Joshua Da Silva fended off flak about his low scoring rate to post a maiden Test century for West Indies against a flagging England in the third Test.

West Indies advanced from their overnight 232-8 to post 297 all out, having at one point on Friday been floundering at 128-7.

England's slow start to day three drew criticism from former skipper Michael Vaughan, who described the tourists as "very tired" and questioned captain Joe Root's appetite for the job.

Wicketkeeper Da Silva and last man Jayden Seales produced a 52-run partnership for the 10th wicket to improve the home team's first-innings lead in St George's to 93 runs.

Da Silva reached his century with a heave down the ground for four, before it appeared he had been dismissed from the next ball, nicking Craig Overton through to Ben Foakes.

Despite asking for a review, Da Silva wandered off, expecting the video verdict to match the umpire's decision. Yet there was no evidence of an inside edge, and a surprised Da Silva was summoned back to the middle.

To England's relief, Root had Seales caught and bowled for 13 in the next over, with no addition to the West Indies score, meaning Da Silva finished on 100 not out.

Asked about his hard-earned ton, Da Silva told BT Sport: "I think the emotions said it all: tears just came to my mind instantaneously. It means the most in the whole world."

He trusted Seales to fend off the England attack, which the number 11 accomplished for 58 deliveries before Root prised him out.

"He told me he has my back and I backed him 100 per cent," Da Silva said. "He told me he was going to get me there, and he did, and I can't thank him enough for the role he played."

Da Silva, after his 257-ball innings, added: "I got a lot of stick out there for having a low strike rate, but it didn't matter to me. When I got a chance to score, I did."

Ricky Ponting thinks Rishabh Pant can follow the same path as Rohit Sharma and go on to captain India after becoming an inspirational leader in the Indian Premier League.

Pant was appointed Delhi Capitals skipper ahead of the 2021 IPL with Shreyas Iyer impacted by a shoulder injury.

The India wicketkeeper-batsman retained the role on a permanent basis and will come up against Rohit when Delhi start their IPL campaign with a showdown against Mumbai on Sunday.

Capitals coach Ponting championed Rohit to be installed as Indians skipper during the former Australia captain's time with that franchise and the batter has proved to be an impressive leader - lifting the IPL trophy five times.

Rohit has also taken over from Virat Kohli as India captain and Ponting believes Pant, 24, has the credentials to have that honour.

Ponting said: "I hadn't thought about that actually but they [Pant and Rohit] are actually quite similar.

"When Rohit took over at Mumbai, he was quite a young man as well, and had started out in his international cricket.

"He was probably very similar, I'm not sure how old he was but he would have been 23-24, similar to what Rishabh is here at the Delhi Capitals.

"To tell you honestly, they're quite similar people. I know they are great mates and they talk all the time and they're probably exchanging things about leadership and captaincy along the way as well.

"Rohit probably doesn't want to give too many secrets away because we're going to play against him in a couple of days' time. I think there's every opportunity for Rishabh's journey to be similar to Rohit Sharma's.

"He's a young captain of a successful franchise and growing on a daily basis and hopefully Rishabh can have the same sort of success Rohit's had at the Mumbai Indians.

"And then with some experience in a role like this in a high-pressure tournament like the IPL, I've got no doubt in the years to come there's every chance that Rishabh could be an international captain. No doubt about it."

Pat Cummins says popular interim head coach Andrew McDonald must take great credit for the "huge part" he played in Australia's 1-0 Test series win in Pakistan.

McDonald was placed in temporary charge following Justin Langer's shock resignation last month.

The 40-year-old oversaw Australia's first overseas Test series triumph in six years, Nathan Lyon taking 5-83 and Cummins 3-23 on the final day to secure a 115-run victory at Gaddafi Stadium.

McDonald is the favourite to land the role on a permanent basis and captain Cummins is full of praise for the former all-rounder.

Asked about the job McDonald has done, he said: "Fantastic. Not unexpected. He's a great operator.

"The boys absolutely love him. Very diligent, very thorough, strategic, very organised. He's a huge part of this tour win."

Cummins would clearly welcome a decision for McDonald to stay on.

The paceman added: "His preparation, and all the support staff's. It's not just the 11 players who walk out; we've got a squad of 30-odd people who have been working so hard this month, and it's also important.

"I've said before it's not my place to employ the coach, but Ronnie [McDonald] has been fantastic."

 

Joshua Da Silva's unbeaten half-century gave West Indies a first-innings lead, after England threatened to bowl them out cheaply on day two of the deciding Test at the Grenada National Stadium.

The Windies were reduced to 128-7 in reply to 204 all out at St George's on Friday, but they were 226-8 at stumps with Da Silva still there on 53.

Da Silva put on 49 with Alzarri Joseph (28) for the eighth wicket before combining with Kemar Roach (25no) in an unbroken stand of 55 to give his side a lead of 28.

Three quick wickets for Chris Woakes (3-48) had put the tourists on top, but they got a taste of their own medicine a day after Saqib Mahmood and Jack Leach put on 90 for the final wicket.

Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell (35) built solid foundations, but Ben Stokes (2-40) made a big breakthrough by pinning the captain leg before wicket for 17 to end an opening stand of 50.

The impressive Mahmood (1-39) trapped Shamarh Brooks in front and the Windies were 71-3 at lunch after Campbell gloved Craig Overton (2-71) through to Ben Foakes down the leg side, having been struck on the helmet twice by the paceman.

Woakes came to the fore early in the afternoon session, getting Nkrumah Bonner caught behind, Jason Holder taken by Jonny Bairstow on the hook without scoring and Jermaine Blackwood lbw to leave West Indies 95-6.

Kyle Mayers made 28 before gifting Stokes his wicket, but Da Silva and Joseph reduced the deficit before the quick nicked Overton behind backing off trying to smash him to the boundary.

Da Silva remained untroubled, playing patiently and putting away loose deliveries with great support from Roach to take West Indies in front.

 

Relief for Woakes 

All-rounder Woakes had only taken two wickets in as many Tests before more than doubling his tally for the series on Friday.

The seamer has found wickets hard to come by overseas, but found his rhythm after lunch, banging one in short to remove Bonner and seeing the back of Holder in the same over before making Blackwood his third victim.

Stokes deserved more than the two wickets he claimed despite an issue with his knee, while Mahmood will wonder how he only struck once.

 

Da Silva runs could  help Windies strike gold

Wicketkeeper-batsman Da Silva dug in with Brathwaite, as West Indies secured a drawn on the final day of the second Test in Barbados.

The 23-year-old stepped up when his side needed him again after coming in at number eight with England firmly on top, batting with great composure and technique to score a fourth Test half-century.

There was a sense of deja vu a day after Leach and Mahmood's last-wicket stand, with Joseph and Roach making important runs down the order to give the Windies a lead.

Babar Azam was left to rue "soft dismissals" but says he has "full faith" in Pakistan after they suffered a 1-0 Test series defeat to Australia.

Nathan Lyon claimed 5-83 and the magnificent Pat Cummins took 3-23 as the tourists bowled Pakistan out for 235 on the final day to win by 115 runs at Gaddafi Stadium.

Imam-ul-Haq made 70 and the brilliant Babar 55, but Pakistan crumbled from 142-2 as Lyon snaffled a 19th five-wicket Test haul and man of the match Cummins finished with match figures of 8-79.

Captain Babar knows Pakistan only have themselves to blame after watching Australia get their hands on the Benaud-Qadir Trophy.

He said: "We didn't go defensive, we played positive cricket. You plan according to the situation. It's not like you go out, play big shots and go for the runs.

"We had a good session early in the day, but unfortunately we had soft dismissals and that's the reason we lost the game.

"We had a simple plan: to take the momentum in hand first and then think [about chasing the victory] after the tea. After lunch, we had a plan to play normal cricket.

"We weren't able to decide whether to go for a win or a draw. But with all those wickets falling, we decided to go deep as much as we could, but we were positive throughout.

"There were continuous discussions in our dressing room about chasing it down. But when your main batters are dismissed, you obviously start thinking differently.

"Still, Sajid [Khan] and I were trying to build a partnership and extend as much as we could, hoping we could draw. Yet we never held back, kept on playing shots and utilised whatever came in our area. So the mindset was positive but it didn't go in our way."

Babar is totally behind his players and is not contemplating making changes.

He added: "Overall the series went well, especially the Karachi Test where we dominated and saved the match. Unfortunately, I got out but even then we had our mindset on chasing.

"But mistakes are part of the game and it's too early to think about changes [to the team]. We don't have to forget their recent performances.

"Our entire team is experienced now, we have developed a good combination and I have full faith in them."

Pat Cummins says every member of the Australia side proved they can thrive in Asian conditions after they sealed a 1-0 Test series win over Pakistan.

Nathan Lyon took 5-83 and outstanding captain Cummins claimed 3-23 as the tourists won by 115 runs on the final day at Gaddafi Stadium to claim the Benaud-Qadir Trophy.

Both bowling attacks were made to toil on flat pitches throughout the three-match series in Australia's first tour of Pakistan since 1998.

Pakistan were unable to avoid defeat under pressure in Lahore, though, collapsing from 165-3 to 235 all out.

Test Championship leaders Australia face Sri Lanka in a two-match series in July and travel to India next year.

Man of the match Cummins says they will take huge confidence from beating Pakistan in their own backyard when they take on those challenges.

"It's probably potentially not as spinning conditions here as we might get in Sri Lanka," said the paceman.

"But I think in the past Asian tours that I've been on, there's a lot of talk when we leave Australia that we've got to change everything about our game to succeed over here.

"This is a good lesson that the basics of batting or bowling that make you a good player in Australia can hold up over here. If anything, I think it's reaffirmed that our games will hold up."

The number one Test bowler in the world added: "The amount of confidence we'll get out of winning over here, not just as a team but so many individuals.

"Every individual had their moment and has shown that their game stands up to Asian conditions. So it's huge for Sri Lanka later in the year, India next year. That's awesome."

For the time being, the tourists will savour a richly deserved series win.

Cummins said: "Everyone's just totally elated. Winning overseas just doesn't happen very often. It's been a real toil for the last 25, 30 days.

"We knew it was going to be totally different to normal life in Australia, under different conditions. And to come away with a series win is hugely satisfying."

Nathan Lyon took five wickets as Australia beat Pakistan by 115 runs in the third and final Test to claim a 1-0 series triumph.

There was nothing to separate the sides in the opening two Tests and the decider also went the distance, with Australia claiming victory inside the final session in Lahore.

Off-spinner Lyon posted figures of 5-83 in Pakistan's second innings, including the wickets of Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam, while Pat Cummins picked up three for 23.

Pakistan required 278 runs heading into Friday's session at the Gaddafi Stadium, but they only managed 163 as they folded 235 all out in their reply to Australia's target of 351.

The hosts' hopes were boosted as they reached lunch on 136-2, with Abdullah Shafique (27) and Azhar Ali (17) the first to fall.

But momentum shifted when Pakistan lost the wickets of Imam-ul-Haq, who led the scoring with 70 runs, Fawad Alam (11) and Mohammad Rizwan (0) in quick succession

However, replays showed that Rizwan would have survived had he reviewed the umpire's LBW decision.

Babar, the hero in Pakistan's record fightback in the second Test, made a contribution of 55 runs before being caught by Steve Smith off the bowling of Lyon.

Pakistan's remaining four wickets went for just 22 runs, with Lyon taking Ali Hasan (13) for his fifth wicket and Cummins cleaning up Naseem Shah (1) to complete the job.


Lyon leads from the front

Pakistan's stunning resistance in the second Test and strong start to their second innings in Lahore always meant this thrilling contest was going to go to the wire.

Australia prevailed with an hour to spare in the end thanks in large to Lyon, whose 5-83 from 37 overs will go down as one of his most important Test hauls.


Rare Lahore loss for Pakistan

Australia have lost just one of their last 11 Tests against Pakistan, with this just the hosts' second loss in 13 Tests at Gaddafi Stadium, and a first since 2002 (v Sri Lanka).

This is the Baggy Greens' first away Test series win since beating New Zealand in 2016, meanwhile, and a first in Asia in 11 years.

Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood rescued England with a magnificent final-wicket stand after West Indies had made a dream start to the deciding Test at the Grenada National Stadium.

The tourists were deep in the mire on 114-9 after being put in by Kraigg Brathwaite in the third and final match of the series following draws in Antigua and Barbados.

Kyle Mayers (2-13) started the procession of wickets, with England in disarray after Jayden Seales (3-40), Kemar Roach (2-41) and Alzarri Joseph (2-33) ripped through the middle order.

But Leach (41 not out) and Mahmood (49) resembled top-order batters as they put on 90 before the seamer was dismissed by Jermaine Blackwood in the last over of the day in St George's, where England were all out for 204.

Zak Crawley gifted Mayers the first wicket, driving straight to Brathwaite at cover, and the same bowler had Root caught behind without scoring before Seales trapped Dan Lawrence lbw to leave England in trouble on 46-3 at lunch.

Things went from bad to worse for England as they lost three wickets without scoring a run, with Ben Stokes caught and bowled by Joseph misjudging a pull and Jonny Bairstow out for a duck after Alex Lees (31) nicked Roach behind.

Seales produced good pace to skittle Ben Foakes and Roach made a mess of Craig Overton's stumps with a quick delivery that nipped back significantly, reducing the tourists to 90-8.

Woakes (25) looked comfortable until he was bowled through the gate by Seales, but Leach and Mahmood settled in to turn the tide in unlikely fashion.

Leach was dropped by Mayers on 10 and John Campbell slipped a chance Mahmood offered up when he had 15, with the seamer adding insult to injury by launching the next ball from Mayers for six.

The runs continued to flow despite the second new ball being taken, but part-time spinner Blackwood bowled Mahmood just before the close to provide some relief for the flagging Windies.

 

Mayers makes big impact on his return

All-rounder Mayers got the nod ahead of spinner Veerasammy Permaul for his first Test of the year.

He justified his recall in quick time, seeing the back of Crawley before drawing an edge from Root with a scrambled seam getting the ball to nip away from the in-form England skipper.

Seales, Roach and Joseph also ran riot in the afternoon session to put England on the ropes before the tail wagged.

Leach and Mahmood haul England off the canvas

The Windies lost their way as Leach and Mahmood batted with a combination of tenacity and skill.

This was just the second time a number 10 and 11 were the two leading scorers in a Test innings, with the first pair being Tom Garrett and Edwin Evans for Australia versus England at the SCG way back in 1885. 

Playing in only his second Test, Mahmood bettered his best first-class score of 34 and fell agonisingly short of a maiden half-century. Leach faced 141 balls in his latest rearguard act.

It all comes down to this. After 14 days of Test cricket that has yet to produce a match-winner, Pakistan's home series against Australia will be decided on the final day in Lahore, and it could hardly be any more tantalisingly poised.

Australia opener Usman Khawaja delivered another classy century on Thursday, remarkably his fourth of the calendar year, as Australia posted 227-3 declared to set Pakistan a target of 351 for victory in the third and final Test.

The tourists would have wanted to make inroads into their opponents' top order before the close, but instead Pakistan reached 73 without loss from the 27 overs they faced after Australia's post-tea declaration.

It means Pakistan require a further 278 runs for victory and Australia need 10 wickets on day five at the Gaddafi Stadium, where something surely has to give.

 

Australia's men are unbeaten in their last seven Tests (W4 D3), and Pakistan have not lost any of their last five (W3 D2).

The Australians have been beaten only once by Pakistan in the last nine Tests between the sides, yet Pakistan have just a single defeat in their last 12 Tests at this ground, and that was against Sri Lanka all the way back in March 2002.

After draws in Rawalpindi and Karachi, this match looks ripe to produce a victory for one of the teams, but it could easily go either way.

Australia were 11-0 at the start of play and reached 96 without any loss when Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled David Warner for 51 with a sensationally good delivery. Khawaja kept going and anchored the innings with 104 not out, Marnus Labuschagne weighing in with 36 and Steve Smith passing 8,000 career Test runs in making 17.

Captain Pat Cummins declared early in the late-afternoon session, once the lead passed 350, but Abdullah Shafique (27 not out) and Imam-ul-Haq (42 not out) helped Pakistan to the close without any damage.

Shafique used up a life moments before the close when he edged spinner Labuschagne past the left hand of Smith at first slip, potentially a highly costly miss by the fielder.


Khawaja does it again

Khawaja, who was born in Pakistan, did not play a Test between matches against England in August 2019 and January of this year. It is testament to Australia's resources that they could afford to leave out a batter of his quality. The 35-year-old made 91 in the first innings of this match and surpassed that second time around.

He now has 751 runs in five Tests this year, far and away the most of anyone in Tests. Shafique is second on that list, with 397 runs and counting.

Record for Smith, but dropped catch sours his day

Australia would have ended the day on a high if Smith had clung on to the sharp chance from the penultimate delivery of the day. Shafique drove aggressively at Labuschagne, who drew the edge but saw the ball race away to the boundary rather than stick in Smith's claw.

Smith earlier reached his runs landmark in his 151st Test innings, the fewest of any batsman to have reached 8,000 Test runs.

Steve Smith set a world record by reaching 8,000 Test runs on Thursday, as the Australia talisman became the batter to reach that total in the fewest innings.

Former captain Smith became the seventh Australian to reach the landmark figure, doing so in his second innings against Pakistan in Lahore.

The 32-year-old had reached 7,993 runs by making 59 in Australia's first innings, and he wasted little time in reaching his early target second time around.

A four off Hasan Ali took Smith through the 8,000 barrier in his 151st Test innings. That saw him beat the previous record of 152 innings to reach 8,000, set by Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara.

Australia reached tea on day four on 202-2, with Usman Khawaja unbeaten on 101 and Smith on 12 alongside him.

That gave the tourists a lead of 325 runs and raised the possibility of captain Pat Cummins declaring before the close.

The six Australia batters to reach 8,000 runs before Smith joined the club were Ricky Ponting, Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden and Mark Waugh.

It is all to play for at the Grenada National Stadium as West Indies and England go in search of a Test series-clinching victory.

The Windies have dug in for draws under pressure on the final day in Antigua and Barbados.

England are bottom of the World Test Championship table, with the Windies directly above them as both sides strive to transform their fortunes in the longest format.

The tourists look set to be without seamer Ollie Robinson once again as he continues to struggle with fitness issues.

England have not won a Test series in the Caribbean for 18 years, but have undoubtedly made strides during this tour as they battle for the Richards-Botham Trophy.

Yet they are still without a win in eight matches in the longest format and have been unable to show the potency to dismiss West Indies twice when in a great position to take the lead in this series.

Kraigg Brathwaite was the Windies' hero at Kensington Oval, showing incredible application and skill in both innings.

The skipper batted for 710 minutes for his 160 in the first innings and dug in for an unbeaten 56 on the last day in Bridgetown to keep the series level.

England must produce some heat on the Spice Island if they are to head home with a 1-0 victory.

 

Brathwaite and Root leading by example

The Windies were indebted to opener Brathwaite in Barbados as he dropped the anchor in both innings on his home ground.

By facing 673 balls combined in his two obdurate knocks, the skipper set a record for the most deliveries faced by a West Indies batter in a single Test. Brathwaite has the more runs than anyone else in this series, scoring 304 at an average of 101.33.

Prolific England captain Joe Root has also been magnificent, racking up 284 - including two centuries - at an average of 71.


Overton set to return, unchanged squad for Windies

Craig Overton was ruled out of the second Test due to illness, but is set to get another opportunity with Matt Fisher expected to step aside.

Saqib Mahmood should also be unleashed on the Windies again after an excellent opening spell on the final day in Barbados, with spinner Matt Parkinson facing the prospect of missing out again and Robinson not fit.

West Indies named an unchanged squad after frustrating the tourists once again on the final day.

South Africa batter Zubayr Hamza has agreed a voluntary suspension after testing positive for a banned substance.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) revealed the 26-year-old had tested positive for Furosemide, which is not a performance-enhancing drug, on January 17.

Zubayr has since played for the Proteas against New Zealand in the first Test in Christchurch last month.

CSA said in a statement on Wednesday: "Cricket South Africa (CSA), the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) and Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) today announced that Proteas player, Zubayr Hamza has tested positive for a prohibited substance under the International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-doping code. The positive test followed an ICC anti-doping test on the 17 January 2022.

"Zubayr is not disputing the positive test, is co-operating fully with the ICC, and has agreed to a voluntary suspension commencing immediately whilst written submissions are presented to the ICC.

"The positive test relates to the substance Furosemide, which is not a performance enhancing substance, and Zubayr has been able to identify how the substance entered his system.

"The process to follow will entail presenting evidence that there was no fault or negligence, or no significant fault or negligence on the part of Zubayr.

"CSA, SACA and WPCA are supporting Zubayr in this process, and will continue to do so until the matter is concluded."

Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc ripped through Pakistan on day three of the third Test to leave Australia scenting a series victory at Gaddafi Stadium.

Captain Cummins and fellow paceman Starc were lethal in the evening session as Pakistan collapsed from 214-2 to 268 all out in reply to Australia's 391 in Lahore.

The outstanding Cummins took 5-56 and Starc 4-33, with Babar Azam's side unable to contend with the reverse swing and pace they generated with the second new ball.

Abdullah Shafique (81), Azhar Ali (78) and Babar (67) had put Pakistan in a promising position, but they lost seven wickets in the final session before Australia closed on 11 without loss - leading by 134 runs.

Australia were unable to make a breakthrough in the morning session after Pakistan resumed on 90-1, Shafique and Azhar bringing up their half-centuries as they added 69 runs before lunch.

A second-wicket stand of 150 finally ended when Nathan Lyon got Shafique caught behind following a review, but Steve Smith was unable to take chances to remove Babar on 20 and Azhar, when he had 62 to his name, in the slips as the runs flowed more freely.

Azhar passed 7,000 Test runs, but Pakistan were 214-3 when Cummins took a brilliant catch off his own bowling to end his excellent knock.

Starc then cleaned up Fawad Alam and Mohammad Rizwan as the momentum swung dramatically in Australia's favour after tea, with the magnificent Cummins also conjuring up substantial reverse swing as he saw the back of Sajid Khan, Nauman Ali and Hasan Ali to claim a five-wicket haul.

Babar was trapped leg before by Starc, who then produced a searing delivery that crashed into Naseem Shah's off stump to end Pakistan's innings with a flash. Usman Khawaja and David Warner then saw off three overs as Australia took command.

Cummins and Starc produce pace-bowling masterclass

After spending much of the day toiling with wickets hard to come by once again, Starc and Cummins were at their brilliant best late in the day.

They got the ball swinging, while also bowling perfect lengths at pace to tear through the Pakistan order, taking seven wickets for 20 runs.

Cummins became the first paceman to take a five-wicket haul in the series and his seventh in the longest format, producing a peach of a delivery that Sajid chopped on before pinning Nauman leg before and getting Hasan caught by Smith.

 

Pakistan crumble after trio build strong foundations

It looked like a first-innings lead was there for the taking for Pakistan courtesy of fine knocks from Shafique, Azhar and Babar.

The trio batted superbly on a good pitch, but the middle order and tail was blown away by Cummins and Starc, with three batters falling without scoring and Rizwan only making one.

Abdullah Shafique was closing in on another half-century at stumps on day two of the deciding Test as Pakistan made a strong start in reply to Australia's 391 all out at Gaddafi Stadium.

Cameron Green (79) and Alex Carey (67) frustrated Pakistan in the heat on Tuesday before Naseem Shah (4-58) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (4-79) prevented the tourists from going beyond 400 in Lahore.

Pat Cummins dismissed Imam-ul-Haq cheaply, but an unbroken stand of 70 between Shafique (45 not out) and Azhar Ali (30no) took Pakistan on to 90-1 at the close - trailing by 301 runs.

Carey and Green took Australia from 232-5 at the start of play to 320-5 at lunch, bringing up their half-centuries as the Pakistan attack toiled.

Nauman Ali ended a sixth-wicket stand of 135 by trapping Carey bang in front and Naseem cleaned Green up with an excellent delivery. 

Australia lost five wickets for 50 runs, with Afridi removing Mitchell Starc and making a mess of Mitchell Swepson's stumps after the impressive Naseem bowled Nathan Lyon.

Imam (11) was snared lbw by Cummins off balance in the 12th over of Pakistan's reply to end an opening stand of 20, while Shafique was fortunate to edge between Carey and Steve Smith in the slips.

Azhar clattered Lyon down the ground for six and Shafique ticked along nicely in great batting conditions.

Cummins wasted a review for an lbw shout against Azhar as Pakistan put a frustrating start to the day behind them.


Pakistan's young pace duo fire after Carey and Green stand

Green and Carey gave Australia just the start they were looking for, but Pakistan's young pacemen fired in the afternoon session.

Teenager Naseem and 21-year-old Afridi bowled with a combination of pace and reverse swing as they cleaned up the tail in quick time.

Naseem was not selected for the second Test but he will surely be a mainstay for years to come, while Afridi has already proven he is a class act time and again.


Rock-solid Shafique 

The composed Shafique has been a revelation for Pakistan at the top of the order and the opener laid solid foundations once again.

Having made a 134 and 44 in the opening match of the series in Rawalpindi before falling four short of a century in the first innings in Karachi, Shafique will be eyeing three figures again.

England interim head coach Paul Collingwood heaped praise on Ben Stokes for helping to heal the "scar tissue" from another Ashes disappointment.

Joe Root's tourists were thoroughly outplayed against their old foes Australia, succumbing to a 4-0 series defeat Down Under that saw Chris Silverwood dismissed in the wake of the hammering.

Collingwood was placed in temporary charge to lead a new-look England side, without James Anderson or Stuart Broad, to the Caribbean for a three-Test series against West Indies.

England remain in search of their first win under Collingwood – and in eight Tests overall – but have produced encouraging performances in consecutive draws in Antigua and Barbados.

Stokes, who bemoaned his fitness levels after averaging 23.6 with the bat and 71.5 with the ball in Australia, has been integral to the visitors' spirited showings against Kraigg Brathwaite's side.

Indeed, no seamer has sent down more overs in the series than Stokes (77) for his five wickets and economy of just 1.81. He also registered his first century since July 2020 with a brisk 120 in the second Test.

Collingwood was keen to credit superstar all-rounder Stokes for aiding Root and the rest of the England side in recovering from a familiar Ashes fate as they eye a winner-takes-all decider in Grenada, which starts on Thursday.

 

"He's phenomenal, he's box office," Collingwood said of Stokes.

"He was going into the Ashes with not much cricket under his belt. Now he's fit, he's determined, and you can tell he wants to make a difference in the dressing room as a leader.

"When he's preparing himself like he is at the moment, he certainly leads. He wants to go out in the middle and put in big performances. He wants the ball in hand, to score the runs, and he's doing just that at the moment.

"Even in the meetings when we first arrived, getting the scar tissue from Australia out the way and [discussing] how we were going to move forward, you could see and hear he had the bit between his teeth and wants to lead this team. I think he and Joe Root have done a magnificent job turning this round.

"He's just desperate to do well for the badge, for England. It's amazing when he's got this kind of attitude, as we all know he's one of the best. Long may it continue."

With a fully fit Stokes partnering the in-form Root, Jonny Bairstow and England's refreshed top order, Collingwood finds it hard to fault the efforts of his team so far.

"They want to put on a show, get a win under their belts, and we have a great attitude at the moment," he added. 

"All the way through the [second] Test match, we were pushing for the win. It always felt as though we were a session or session and a half behind the game with the pace Brathwaite batted in the first innings, but he showed great resilience right the way through the Test match to get a draw for them.

"It's been hard work, but you cannot fault the effort. If you could measure attitude and effort, it couldn't get any better than that."

The only criticism of England against West Indies so far has been their failure to take 20 wickets in a Test, albeit on two placid pitches, leading to calls for the inclusion of leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, who Collingwood feels will be ready whenever called upon.

"He is ready as can be," Collingwood said.

"The simple fact is, in COVID-19 times, you don't get matches in between. They are back-to-back-to-back, and it is putting a lot of stress on the players. The downside is we don't have matches in between to have preparation time for guys who are not playing."

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