The first day of the third Test ended up with England dominating the innings, calling the day at 332/4 in 90 overs at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
England won the toss and elected to bat. However, the game opened with a premature loss of their opening player, Rory Burns as Afridi dismissed him in the fifth over at only 6 runs. Zak Crawley made his entry at this point and started building what looked like a promising partnership with Dom Sibley before Yasir Shah obstructed the partnership at 61 runs and sent Sibley back to the pavilion at 18.2 overs.
The Pakistan bowlers were in crisp from in the initial sessions of the match as fall of two more important top-order wickets followed in the form of Joe Root in the 36th over, who scored 29 runs and Ollie Pope, bowled by Yasir Shah, who could add up a paltry 3 runs to the scoreboard of the hosts. All of these losses happened while Crawley steadily kept mounting runs and crossed the mark of the century before the loss of the 4th wicket.
Things took a turn for better for England after Jos Buttler’s entrance to the crease. The visitors started seeming ineffective against the batsmen and could do little damage to the immobilize the partnership of Buttler and Crawley. Buttler boosted up the partnership by contributing 87* in 148 balls.
Zak Crawley played a fiery inning as he smashed his opening Test century, registering 171* off 269 balls, a marvellous debut century by the 22-year-old. Along with Joe Buttler, he jerry-built a partnership of 205 runs. The duo recorded the highest-ever partnership in the Test format in Southampton.
It remains to be seen how the match unfolds on the second day, whether the bowlers are able to come back on track and break the duo or whether the Crawley-Buttler partnership keeps thriving. If the unbeaten duo continues to cast their spell, England would strengthen its dominating position