Bairstow and Moeen put England in control
BIRMINGHAM – Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali shared an unbroken partnership of 132 to lift England to 414 for five and a lead of 311 runs over Pakistan on the fourth day of the third Test at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Bairstow was unbeaten on 82 and Moeen 60 not out at the close with England in a good position to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series if they can bowl out the touring side on the final day.
After resuming on 120 for no wicket, England lost captain Alastair Cook for 66, driving a wide ball from Sohail Khan to point where Yasir Shah took a fine diving catch.
Alex Hales, on 54, then edged Mohammad Amir to Younus Khan at second slip and with the Pakistan seamers bowling wide of off stump to restrict the scoring rate, Joe Root and James Vince cautiously took the total to 183 for two at lunch.
Root, struggling with a back problem and dropped on 25, made 62 before he top-edged Shah to short fine leg.
Vince was eight runs short of his first Test half-century when he hung his bat out to a wide ball from Amir and Younus took another neat slip catch.
Gary Ballance made a patient 28 before he turned a ball from Shah to Asad Shafiq at leg slip but the arrival of Moeen at the crease changed the tempo of the game.
Bairstow went on the attack and reached his eighth Test fifty, off 83 balls, while Moeen displayed his full repertoire of wristy strokes and hit eight fours in a sparkling knock.
England 1st innings 297 (G. Ballance 70, M. Ali 63; S. Khan 5-96) Pakistan 1st innings 400 (A. Ali 139, S. Aslam 82, Misbah-ul-Haq 56) England 2nd innings (Overnight: 120-0) A. Cook c Shah b So. Khan 66 A. Hales c Y. Khan b Amir 54 J. Root c Hafeez b Shah 62 J. Vince c Y. Khan b Amir 42 G. Ballance c Shafiq b Shah 28 J. Bairstow not out 82 M. Ali not out 60 Extras (b-4 lb-7 nb-8 w-1) 20 Total (for 5 wickets, 125 overs) 414 Fall of wickets: 1-126 A. Cook,2-126 A. Hales,3-221 J. Root,4-257 J. Vince,5-282 G. Ballance To bat: C. Woakes, S. Broad, J. Anderson, S. Finn Bowling M. Amir 30 - 8 - 73 - 2(w-1) So. Khan 27 - 3 - 102 - 1(nb-8) R. Ali 21 - 8 - 54 - 0 Y. Shah 42 - 4 - 152 - 2 Az. Ali 5 - 0 - 22 - 0 Referees Umpire: Bruce Oxenford Umpire: Joel Wilson TV umpire: Kumar Dharmasena Match referee: Richie Richardson. –Reuters