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Brook hits another century but reckless England leave Second Test vs Pakistan on a knife edge despite late Leach wicket

JACK LEACH’S late wicket – and a sharp catch by Joe Root – gave England a huge boost near the end of day three of the Second Test.

Leach struck when left-hander Imam-ul-Haq drove at a widish delivery, edged and Root held on to the edge at first slip.

Brook hit another century for England
Leach bowling in the third day of the Second Test
Leach’s late wicket handed England a huge boost near the end of day three

It came when Imam and Saud Shakeel put on 108 runs for the fourth wicket after Pakistan lost three for 17 to England’s seamers and slumped to 83-3.

Pakistan, chasing 355 to level the series 1-1, were 198-4 at the close and there could be a thrilling conclusion on the fourth day.

After Harry Brook scored his second Test century in only his third match, England batted recklessly and lost their final five wickets for 19 runs.

But that’s the way they play under Ben Stokes and nobody can quibble with the results. They have won seven of their eight Tests with Stokes and Brendon McCullum in charge.

They would also have been confident of preventing Pakistan making the highest total of the match to win.

Regular opener Imam was unavailable to go in first because of a hamstring twinge.

So wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan was promoted and he and Abdullah Shafique were largely untroubled reaching 64-0 at lunch.

But that all changed soon after the interval as England’s quick bowlers produced a trio of brilliant deliveries.


Jimmy Anderson’s ball to Rizwan swerved in the air and then nipped away off the pitch.

Virtually unplayable and the second time in the match that Rizwan succumbed to a peach of a delivery after Leach’s spinning snorter in the first innings.

Ollie Robinson coaxed Babar into leaving a ball, which nipped back like an off-break and bowled Pakistan’s best batsman.

Robinson also bowled Babar in the first innings with a superb reverse swinger.

And then Mark Wood accounted for Shafique with another delivery that cut in alarmingly from a surface that had previously offered little help for the seamers.

Imam felt fit enough to come in at No.5 and he showed few affects of his injury. He found a strong ally in fellow leftie Shakeel and they were causing England plenty of frustration.

Imam was dropped on 19 – a relatively straightforward caught and bowled chance to Will Jacks – and would probably have been given out caught behind on 54 off Wood if England had reviewed.

But he eventually perished to Leach ten minutes before bad light curtailed play.

Earlier, Brook added weight to what most people expect – that he will become a major international batsman for many years.

His century was England’s 21st in Test cricket this year – an England record for a calendar year and another tribute to the attacking and relaxed mindset created by Stokes and McCullum.

Brook and Stokes took their sixth-wicket stand to 101 before Stokes holed out to deep mid-wicket.

That prompted a collapse in which England’s lower-order produced a mixture of slogs and sweeps as the final five wickets fell for 19 runs.

In the past, England would have batted carefully to try to make sure their lead extended beyond 400 but Stokes and his boys don’t do the orthodox.

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