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Pakistan v England: first Test, day four – live

Key events

11th over: England 80-2 (Crawley 42, Root 20) Big over! Crawley plunders two boundaries from Naseem’s first two balls, all long levers and timing, he looks in excellent form – he loves playing against Pakistan. Joe Root then plays an outrageous reverse scoop that flies away for four over the keeper! 14 runs off the over, on we go…

10th over: England 66-2 (Crawley 33, Root 15) Shot! Crawley plays a Pietersen-esque flamingo flick through mid-wicket for four!

9th over: England 58-2 (Crawley 28, Root 12) Ahh that’s lovely from Root, a delicious late glide for four off Naseem Shah, silky hands from the Sheffield man.

Adrian Paterson has been dipping his quill and delving into his sonnets:

“Jim, as a sleepless English Lit. academic in Innsbruck I’m trying to celebrate Will Jacks’ remarkable debut performance by working in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 128. It’s not going so well, being just this side of wildly inappropriate. Maybe some less addled OBOers can help, as lots of the lines about “sweet fingers” and “dead wood” (dead bat, or maybe batters who have got out) seem to apply to spin bowling, of the sort that might bemuse batters (“so tickled that they would change their state”). It ought to work – after all it is a (saucy) sonnet by Will (S.) all about Jacks (in this case meaning the balance on the keys of a wooden keyboard instrument, hence them leaping up when played by the fingers).

How oft, when thou, my music, music play’st

Upon that blessèd wood whose motion sounds

With thy sweet fingers when thou gently sway’st

The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,

Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap

To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,

Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap

At the wood’s boldness by thee blushing stand.

To be so tickled they would change their state

And situation with those dancing chips,

O’er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait,

Making dead wood more blest than living lips.

Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,

Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss

Ach, well. Anyway Jacks is certainly enviable right now, and should definitely keep hold of his fingers. And keep up the nimble work with yours!”

8th over: England 50-2 (Crawley 25, Root 7) Mohammad Ali starts up after the interval. Just one (very wide) slip in place. England start with a positively pedestrian four runs from the over. Nasser Hussain was saying during the break that England are not interested in a draw at all, that they are happy to risk losing if it means they’ve given themselves the best chance of winning. It such shift in mindset to traditional Test match thinking, the fear of failure just is not there with this side.

If England aim to go at six an over then they’ll be able dangle a 350 odd target and have a dart at Pakistan for a few overs in the shadows this evening.

The players are headed back out onto field in Rawalpindi. I’ve got my Paddington Bear on and scoffed down plenty of toast and marmalade here in a chilly London, time to settle in for an engrossing few hours of cricket.

Lunchtime/Breakfast reading:

What either side would give to have Shoaib Akhtar and his 100 mph thunderbolts in this game. I spoke to the man who brought England back down to earth with a bump in 2005. Fair to say the big man ‘gives good copy’.

Let me ask you a question.” Shoaib Akhtar fixes me with those saucer eyes. “Tell me, truthfully, when were you happiest?”

“Erm, I’m not sure. The birth of my child?”

This feels like the right thing to say and I think might call the former fast bowler’s bluff. No chance.

“Right, increase that by a thousand and it’ll be somewhere near what it feels like to bowl truly fast. If you get a wicket after all that effort, when the ball hits the stumps, the sound of it goes inside your soul and explodes like an atom bomb. That’s true happiness.”

It was a morning Will Jacks will never forget:

That’s Lunch.

Root and Crawley amble off for some scran. There have been five wickets and 126 runs in the first session of the day, this game is beginning to open up. England have eight second innings wickets in hand and a lead of 124. Penny for ‘em?

7th over: England 46-2 (Crawley 24, Root 4)

6th over: England 41-2 (Crawley 21, Root 2) Root is off the mark with a neat nudge off his hip. We’ll have one more over before the lunch interval.

Wicket! Pope ct Shah b Mohammad Ali 15 (England 36-2)

Another one gone! Pope plops a top edged pull straight to Naseem Shah on the leg side fence. The lead is 117. Joe Root is the new batter. Good this.

5th over: England 36-1 (Crawley 18, Pope 15) Back to back boundaries to Crawley who is getting after Naseem here. Two dismissive cross bat shots fly to the fence. Another couple make it ten from the over. DROP! Shah spills a tricky return catch off the last ball, a leading edge from Crawley popping in and popping out onto the turf.

4th over: England 26-1 (Crawley 8, Pope 15) Pope is busy, a ginger Duracell bunny at the crease. He picks off Ali for a couple of singles and a two down to third, finishing the over with lightning handed whip for four through mid-wicket.

3rd over: England 15-1 (Crawley 7, Pope 6) Crawley gets in on the fun and unfurls a textbook cover drive for four.

Mike Forsythe is with us and so, sort of, is his littlun’:

“Morning, my 16 month old son has decided to wake up for the opening ball of the day ever since the start of the test match. From this I can only deduce that he’s going to be a massive cricket fan, and the fact he’d rather read Peppa Pig rather than watch the action is merely testament to the unfolding tension of this contest.”

Finally, someone agrees, thanks Mike. This is going to get spicy, I’ve got a feeling.

2nd over: England 11-1 (Crawley 3, Pope 6) Pope plays a decadent flamingo pull shot off the front foot that whistles away for four. England will keep coming, you can count on that.

1st over: England 4-1 (Crawley 2, Pope 0) Phewf! Naseem thuds one into Pope’s pads and there is a HUGE appeal. NOT OUT. The ball was slipping just down leg. Pope has just kept wicket for absolutely yonks remember.

Becky Chantry is tuned in:

“Good morning! I’m currently wishing I was still in sunny Cyprus but I’m very happy for Jacks this morning – six on his debut is great work. I’m expecting England to bat very positively again today and hopefully declare with a lead c350 but alas like others I’m struggling to see anything but a draw…”

Wicket! Duckett ct Salman b Shah 0 (England 1-1)

Here we go! Duckett goes for a golden duck! He was trying to steer Shah away but only managed to give catching practice to the slips. Shah wheels away and the crowd are into this. Ollie Pope is the new batter. Don’t go anywhere.

I’m with Ali. Buckle up. There’s a hint of dawn sneaking through here and I have an inkling this is going to be very exciting. I reckon England will look to bat fifty overs and get as many runs as possible, which of course gives Pakistan more than a chance to take the game too.

England take 78 runs first innings lead. With almost two days remaining in the Test, will be interesting to see their batting approach from here. Will they bat as aggressively as in the first innings to try and force a result?

— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) December 4, 2022

Rauf ct Root b Jacks 12 (Pakistan 579 all out)

Jacks has a sixth! Shades of Peter Such in ‘93. England’s openers trot off the field to strap em on. The lead is 78. I told you this is about to get interesting. There are about 60 overs left in the day.

155th over: Pakistan 579-9 (Rauf 12, Ali 0) Robinson whirrs away. Three more runs reduce the lead to 78 runs.

Martin Wright is with us:

“Morning James! At a time when any self-respecting lark is still tucked under the duvet – a thought: The most likely non-draw scenario? Pakistan creep to within 50 of England’s total; England’s batters go bazball-tastic, get out for 160 in 20 overs, Pakistan spend most of the final day cautiously crawling home… keep mainlining that coffee!”

That is definitely an option Martin, the high-wire act that Stokes and McCullum like to go for is certainly ripe for a totter and a tumble down to earth. England need to wrap this up pretty rapidly to take a decent-ish lead into the customary difficult second album tricky third knock.

Wicket! Mahmood st Pope b Jacks 17 (Pakistan 576-9)

Sharp work from Pope to get rid of Mahmood who was given out by third umpire Marais Erasmus for having nowt behind the line. Will Jacks has five wickets on Test debut!

Will Jacks – Test match five-for! A first for him in first class cricket, too 🎉

Becomes the first 5-wicket haul for an England debutant since Toby-Roland Jones v South Africa in the 2017 summer. Fair play #PakvEng

— Vithushan Ehantharajah (@Vitu_E) December 4, 2022

154th over: Pakistan 576-9 (Rauf 8, Ali 0)

153rd over: Pakistan 572-8 (Mahmood 17, Rauf 8) Robinson continues after drinks, three more runs reduce the lead down to 81.

Brian Withington is on the wire, morning Brian!

“Morning James

It seems like only months ago that I somewhat churlishly wrote in threatening to change my name to Brian B**B*** Withington if England successfully chased down 378 against India. I like to think I can claim some small karmic credit for what followed, although tbf I suspect Messrs Root and Bairstow deserve a little more?
What can I now offer for an England win in this one? Or anybody winning for that matter?”

Ha! I’m not sure what odds or options Deed Poll (is it deed poll?) will give you for a result for either side but I just have this feeling… (granted it could be lack of sleep)

152nd over: Pakistan 572-8 (Mahmood 15, Rauf 7) Will Jacks is on the prowl for his fifth wicket. No dice in this over and Mahmood also swats him away through the leg side for four. Time for a drink. To coffee or not to coffee?

151st over: Pakistan 565-8 (Mahmood 11, Rauf 4) Ollie Robinson replaces Jacks, a no-ball and a single see two runs from the over.

Micheal Peel emails in: “Sorry, I know you need to show some optimism but this game has been a guaranteed draw since the middle of the fourth session. We are now in the tenth of 15 sessions and there are still two innings after this one to get a result. Neither team will risk losing. We’ve seen some great batting and bowling on a pitch as dead as Monty Python’s parrot. There’s still a lot to enjoy, but excitement about the outcome isn’t one of them.”

I’m not so sure Michael… If England score at the same rate as they did in the first innings on top of a first innings lead of 80 odd then they could feasibly get up to dangling Pakistan a 350 run shaped carrot on the final day. Everything we’ve seen from Stokes and McCullum so far suggests they’ll go for a result in this game, which then of course gives Pakistan a sniff too. Maybe it is deluded optimism for an exciting finish, but things can turn very quickly in this type of game and we’ve still got the best part of two days for something pulse-quickening to occur.

150th over: Pakistan 563-8 (Mahmood 11, Rauf 3) Just a single off Jacks and the lead is whittled down a bit more, England 94 in front.

149th over: Pakistan 562-8 (Mahmood 11, Rauf 2) *Mark Nicholas voice* SIXAH! Mahmood slog sweeps Leach for a maximum! A lusty blow over mid-wicket. Rauf looks very ginger at the crease in his pads, word is that he has a quad strain and won’t bowl in the next innings. That’s a bit of a sickener for Rauf and Pakistan, not to mention his fellow bowlers.

Wicket! Salman ct Crawley b Jacks 53 (Pakistan 554-8)

Salman has to go now though! He hangs on the back foot and tries to work Jacks to leg but gets an outside edge that is very well snaffled by Zak Crawley at slip, lighting reflexes from the big man. England need two more and Will Jacks has four wickets on debut.

148th over: Pakistan 555-8 (Mahmood 5, Rauf 1)

147th over: Pakistan 554-7 (Salman 53, Mahmood 5) Fifty to Salman! He gets there with a lovely lofted drive for four off Leach. He’s been extremely fluent in this knock and is notching up vital runs for his side.

146th over: Pakistan 545-7 (Salman 48, Mahmood 5) A harum scarum single very nearly sees the end of Mahmood but the throw from keeper Ollie Pope scooping round to gather at backward point misses by a gnat’s eyelash.

145th over: Pakistan 542-7 (Salman 45, Mahmood 5) Another maiden from Leach who is keeping things tight for his skipper. The deficit is now 115 runs, what do we think is the likeliest path to victory here for either side? Drop me a line with your thoughts or theories if you are tuning in, it’s an inky pre-dawn here in London and to be brutally honest I could do with the company.

You can tap me up via email or on Twitter. Wackier predictions the better of course.

144th over: Pakistan 542-7 (Salman 45, Mahmood 5) Stokes and Jacks have another middle of the over chinwag, Salman plays a pre-emptive reverse which is nearly brilliantly snaffled by Joe Root anticipating in the sips, he gets a finger tip too it. Joel Wilson then has a bit of a nightmare – giving Salman out lbw to a Will Jacks delivery that looks to clearly have pitched outside leg. Yep, NOT OUT on the review and Umpire Wilson shakes his head ruefully, I think he knew that was a bit of a brain fade as soon as he’d raised the finger.

143rd over: Pakistan 534-7 (Salman 37, Mahmood 5) Leach sends down a probing over, a maiden. Pakistan have scored 35 runs in seven overs this morning. It’s fair to say the pitch still looks exceedingly flat.

142nd over: Pakistan 534-7 (Salman 37, Mahmood 5) Salman crunches Jacks down the ground for four and follows it up with a reverse sweep that traces away to the fence as well. There’s a loooong conflab between Stokes and Jacks which is so lengthy that it starts to get David Gower’s stoat goat on the tv commentary. Jacks sends down a wide half-tracker to finish which I don’t think was part of the cunning plan. He gets away with it as Salman slaps it straight to point.

141st over: Pakistan 526-7 (Salman 29, Mahmood 5) Just a single dabbed through gully from Salman off Leach. Pakistan trail by 131 and have three wickets in the hutch. I’m telling you, it’s going to get very interesting. I’m not entirely sure how yet, but mark these very vague words. Will Jacks is coming on to replace Jimmy Anderson at t’other end.

Now, the first thing to mention is that I’ve been caught out be an earlier start time and a few overs have been sent down. No wickets for England but a flurry of boundaries from the blade of Pakistan’s Agha Salman who has moved on to 28. Zahid Mahmood is with him at the crease and Jack Leach is twirling away under blue skies.


Hello and welcome to the day four OBO of Pakistan v England from Rawalpindi. It’s been three long days of toil for the bowlers but I have a sneaky suspicion this game has a sting in the tale… or maybe that is just wishful thinking.

It has been relentless stuff for the bowlers and fielders on both sides, which is tough on them but does gives me a prime opportunity to plug a piece I did recently about fielding.

Here’s what Paul Collingwood had to say about those long days in the dirt:

The deep satisfaction you get when you win Test matches means so much more when you’ve been through those never-ending days, the sessions that burn with proper fatigue, your whole body aching, legs like lead. I guess that’s what you play the game for. Those hard days give the other days more meaning. You’ve got to get through ’em, get the dark humour out.”

Jim here with the call for the first half of the day, up with the lark and hopefully some other OBOers? Do drop me a line if you are out there. Let’s do this.

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