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Pakistan turn up pressure on final morning of first England Test

Saud Shakheel hit a half-century (Anjum Naveed/AP)
Saud Shakheel hit a half-century (Anjum Naveed/AP)

Pakistan lost just one wicket on the final morning of the first Test in Rawalpindi, heading into lunch needing 174 runs for victory as the pressure built on England.

Although they reached the break at 169 for three in their second innings, the hosts’ single loss was the key wicket of Imam-ul-Haq.

Imam had scored successive centuries in his last three innings at Rawalpindi but was caught behind off the bowling of James Anderson for 48.

Saud Shakeel stepped up with a half-century, reaching the milestone with a four off Joe Root, and went into the break unbeaten on 63.

Pakistan started the day requiring 263 runs to win with eight wickets remaining after Ben Stokes made a daring declaration, setting the hosts a target of just 343 on a very flat deck.

Early on Monday it looked as though the home side were determined to bring the draw back into play, with just 13 runs coming in the first hour of play after eight from the opening eight deliveries.

However, they started to pick up the pace, with 11 coming from Will Jacks’ first over of the day.

England continued to tinker with the field as they have done throughout the Test, including asking stand-in wicketkeeper Ollie Pope to stand up to Anderson.

England had scored 264 runs in just 35.5 overs in their second innings at a run rate of more than 7.5 but would have been hoping to make the most of the slightly lively dew on the ground in the morning.

Having made two breakthroughs on the evening of day four, including the crucial wicket of Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Azhar Ali retiring hurt, it looked as though the momentum was with the visitors, but they struggled to kick on on Monday morning.

England will continue to be without Liam Livingstone for the remainder of the Test – and the series – with the all-rounder due to return home on Tuesday to continue rehabilitation from a knee injury.