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Will Jacks: Wicket of Babar Azam could be a game-changing moment for England

Will Jacks claimed the wicket of Pakistan captain Babar Azam (Anjum Naveed/AP)
Will Jacks claimed the wicket of Pakistan captain Babar Azam (Anjum Naveed/AP)

Will Jacks believes taking the wicket of Pakistan captain Babar Azam could prove a “game-changing” moment for England as they look to claim victory in the first Test.

England took four wickets in the final session as the hosts slipped to 499 for seven at the end of day three in Rawalpindi.

The tourists toiled in the field throughout the afternoon but persevered, and Jacks finished the day with three for 132 from 32 overs in his maiden Test match.

Despite having scored a masterful century before tea, Babar’s innings came to an end when he cut Jacks straight to point.

It was the first sign of any spin in the track and brought new life to England’s bowling attack as Pakistan lost four wickets for just 88 runs in the final session.

All-rounder Jacks believes it could prove a pivotal moment, and said: “(I was in) a bit of disbelief really. It was the first ball of my spell, probably a bit of a loosener outside off and he cut it to point.

“(I’m) pretty happy, it was almost a game-changing moment. If we go on to win this Test then I guess that could be seen as a big moment in the game to take that wicket of Babar and then (Mohammad) Rizwan the very next over and one more in the last hour.

Pakistan England Cricket
England’s Will Jacks celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Babar Azam (Anjum Naveed/AP)

“It finished up being a great day for us. Seven wickets in the day is very, very good, so we’ll be looking to get those three remaining wickets as quickly as possible in the morning and then give them a score to chase.”

Former captain Joe Root insisted England, who made 657 in their first innings, have no interest in seeing the game out for a draw, despite the flat track at Rawalpindi.

“With our team and the way we play our cricket we will be making sure we give ourselves a chance of winning the game,” Root told Sky Sports.

“We are not really interested in drawing the match. We want to give ourselves the best chance of winning it, and if Pakistan are good enough to beat us, then so be it.

“We have three big wickets to take tomorrow, then we will try to crash a few around and try to get to a reasonable total. There’s still a lot of entertaining cricket to play over the next two days.”

Imam-ul-Haq, who brought up a century of his own at the start of the day having opened the batting, believes there is still a way to go in the match.

“They bowled brilliantly in the last one-and-a-half hours and they were fighting hard, but you know there are still six sessions to go and the game can go either side,” Imam said.

“But we are looking for the next session on day four and it’s going to be really important how it goes and then we will see how it goes for the rest of the Test match.”