadequate support to the spinners who, after taking a few overs to work things out, have found the right line and - crucially - pace to ask constant questions of the batsmen. England just about keeping themselves in the game, but these 235 runs are going to take - at present speed and course - another 129.5 overs. That's a long time, isn't it?

Over 49: Ajmal 0-0-0-0-0-0 89-2 - Cook blocks out a maiden to complete the session. England would probably have settled for losing two wickets in that session, but making only 53 runs means it's Pakistan who will be the happier. They'd certainly be the happier if Gul had taken that easy chance to dismiss Cook, who has nurdled his way to 41 not out.

Over 48: Rehman 1-0-0-0-0-0 89-2 - Pakistan giving Cook a single again, and this time he takes it. Pietersen plays out the over. Probably time for one more over before lunch.

Over 47: Ajmal 1-0-0-1-0-0 88-2 - He's not joking you know. Pietersen lap-sweeps a single first ball to get back to the non-striker's end. Cook selfishly takes a single from the fourth ball of the over, and then even more selfishly refuses to take a mental quick run from the next one. Pietersen wants to play tip-and-run here, to the extent that he even tries to do it from the last ball of the over, when surely he should want to score only an even number of runs. Childishness aside, Pietersen should be looking to be busy here and turn the strike over.

Over 46: Rehman 0-0-0-0-0-0 86-2 - Pakistan have an in-out field here, looking to give Cook the strike so they can have a pre-lunch bowl at Pietersen. Cook's having none of that, though, and plays out a maiden. There you go, Kev, a whole over at the non-striker's end. Perfect. As we saw in the last over, though, a maiden over is a far-from-worthless consolation prize.

Over 45: Ajmal 0-1-W-1-0-0 86-2 WICKET! This was starting to look likely, it must be said. Trott tries to break the shackles with a big sweep shot, but gets a big top edge to long-leg where Rehman takes the simple catch. I say simple - no catch has so far been simple enough for Pakistan in this series. But it's taken safely. That wicket was less about that one specific delivery (even though it was the doosra) and more about the 37 that preceded it. Cook works to leg for a single to bring Kevin Pietersen on strike. He says the best place to start your innings is at the non-striker's end. After a couple of blocks, that's where he finds himself again.

Over 44: Rehman 0-0-0-0-0-0 84-1 - Five maidens in a row since I credited the batsmen for finding their ways to score. I'm now going to credit the bowlers for stopping the batsmen scoring any runs in the hope of a similar result.

Over 43: Ajmal 0-0-0-0-0-0 84-1 - Handy boost for England here, as Pakistan farcically use up their last review on an lbw shout against Cook on the sweep. The ball pitched outside leg and would've spun past the off stump. It had literally nothing going for it, but Ajmal liked it and convinced Misbah to use up his final review. Could be important.

Over 42: Rehman 0-0-0-0-0-0 84-1 - Trott plays out another maiden over. The runs have dried up again.

Over 41: Ajmal 0-0-0-0-0-0 84-1 - Jos Buttler's been at it again for the Lions against Sri Lanka A in Colombo, hammering 61 off 30 balls. His record for the series now: 5 matches, 326 runs, ave 81.50, SR 128.85, 2 hundreds, 1 fifty. He's a shoo-in for the one-day side now; if he has a good series, then he could yet find himself making a Test debut back in Sri Lanka...

Over 40: Rehman 0-0-0-0-0-0 84-1 - Close lbw shout against Trott, but it looks like it was just bat before pad. Certainly impossible to tell conclusively one way or the other even with technology, so shouldn't be given out.

Over 39: Ajmal 4-0-0-0-0-0 84-1 - A gift from Ajmal, and Cook doesn't miss out. Short, wide and hammered through point for four. This partnership is now worth 36 off 14 overs; I'd suggest that's about the ideal scoring rate for this pitch in the fourth innings.

Over 38: Rehman 0-0-0-0-0-4 80-1 - Yep. I like the way Trott's going about this. He's looking for singles and, while he doesn't find them in this over the intent is key. And it means that, when Rehman offers a leg-stump half-volley to end the over, Trott is in the right frame of mind to clip the ball away to the square-leg boundary in good style.

Over 37: Ajmal 0-0-0-1-0-0 76-1 - Trott looking busy but careful here. Whether he succeeds or not, I'd say 'busy but careful' is the ideal way to bat on this pitch. A solid defensive push is placed into the gap between point and cover for a single.

Over 36: Trott 1-0-0-0-0-0 75-1 - Trott gets another single with a nudge into the legside. If England win this match, they will score over 200 runs in that fashion. Maybe.

Over 35: Ajmal 2-1-0-1-0-1 74-1 - Ajmal into the attack now, and he almost strikes first ball as Trott gets an inside edge past leg stump for a couple of runs. Bit lucky there, but Trott gets a couple of good runs with deliberate lap sweeps into the wide open spaces behind square on the legside. That's good batting; you've got to find a way to score runs, not just survive.

Over 34: Rehman 0-0-4-0-0-4 69-1 - Cook trapped on the back foot again as Rehman gets one to spin back into the pads, but the England opener managed to get outside the line. From nowhere, he hammers a slog-sweep over midwicket for a one-bounce four. He needs a boundary option against the spinner, and that was a good one. Just a bit wider from Rehman, and it allowe Cook to free his arms. Drop! Cook tries to repeat the shot from a straighter line and gets a big top edge that flies to long-leg. Gul's down there, settles himself, realises he's settled in the wrong place, moves to his right, drops the catch, ball runs away for four. Another life for Cook. Given his record once he gets in, he's not a chap you want to keep giving chances.

Over 33: Umar Gul 0-0-0-0-0-0 61-1 - Just a hint of reverse-swing for Gul, but it's no problem for Trott who drives it sweetly but straight to mid-on. Fascinating stuff this. If England are to get these runs, it's going to take an enormously long time. As Azhar Ali said after yesterday's play, getting in on this pitch is one thing, but scoring runs is quite another. Time for a DRINK.

Over 32: Rehman 0-0-0-0-0-0 61-1 - Little private game here involving bowler, batsman and short-leg. Bowler bowls. Batsman gets across his stumps and defends into the legside. Short-leg fields/gets hit. Repeat x6.

Over 31: Umar Gul 0-0-0-0-0-0 61-1 - Probing maiden over from Gul, watchfully played by Trott. Gul hiding the ball during his run-up, which is a pretty clear indication he's looking for some reverse swing. Certainly this pitch is dry enough to help the bowler there, although the outfield doesn't look the most abrasive.

Over 30: Rehman 0-0-1-0-0-1 61-1 - Cook works to leg off the back foot for a single. Risky old caper that. Playing forward brings with it the risk of offering a bat-pad chance, but I think the lbw off the back foot is currently the bigger threat here. Not easy to force yourself to get forward, though. Especially for Cook, whose game is built around his back-foot play anyway. Trott keeps the strike with a shovel into the legside.

Over 29: Umar Gul 0-0-1-0-0-0 59-1 - Umar Gul bowling superbly here in conditions offering him pretty much nothing. He really should have both England openers in his bag, but has neither. Giving Cook a couple of short balls here - got him out like that in the first game here thanks to a shoddy gloved pull shot - but the left-hander manages to get him away to deep square-leg for a single.

Over 28: Rehman 0-0-2-4-0-0 58-1 - Big leg-before shout against Trott as he squeezes the ball between bat and pad. Close. No review from Pakistan. Hot Spot confirms it was pad first, but I'm not sure it turned enough to hit leg stump - or at least, to hit enough of leg stump to overturn the decision. Trott then lands a couple of blows of his own as Rehman drifts into the pads a couple of times. Trott works him away through midwicket for a couple and then repeats the shot with even better timing to collect a boundary. Meanwhile, a truly alarming shot of the ECB chairman wearing official England headgear. To paraphrase the Libertines, there are few more distressing sights than that of a Giles Clarke in a baseball cap.

Over 27: Umar Gul 0-0-3-0-1-0 52-1 - Cook works Gul through the legside for three runs that take England past 50 and the Essex left-hander to 6000 Test runs. At 27 years and 43 days old, he's the second-youngest player to reach the landmark behind old 99 tons himself, Sachin Tendulkar. Not bad. Cook's actually got to the landmark a game quicker as well. Trott gets off the mark with a quick single on the offside. If you want an indication of how much Cook could rewrite the England record books, have a look at Strauss. He's got roughly 6,500 Test runs, almost 100 caps and 19 centuries. He didn't make his debut until he was 27.

Over 26: Rehman 0-W-0-0-0-0 48-1 WICKET! Adnan Akmal is a lucky, lucky boy. Strauss plays back to Rehman and is hit on the flap of the back pad. Plumb lbw, and he wastes a review. That's a huge moment in this match. Pakistan had given both England's openers a life and could've got a bit down about things had the partnership grown any larger. Now their tails are up, and the evidence of this match tells you not that one wicket can bring two, but that one wicket can bring six or seven. Jonathan Trott is the new batsman, and he's also trapped playing back to a ball well below bail height and is a bit lucky that it was sneaking down the legside. You want to be very, very careful playing back to Rehman. Akmal, meanwhile, can now - if he's got the nerve - claim to have assisted his side: the net result of his dropped catch is England losing one review.

Over 25: Umar Gul 0-3-0-1lb-0-0 48-0 - Drop! Astonishing error from Adnan Akmal. Umar Gul somehow manages to find an outside edge on this lifeless pitch, but Akmal contrives to clang the most straightforward of catches. The only possible explanation is that he was already throwing the ball up in the air in celebration before actually, you know, catching the ball.

Over 24: Rehman 0-0-0-4-1-1 44-0 - Better, more threatening over from Rehman despite Strauss whipping him through midwicket for four. Rehman manages to get a couple of balls to land in the rough outside the off stump, and they bounce a little bit more after disturbing the surface. They hardly spit at the batsmen, though. Strauss and Cook each collect a single, and there really is no reason why England can't get 300 on this pitch. Apart from the fact their whole middle-order is mentally shot, obviously.

Over 23: Umar Gul 0-0-0-1-0-0 38-0 - Strauss nurdles into the legside and scurries through for a single. I think Akmal and the slips have moved up a touch - hard to tell from the front-on camera. He manages to take a ball at knee height, which is a bit more like it.

Over 22: Rehman 0-0-0-1-0-0 37-0 - Seam/spin combination this morning, with Abdur Rehman handed the ball ahead of Saeed Ajmal. Tidy enough start, with just a single coming from the over as Strauss eases the ball to long-on. Bit of spin for Rehman but it's slo-o-o-o-o-o-ooooow.

Over 21: Umar Gul 0-0-0-0-0-0 36-0 - Early observation: the keeper and slips are way too deep. Not just a yard or two. Five yards too deep. Adnan Akmal appears to have confused keeping to Umar Gul on a dustbowl with Jeff Thomson at the WACA. It's a bit of a relief that he's far enough back that we can't hear his incessant chirping, but this is just silly. After taking two deliveries round his ankles, the next two fail to carry at all. It's almost like there's a hint there. There are three slips, but they might as well have a tea party, or read the paper. Because no edge is going to carry to them. Purely decorative.

Pitch Report Via Bumble via Twitter: "Life has gone out of it. Now a slow turner. Rough areas now dust."

Welcome It's the fourth, and quite probably final, day of this third Test. Can England's batsmen secure some late dignity in this series and chase down 324 for victory? It seems unlikely, but their task is easier than it appeared when Pakistan were 331-3 and already leading by 289 before their batting did what batting has generally done in this series and fallen over in a big heap. England then crept to 36-0 by the close to leave themselves requiring a further 288 for victory with a full quota of batsmen available.

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