England vs Pakistan, 1st Test Day 3

If there are two people who are happy at the result of today’s play, it’s MCC President Ian MacLaurin and England’s new head selector Ed Smith. This is because the MCC seem unlikely to have to refund any of people’s Day 4 tickets, as the play tomorrow should last more than 30 overs, and both new players selected by Smith have finished the day not out with a half century to their name.

Things didn’t look quite so good for England early in the morning. Pakistan managed to add another 13 runs for their last wicket, and then Abbas trapped Alastair Cook in England’s second over. Stoneman was bowled soon after by legspinner Shadab Khan with a delivery which spun out of the rough and kept low, which left England in the precarious position of being two wickets down and still 148 runs behind.

Joe Root and Dawid Malan steadied the ship somewhat beyond Lunch, until (quelle surprise) Malan lost his wicket to a swinging delivery by Mohammad Amir. Amir also bowled Bairstow two balls later with a vicious swinging delivery between bat and pad, which heralded the third Englandbattingcollapse of the game as Stokes and Root also fell in quick succession. Stokes hit a loose shot to midwicket, perhaps mistaking the situation for an IPL game rather than a Test match, whilst Root was trapped LBW in the crease by Abbas.

This brought the Somerset (or Lancashire/Somerset duo, if you prefer) duo of Jos Buttler and Dom Bess to the crease with England still 69 runs behind and only 4 wickets left. At this point, the most England fans were probably hoping for was a quick finish followed by the traditional blame game. Instead, Buttler and Bess batted through to the end of the day whilst scoring 125 run.

This leaves England 56 runs ahead and with the distant hope that they might set a target which at least allows for the possibility of a win. Obviously a quick collapse tomorrow morning is more likely, particularly with the new ball due for Pakistan after two overs, but it is England’s best position in the game so far.

Ed Smith’s supporters are likely to be crowing over this scenario. The two new members of the squad which he selected have both scored crucial fifties (and are still going). The head selector himself might be more circumspect for two reasons. The first would be the example of James Whitaker, who continually cited the success of Gary Ballance in interviews as justifying his approach until Ballance lost his form and became unselectable. At that point, Whitaker became something of a laughing-stock. The second, assuming that Ed Smith is mathematically minded, is that he no doubt knows the dangers of making assumptions from a small sample. Two innings is hardly enough to judge a player, especially when you consider that in recent times Westley, Dawson, Jennings and Hameed all made half centuries or better in their debut.

To follow on from thelegglance’s point yesterday, another 5 overs were lost today due to slow over rates. With 6 lost in the first day as well, it may well be beyond the point where the ICC and match umpire will forgive the bowling teams. Pakistan appear to have been slower of the two teams, and captain Sarfraz Ahmed must be in real danger of being suspended for the next Test match at Headingley. This might be a blessing in disguise for Pakistan, as Sarfraz has been in poor form recently and only averages 31.63 over the last two years.

So we will have a day 4, which means that LordCanisLupus will get to do a report (whether he wants to or not). Whichever way tomorrow’s play goes, at least we have that to look forward to…

As always, feel free to comment below.


56 thoughts on “England vs Pakistan, 1st Test Day 3

  1. thelegglance May 26, 2018 / 9:32 pm

    Blimey, no comments? Have we been battered into submission?


    • Deep Purple Fred May 26, 2018 / 10:32 pm

      Well I’ve got lots of comments but probably none anyone wants to read.
      Is chuckling into my cognac a comment?

      Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather May 27, 2018 / 7:33 am

      I’m sure TeamSkyECB will ensure the match is over in time for the start of the IPL final…


  2. Miami Dad's 6 May 26, 2018 / 9:34 pm

    Is 31 a bad average for a keeper these days? We’d take that for an opener and a number 3 I reckon!


    • dannycricket May 26, 2018 / 9:46 pm

      It’s a fair point, although I try to not project England’s low standards onto other teams. In that case, it’s a big blow for Pakistan and they should try and bowl 17-18 overs/hour tomorrow morning.


  3. Benny May 26, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    OK what an enjoyable test match! England being pretty dreadful and Pakistan playing proper Test cricket. Then we have Buttler and Bess, erm, playing proper Test cricket. It’s hard to look away from the TV and certainly not for some T20 thing in India


    • Elaine Simpson-Long May 27, 2018 / 7:43 am

      I shall be watching the IPL final today. I love it and think it is huge fun. Having said that, warptching the Test yesterday with everyone in white against the green sward and no yelling crowds was balm to the soul. Bumble said yesterday IPL and cricket were like rock and opera. I like both

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rohan May 27, 2018 / 10:50 am

        I agree Elaine. I really like the IPL, but yesterday watching the test was fantastic, still my favourite form of the game! It’s all good to me…..


  4. Zephirine May 26, 2018 / 10:23 pm

    Bess, bless… he looks straight out of the pages of Boys’ Own Weekly around 1959.
    But he’s actually pretty cool, isn’t he? Not at all intimidated by a Test match or a historic ground or large people in the audience wearing hideous striped clothes*.

    And as Buttler is high on the list of my favourites, I did enjoy the last session.

    * Is it a rule that MCC members have to be, erm, on the stout side? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a thin person wearing one of those blazers. Perhaps it’s just that they have to wait 30 years or something to get membership, by which time they’ve developed a fuller figure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. quebecer May 27, 2018 / 12:16 am

    Say what you like about Ed Smith but playing two specialist batsmen at #7 and #8 has been vindicated.


    • Sri.grins May 27, 2018 / 1:04 am

      Q, optimism, optimism, optimism. ☺
      As your acknowledged guru, the principle remains the same.

      Glad that jos buckled down this innings . Hopefully, he will play a few more good innings for England.


  6. Prime.Evil May 27, 2018 / 4:55 am

    “Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.”

    Indeed, it just had to be the rookie and the IPL hero. Well played Bess and Buttler. One ball at a time, hey.

    When Root got out, the look on his face was incredible. “I can’t get out. I just can’t get out. England’s on my shoulders. Please don’t let me be out.” Later the camera panned to him where he was sitting, staring at the battlefield where his men lay – he looked old and frail.

    Joe… Joe… pick up your rifle, Joe. Go to the gate and save our beloved Stalingrad from the Germans. We are counting on you, Joe. Or run, Joe. Run as fast as you can, Joe and we shall gun you down.

    Carrying England on his shoulders is slowly choking the life out of this young man.

    Will England show us their version of The Great Escape starring Jos Buttler as Steve McQueen?

    Will Pakistan’s capricious nature bubble to the surface to hamper their efforts?

    Will the rain put a spanner in the works?

    Will hope yet again be the harbinger of doom?

    Fascinating stuff ahead of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. metatone May 27, 2018 / 5:06 am

    Glad to see Buttler in the runs, b/c I do think people are too keen to see him fail in red ball cricket.
    Bess continuing our tradition of picking spinners for their batting… good for him, but I’m not so thrilled.
    More to say perhaps depending on how today goes…


    • metatone May 27, 2018 / 8:01 am

      Watching Pujara for Yorkshire, I’d say Chappell is being a little optimistic… I can well see the coming series being two teams who sink to each others level.


      • Sri.grins May 27, 2018 / 9:41 am

        Quite possible ☺. I rarely get my optimism answered by the team away.

        But, it is possibly because che doesn’t play on the ipl? 😁


  8. BoredInAustria May 27, 2018 / 7:38 am

    In other news I see in SL there are rumours of “fixing” pitches, as well “the Barmy Army…. and travel company have accused Sri Lanka Cricket of “blatant profiteering and short-sighted greed” over proposed ticket prices for the Test series.”

    A cricket body accused of “blatant profiteering and short-sighted greed” . What is the world coming to?



  9. BoredInAustria May 27, 2018 / 7:46 am

    Oh, and I see Cook was done by another magic ball: Vic Marks

    “…the impression that England were going nowhere. This sense of fragility was triggered in the second over of the innings when Alastair Cook was lbw to Mohammad Abbas. It was a devilish delivery to any newly-arrived batsman since it jagged down the slope before thudding into the knee roll of Cook’s pad, one of those lbws where the experienced batsman does not even bother to glance at his partner to check the merit of a review.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Grenville May 27, 2018 / 7:53 am

    Glad to see a bit of resistance, honest. It is what makes test cricket so good. It is also why batting first must be the default position. It is rare to ever be totally out of the game batting third.

    Having said that, I am pretty confident that Pakistan will wrap this up. Broad, Wood and Anderson aren’t much good with the bat these days. Bess is not likely to cause the Pakistani’s many headaches. I can’t see them havingto chase more than 150 and I have trust in youth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus May 27, 2018 / 10:15 am

      Jos goes early and probably so did any small hope of winning.

      On the shocking betting ad there was a price boost from 5/2 to 7/2 on an England win. Jeepers. 5/2?

      Now Wood is gone. As has most of the hope.


  11. Sri.Grins May 27, 2018 / 10:19 am

    Oz seems to be having a deluge of bad news hitting them. Spot fixing being claimed now.


    • Mark May 27, 2018 / 10:32 am

      And of course it has absolutely nothing to do with Indian bookmakers?

      Hope Dmitri doesn’t feel I’m stepping on his toes as it’s his site, but I would warn people to be very careful commenting about the overnight news about spot fixing in Indian Test matches. Certain players from Aus and England have been named.

      Probably not a good idea to mention them until we see where this goes. If true, a big problem for the governing bodies and the ICC.

      Will life bans be brought in no matter what nationality of player?

      We will see.


      • Sri.Grins May 27, 2018 / 10:35 am

        Huh? how does the nationality of the bookmaker affect Oz or the news?


      • dlpthomas May 27, 2018 / 10:59 am

        Fingers crossed the story is not true but I’m afraid it is going to get very ugly.


        • dlpthomas May 27, 2018 / 11:10 am

          Cricket’s Match Fixers – Al Jazeera Investigations


          • d'Arthez May 27, 2018 / 3:53 pm

            Why is ACSU still in existence? Yet AGAIN they have failed to either prevent the fix, or investigate the fix properly. And if there is nothing to it, why have they not come out with that?
            I suspect though that the ICC (or high ranking people within the ICC) makes some money on the side by betting on the sought after results.


          • dannycricket May 27, 2018 / 7:29 pm

            The problem is this: Are the ACSU going to investigate every time a batsman scores a bit slower than normal? I can’t imagine they have enough staff members to cover that, particularly if you include domestic cricket…


        • Zephirine May 27, 2018 / 2:24 pm

          As with the ‘fake sheikh’ expose, it’s hard to tell if the criminals are just bigging up their operation to get some more money off this apparently naive punter who’s asking so many questions.

          What is so worrying overall is that in spot-fixing the players are usually asked to perform worse than usual. Cricket is full of players mysteriously underachieving, it’s part of the game, but the more the ordinary fan learns about how this can be arranged, the more our confidence in the whole sport is shaken.


          • dannycricket May 27, 2018 / 2:58 pm

            The clincher for the fake sheikh expose on match fixing was when the specific no balls were predicted before the game. According to Al Jazeera, this fixer provided information for both an Australian and English Test match in India before it happened. Of course a low-scoring session is less unusual than a massive no ball so it’s possible he just got lucky. This abiguity also makes this kind of fixing harder to detect without these kinds of sting.


  12. d'Arthez May 27, 2018 / 10:22 am

    Now, unless Bess biffs a few, Cook will end up top scoring in this game. Credit where credit is due, that was probably the best knock of the match. Pity that he got too little support in the first innings, and Bess and Buttler made hay when conditions were easiest for batting and the game situation already practically hopeless.
    That of course will represent a nightmare for England: if Bess is picked for his batting, I can’t see him becoming too much of a threat for the rest of the English summer, and Buttler just seems like a wrong pick, considering that the role he is presumably picked for (biffing it when England are plenty for 5) will not happen too often, until England sort out their top 5 – and in turn if he is kept in the Test side for long, that may adversely impact on his white ball game.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. oreston May 27, 2018 / 10:30 am

    Apparently there needed to be 30 overs’ play today to avoid MCC having to shell out for a ticket refund. Might be a bit tight.


    • thelegglance May 27, 2018 / 10:31 am

      15-29 is a 50% refund. But don’t forget 2 overs come off that for the change of innings. It’s such a one sided rule.


  14. Silk May 27, 2018 / 10:51 am

    Two things.

    1 – Ed Smith. F, he’s clever, just ask him.

    2 – Hahahahaha.

    That is all.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Rohan May 27, 2018 / 10:59 am

    Go on Pakistan! You deserve this, the England team I used to watch and support from growing up in the early nineties to the greatness of 2005 and 2010/11 in Australia is gone, I don’t care for them anymore, it makes me sad!

    I still like some of the players and like others on here, enjoyed Butler and Bess last night, but as a team, well, their not MY TEAM anymore, the ECB have made hat clear, so I shall cheer Pakistan.

    Let the inquests, or lack of, begin. Vaughan already making excuses for England on TMS by saying it was an exceptional Pakistan performance, thereby, inferring England are not at fault and could do nothing about it.


    • thelegglance May 27, 2018 / 11:00 am

      To be fair to Vaughan, he was scathing about England yesterday.


      • Mark May 27, 2018 / 11:21 am

        The problem with Vaughn’s argument is that assuming Pakistan win this test match, it will be (I think I’m right in saying ) their 5th test win out of the last 8 against England.

        Not a one off.


      • northernlight71 May 27, 2018 / 11:49 am

        Rent-a-gob MPV is telling us all how terrible the team is at the moment. Except also telling us how talented lots of the players are. Questioning the coaching staff until someone pointed out how the same staff are overseeing a great ODI team, so perhaps it’s the players that are the problem? Suddenly MPV starts telling us that the players aren’t very good now.
        All this within 4 minutes. Can I get paid by the BBC to talk such utter contradictory nonsense?


      • Sophie May 27, 2018 / 12:12 pm

        This may not be a very original insight, but I’ve been getting the impression that Vaughan just expresses whatever thought has last entered his mind at any given time. With conviction too, while it lasts.


      • Rohan May 27, 2018 / 2:48 pm

        True, but today it sounded like he was trying to excuse the performance, or deflect from it. Maybe he was just being clumsy with his words. I am sure some in the media will try to create excuses for how poor England are……


    • dlpthomas May 27, 2018 / 11:02 am

      England could try not being crap.


  16. Mark May 27, 2018 / 11:25 am

    Ed Smith slowly, and reluctantly takes out his iPhone, and removes from his music play list David Bowie’s …..We could be hero’s, just for one day.


    • oreston May 27, 2018 / 11:40 am

      This match might mark a new Low for England, but sadly I don’t think he’ll be seeking A New Career In A New Town just yet.


  17. Tom May 27, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    Got some other things to worry about right now (lava flows and suchlike) and haven’t followed the match but saw the final scorecard. Is it as embarrassing as it looks?


    • LordCanisLupus May 27, 2018 / 1:02 pm


      I got your e-mail and the link. Apologies for not replying (I will). Stay safe sir.

      England are like an ageing boy band. Going on past their sell by date, hoping to hit the high notes for one last time, except it will dawn on them that no-one fancies them any more. Mediocre tunes, insipid performances. I’m not embarrassed. The ECB should be.


    • quebecer May 27, 2018 / 7:24 pm

      Oh I dunno. Lava flows are, I suppose, reason enough not to follow the test too closely. You should fell slightly ashamed, perhaps, but not full on embarrassed.


  18. Sherwick May 27, 2018 / 12:23 pm



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s