England vs Pakistan: Azhar Ali crosses 6,000 Test runs while leading visitors’ fightback on Day 3 of final Test

Southampton: Pakistan captain Azhar Ali passed 6,000 career runs in Tests and was closing in on his 17th century as he held up England’s charge for victory in the third and final Test at the Rose Bowl on Sunday.

Azhar was unbeaten on 82 and was sharing an 83-run partnership with wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan as Pakistan reached tea on 158-5 on day three.

The tourists trailed by 425 runs.

England only took one wicket in the second session in Southampton. Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, whose performance behind the stumps has been criticised this series, showed great reflexes to catch an edge from Fawad Alam (21) off spinner Dom Bess.

England paceman James Anderson remained on 597 wickets in his Test career, having taken his fourth of the match before lunch in removing Asad Shafiq. That left Pakistan on 41-4 at lunch but Azhar has led the recovery.

The 38-year-old Anderson, who has figures of 4-42, is fourth on the list of all-time leading wicket-takers in Tests. Only retired spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619) are above him.

Pakistan is replying to England’s mammoth 583-8 declared.

England leads the series 1-0.

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