Pakistan wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan is confident that the visitors are still alive in the contest after they were made to follow-on 310 runs behind in the England vs Pakistan 3rd Test.
Pakistan collapsed to 75-5 on Sunday’s third day before Azhar’s 141 not out guided them to a total of 273. Rizwan played his part with a defiant 53 during a sixth-wicket partnership of 138 with Azhar that kept England at bay.
Nevertheless, Pakistan were still left a huge 310 runs behind England’s first innings 583-8 declared that saw Zak Crawley, whose 267 was his maiden Test century, and Jos Buttler (152) put on 359 for the fifth wicket.
It was no surprise when, amid an uncertain forecast, England captain Joe Root enforced the follow-on.
But the umpires then decided the light was too dark for Pakistan to begin their second innings even though the Ageas Bowl floodlights were on, a move that ended the day’s play.
England great James Anderson took 5-56 as he moved on to 598 Test wickets and the 38-year-old would have become the first paceman to 600 had not three catches been dropped off him after he had taken the new ball.
Pakistan, 1-0 down in a three-match contest and facing a first series defeat by England in a decade, will now do well to escape with a draw.
But wicketkeeper Rizwan, demonstrating the same defiance he’d shown at the crease, told reporters: “We have a few batsmen who can score big, if we can take a 150-run lead then it will be tough for England.”
England’s Dom Bess, however, said: “We’re in a great position. There’s a little bit of weather around, but you’d like to think with the bowling attack we have, that we can produce the goods.”