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Crawley closes in on maiden test ton in third Test v Pakistan
The aggressive Crawley struck 11 fours in his unbeaten 97
Batsman Zak Crawley has played a positive counter-punch as he nears a maiden Test century after guiding England to 184 for four at tea on the opening day of the third and final Test against Pakistan at the Rose Bowl on Friday.
The aggressive Crawley struck 11 fours in his unbeaten 97, and if he reaches his milestone will score just the fourth first-class ton of his career.
He has put on an unbeaten 57 in 17 overs for the fifth wicket with Jos Buttler (24 not out) to rescue England from a precarious position.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, England were teetering at 127 for four before the pair steadied the innings, with Crawley sounding his intention with a four from his first delivery.
Pakistan had early success when struggling England opener Rory Burns (6) was caught at third slip by Shan Masood off the bowling of seamer Shaheen Afridi. He now has just 20 runs in four innings in this series.
Dom Sibley (22) was trapped leg before wicket by wily leg-spinner Yasir Shah (2-60), who was introduced after 10 overs of the innings on the dry wicket and found immediate turn.
He also accounted for Ollie Pope (3), a quicker delivery pinning the middle-order batsman on the back foot and clattering into his stumps.
Before that, home captain Joe Root (29) looked well set before he received a super delivery from 17-year-old seamer Naseem Shah that caught his outside edge as it jagged away and provided a catch for wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.
England have made one change from the drawn second Test, restoring fast bowler Jofra Archer to the side in the place of Sam Curran, while Pakistan are unchanged in their quest to snatch a draw in the series.
England won the first Test in Manchester by three wickets.
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