After a rather farcical draw in Southampton, England and Pakistan prepare for the third and final Test of the series at the same venue, starting Friday. We break down the match along with our betting tips from the 3rd Test.
Not even a day and half of cricket was played in the second Test in Southampton due to a combination of inclement weather and bad light. In the little cricket that was played, the ball seamed around in exaggerated fashion, the batsmen struggled to find any fluency and players were forced off the field for bad light. Basically, cricket in England!
England bowled Pakistan out for 236 in a little over 91 overs, using the lateral movement on offer to break through Pakistan’s circumspect batsmen. Stuart Broad continued his fine form with figures of 4 for 56 in that innings.
In the 43 overs that England batted, they were also troubled by overhead conditions as they lost four wickets. Zak Crawley was the biggest beneficiary of that short innings, as he probably retained his No. 3 spot for the third Test with a gritty 53 off 99 balls.
While underfoot conditions are generally not a problem in Southampton, the cloudy overhead conditions could have a significant impact on the game again. England’s opening combination of Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley have both struggled to put together consistent performances, as a direct impact of these tough early-morning conditions.
From Pakistan’s perspective, both Shan Masood and Abid Ali have managed fifty-plus scores. That hasn’t occurred in tandem though. Opening partnerships of substance are hard to come by. That should continue in this Test as well.
England’s bowlers were good right through that first innings, staying patient and utilising the lateral movement on offer. Even though Pakistan’s bowlers are prolific at their art, particularly swing bowling, it will be hard to upstage England’s experienced four-pronged pace attack in their home conditions.
That difference might make a massive difference in this Test, particularly with the weather set fair for the majority of the match, apart from a few spells of rain. Pakistan will also have to find a way to score runs on a consistent basis. They have now had two sub-250 scores out of three innings.
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