England, rain and bad light. The recurring theme once again played out on the 4th day of the 3rd Test against Pakistan as play was called-off pre-maturely due to bad light. That means James Anderson will have to wait for a few more hours before he becomes the first fast bowler and fourth overall in the history.
The day once again started with England fielders refusing to accept catches of the bowling of James Anderson. Anderson could have got Shan Masood for the 9th time in his career but for Jos Buttler, who dropped a regulation catch. And, the smile on the champion fast bowler’s face said it all.
Abid Ali and Shan Masood ensured that Pakistan did not lose a wicket in the morning session, as they went into Lunch at 0-41.
The Lunchbreak proved to be an extended one as torrential rains and its subsequent impact on the outfield ensured that the entire second session was washed out.
When they did come back for an extended post-Tea session, the players were greeted with glorious sunshine. England got an early breakthrough when Shan Masood, in what proved to be a fatal attempt left a Stuart Broad delivery, one that nipped in before hitting his back leg.
Abid Ali and Azhar Ali provide Pakistan solidarity before James Anderson once again proved to be the partnership breaker for England
Post the dismissal, Abid Ali and skipper Azhar Ali blunted out whatever England bowlers threw at them during their 39-run stand. Azhar Ali looked quite fluent during his innings while opener Abid Ali showed the necessary determination and grit but James Anderson eventually had the last laugh, as the champion fast bowler claimed his 599th scalp by pinning Abid Ali in front of the wickets.
But just as we thought that we were in for a slice of history with Anderson nearing the 600-wicket mark, bad light once again proved to be the villain as officials deemed that the light had deteriorated to such an extent that facing fast bowling was dangerous.
Ultimately, play was called off after a few overs of spin by Dom Bess and Joe Root.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the 4th day’s play between England and Pakistan-
🏴 STUMPS 🇵🇰
— ICC (@ICC) August 24, 2020
England have got the ball reversing and it doesn't take long for Anderson to make use of it! Close again but Abid has to go, lbw for 42.
Pakistan 88-2, trail by 222.#ENGvPAK 🏴🇵🇰
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) August 24, 2020
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) August 24, 2020
High praise for Azhar Ali from Brian Lara who says Azhar's 141 not out was one of the best captain's knock in modern cricket and that his TV remote remained untouched while watching the game. #EngvPak
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) August 24, 2020
Spoken a lot about how good Rizwan has been behind the stumps,England have dropped 11 catches this series & despite that they’re leading 1-0,shows how good their bowlers have been,taken the keeper and slips out of the equation! Stat courtesy @MazherArshad #ENGvPAK
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) August 24, 2020
— Hannah (@hannah_itfc) August 24, 2020
— Abdullah Athar (@AbdullahAliBG) August 24, 2020
James Anderson was getting better each year which is one of the most impossible jobs for fast bowlers after 32. pic.twitter.com/itxysDYSNC
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) August 24, 2020
James Anderson has had more drops off his bowling than 93% of Test cricketers have wickets https://t.co/1CM9S8TXVm
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) August 24, 2020
Come On!! 🙌
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 24, 2020
If not for the dropped catches, Anderson would have already had 605 wkts by now in this match. #ENGvPAK
— Udit (@udit_buch) August 24, 2020
Did I imagine it? I thought they said they were going to start early to make up time? #ENGvPAK
— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) August 24, 2020
— CricBlog ✍ (@cric_blog) August 24, 2020
— Jamey Kemp (@jaykay1980) August 24, 2020
🚨 STAT ALERT 🚨
Only twice before has Azhar Ali hit more boundaries in an innings than his first innings in this match 💥
— ICC (@ICC) August 24, 2020