Pakistan were staring down at peril after a horrid end to the second day in Southampton. Trailing by 559 runs, the visitors were not at their optimistic best coming out on Day 3 against England.
Languishing at 24-3 with James Anderson at his swinging best, Pakistan were resuced momentarily by rain in the first session.
Before rain halted play, new batsman Asad Shafiq became Anderson’s fourth victim of the innings while Joe Root climbed up to the second spot in most number of catches by and English fielder.
The first session only saw 11 overs being bowled following which skipper Azhar Ali trudged to the 6000-run mark in test cricket. The budding partnership between Ali and Fawad Alam was brought to an end by Dom Bess leaving Pakistan at 75-5.
Marching on after his landmark, Azhar Ali brought up his first fifty outside of the United Arab Emirates in two years. Mohammad Rizwan at the other end reached a gritty half century as well. The 138-run stand for the sixth wicket was finally broken by Chris Woakes with a loose delivery down the leg-side.
Azhar Ali’s lone battle prolonged as he brought up the 17th century of his career in whites. Stuart Broad cleaned up the tail, leaving one for James Anderson to complete his five-wicket haul. The veteran picked up his 29th five-wicket haul and his third against Pakistan.
Azhar Ali remained unbeaten on 141 with Pakistan managing a first-innings total of 273. England enforced the follow-on after attaining a 310-run lead, but the play did not proceed any further due to poor light.
Pakistan will have to come up with an Herculean effort to avoid a 2-0 series loss with two days remaining in the series.
England 583-8 (153 overs) (Z.Crawley 267; F.Alam 2-46)
Pakistan 272 all out ( 93 overs) (A.Ali 141; J.Anderson 5-56)