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Rehan Ahmed turns momentum for England with three-wicket spell

The leg-spinner reduced Pakistan from 164 for three to 177 for six

Sonia Twigg
Monday 19 December 2022 10:37 GMT
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Rehan Ahmed, centre, celebrates a wicket with his England team-mates (Fareed Khan/PA)
Rehan Ahmed, centre, celebrates a wicket with his England team-mates (Fareed Khan/PA)

England leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed claimed three wickets before tea to halt Pakistan’s momentum on day three of the third Test on Karachi.

Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel had forced the tourists to toil in the field after lunch, with a 110-run partnership taking them to 164 for three.

But the introduction of 18-year-old Ahmed changed the mood, with his three-wicket burst helping reduce Pakistan to 177 for six at tea – a lead of 128 runs.

He broke Pakistan’s fourth-wicket stand when he dismissed Babar, who had just brought up his half century.

The Pakistan captain was trying to punish a loose short delivery but ended up smashing the ball straight at Ollie Pope at midwicket.

Mohammad Rizwan, who had just survived being dropped by Zak Crawley for seven, was caught behind to give Ahmed his second scalp.

Saud Shakeel then departed for 53, sweeping to Jack Leach at square leg to give Ahmed his fifth wicket of the match.

In the morning session, it was Leach who made the inroads for the tourists, taking three wickets in six balls.

Pakistan looked to move the scoring on quickly at the start of the day, with a four off the first ball and 12 from the opening over, but were soon forced to go more defensive after Leach struck.

His first wicket was Shan Masood, who was bowled by the spinner attempting to reverse sweep a delivery and was out for 24.

The wicket brought Azhar Ali to the crease for his final innings in Test cricket.

The 37-year-old’s appearance was short-lived as he was bowled by Leach for a four-ball duck and left the field to a guard of honour.

Leach soon added another to his tally, trapping Abdullah Shafique lbw for 26.

Leach’s three wickets came without a run being scored and saw him overtake South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada as 2022’s leading Test wicket-taker.

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