England's Zak Crawley turns maiden Test ton into double century against Pakistan - GulfToday

England's Zak Crawley turns maiden Test ton into double century against Pakistan


Zak Crawley celebrates scoring 200 runs during the second day of the third Test match at the Ageas Bowl on Saturday. AP

England's Zak Crawley converted his maiden Test hundred into a double century as he shared a record-breaking stand with Jos Buttler on the second day of the series finale against Pakistan at Southampton on Saturday.

One of the few false shots of his innings saw Crawley, 186 not out at lunch, go to 200 when he edged a four past second slip off teenage paceman Naseem Shah — his 25th boundary in 331 balls.

ZakCwarley-PakAsad Shafiq and Mohammad Rizwan greet Zak Crawley as he leaves the field after losing his wicket. AP

The 22-year-old Crawley was the seventh England batsman to turn his maiden Test hundred into a double century and the first since Kent predecessor Rob Key did so against the West Indies at Lord's in 2004.

Earlier, Buttler completed just the second hundred of his 47-match Test career and first as a wicketkeeper.

The pair, who had come together at 127-4, took England past 400.

Crawley and Buttler's partnership was a new England fifth-wicket record in Test cricket, surpassing the 254 shared by Keith Fletcher and Tony Greig against India at the Brabourne Stadium in Bombay (now Mumbai) in February 1973.

England, 1-0 up in a three-match series and needing to avoid defeat at the Ageas Bowl to secure a first series win over Pakistan in a decade, resumed in a commanding position at 332-4.

Crawley was 171 not out, after posting a maiden century at this level in his eighth Test on Friday, with Buttler 87 not out.

Buttle100-750x450Jos Buttler raises his bat and helmet to celebrate scoring a century. AP

Buttler, whose 75 at Old Trafford helped England to a three-wicket win in the first Test, had moved into the 90s by the time the first of two rain breaks kept the players off the field for nearly two hours in total.

But the umpires, much criticised for not doing enough to get play underway in a drawn second Test at Southampton marred by weather interruptions, extended the pre-lunch session until 2:00pm local time (1300 GMT).

It took Crawley 25 balls to add to his overnight score but he did so in style, elegantly flicking a half-volley from left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi off his pads for four through midwicket.

Buttler scare

Buttler went to 99 with an elegant forcing shot for four off Mohammad Abbas.

He was still on 99 when, after opposing wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan came up to the stumps, he was given out caught behind off Abbas, a probing paceman.

Mohammad Rizwan takes the ball as Jos Buttler is nearly caught out for 99 but after review the decision is overturned. AFP

Buttler immediately reviewed umpire Richard Illingworth's decision and replays showed the ball had missed the outside edge, with the bat appearing to hit the pad instead.

Next ball, Buttler punched Abbas through point to complete a 189-ball hundred with 10 fours and two sixes.

It was the 29-year-old Buttler's second century in 47 Tests following his 106 against India at Nottingham's Trent Bridge two years ago -- an innings that took place soon after the World Cup winner's recall to England's red-ball side -- and first as a wicketkeeper.

Pakistan, fielding just four frontline bowlers including leg-spinner Yasir Shah, pressed for a breakthrough but, with the sun starting to shine, Crawley and Buttler continued to pile on the runs.

Agence France-Presse

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