Seamer Anderson steps up for England


James Anderson stepped up to the plate when England needed him most as the seamer took four wickets on a slow surface in Sharjah as the Three Lions bowled Pakistan out for 234 on the first day of the third and final Test.

With England needing to win the match to level the series, and losing a seemingly vital toss, Anderson started making inroads early in the day.

The right-arm seamer had opener Azhar Ali caught behind by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow for none in just the third over of the game, five for one.

It set the tone for all the England bowlers to follow suit, and they did just that. Mohammad Hafeez skied a delivery from offspinner Moeen Ali to be out for 27 as Pakistan went to lunch on 87 for two.

Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan added 39 for the third wicket before paceman Stuart Broad had Malik caught by Bairstow for 38, while Anderson got rid of dangerman Younis, for 31, as Pakistan slipped to 103 for four.

Asad Shafiq (5) fell cheaply but captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Sarfraz Ahmed put on 80 for the sixth wicket to do somewhat of a rescue job for the Asian side.

Moeen broke the partnership when he had Sarfraz caught by Joe Root for 39, but the tail could not stay with Misbah who was eventually second last man out for a defiant 71.

Anderson finished with four for 17 while Broad, Moeen and Samit Patel picked up two apiece.

The Three Lions' openers, Alastair Cook and Moeen, survived two overs before the close to make it a near perfect day for the tourists.