England take series lead at Edgbaston


England took a two-one series lead against Pakistan on Sunday when they won the third Test at Edgbaston by 141 runs, late on day five, thanks to a good effort from their pacemen.

The wickets were spread across the board, five bowlers taking two each, as Pakistan failed to bat out the day after England declared on 445 for six in the morning. Pakistan were all out for 201, chasing 343 to win.

The day began with England holding a lead over 300 already, and Jonny Bairtsow well set alongside Moeen Ali. Both had half centuries already, and it was only a matter of how many overs Alastair Cook would give them.

Bairstow was trapped LBW by Sohail Khan for 83, adding just one run to his overnight score, and the skipper let the batting run for just three more overs before calling the batsmen in. Moeen left the field on 86 not out off 96 balls.

Pakistan thus needed to bat for the bulk of the day, and would have been confident of resisting the England attack, especially as they reached lunch with only one wicket down.

But the afternoon session ripped the heart out of the resistance, with six wickets falling. It was all about the pace, as Steve Finn and Chris Woakes took two wickets each, while Stuart Broad and James Anderson also contributed.

There was a period of frustration for the hosts as Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam put on a stand of 73, though Aslam was the only batsman in the innings to record a half century. He made 70 before being bowled by Finn.

The middle order was dire, before the tail wagged. Pakistan were seven down at tea, and lost two more wickets after the break, but Sohail and Rahat Ali did not go down without a fight. 

They made it to the final drinks break, with 15 overs to go in the day, as tensions rose inside the ground. Could they pull off a miracle draw? they could not, as Moeen took the wicket of Sohail, caught and bowled, to end the match.