England beat Pakistan in Rawalpindi thriller

England celebrating in Rawalpindi — Pakistan vs England, day five live: score and latest updates - AAMIR QURESHI/Getty
England celebrating in Rawalpindi — Pakistan vs England, day five live: score and latest updates - AAMIR QURESHI/Getty

England beat Pakistan by 74 runs

by Nick Hoult in Rawalpindi 

The call to sunset prayers sounded across the Pindi Stadium just moments after one of England’s greatest victories.

There were only minutes left of daylight when the decision review system returned its verdict – three glowing, glorious red lights – to give out Naseem Shah leg-before and spark jubilant England celebrations.

It confirmed a 74-run victory and garlanded England’s daring, audacious cricket with a win that will stand the test of time. It brought glorious vindication for their inspirational captain Ben Stokes whose liberalising approach is changing Test cricket before our eyes. The confidence of his young players will now be as high as the Margalla Hills that overlook Rawalpindi.

Stokes aimed a fist pump at Brendon McCullum on the dressing room balcony when the umpire gave Shah out, recognising this victory was a shared achievement, but really it was all down to his tactical nous and man-management. He has achieved more in eight games than many of his predecessors managed in years.

Shah reviewed and Jack Leach – who was cajoled into playing by Stokes when he felt ill the day before the game – was unable to watch while the DRS techs worked through the footage and loaded up ball-tracking. Stokes prowled around the team huddle tense like an expectant father, knowing this would probably be their only chance as the umpires fiddled with their light meters

But justice was served. England got what they deserved, just their third ever Test win in Pakistan since 1961 and the seventh victory out of eight for the Stokes-McCullum axis.

England's players celebrate after their victory at the end of the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - AFP
England's players celebrate after their victory at the end of the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - AFP

Not only was this a rare win on the road for England – a first in 12 Tests – it was also achieved on a road of pitch which shouted draw from before the game started and produced more runs (1,768) in a five-day Test than ever before. In fact this turned out to be the perfect surface for Stokes to test his theories to the limit – bat at over six an over, attack with your field settings and always keep believing.

His declaration on Sunday was seen as bold by some, reckless by others, but as it turned out if England had batted much longer they would not have had the time to prise out the wickets on this pitch. It was the seamers bowling with control and reverse swing that won the game, taking on the responsibility from a callow spin attack to take nine for 155 compared with one for 110 for the spinners.

James Anderson was dead-eye accurate with four for 36, bowling 21 dot balls in a row at one stage. Ollie Robinson showed he now has the stamina to match his skill with four for 50 and Stokes led from the front with a marathon 11-over spell between lunch and tea. He invented new fielding positions, giving the batsmen a screen of close fielders in their eyeline, and never let up.

Pakistan briefly threatened a win of their own with three stands over 50, but were bowled out for 268 by a side that was sick 24 hours before the Test and was nearly unable to field an XI.

At tea, England still needed five wickets. Pakistan had edged ahead as favourites at 257 for five with 87 needed and Azhar Ali, their most experienced player, steering the run chase.

He had survived two scares in two balls – overturning what looked like a plumb lbw off Leach before being dropped behind the stumps by Ollie Pope.

Those moments felt pivotal and Stokes kept his players on the field at the start of the tea break to deliver a speech in the huddle. Keep believing was the message. It seemed as though his team needed lifting for the first time.

It worked. Robinson turned the match England’s way with two balls in the final session. Agha Salman had put on 61 with Azhar for the sixth wicket but a hint of inswing beat the bat and hit him in front. Robinson persuaded Stokes to review: out.

England's players celebrate after the dismissal of Pakistan's Salman Ali Agha (not pictured) during the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - AFP
England's players celebrate after the dismissal of Pakistan's Salman Ali Agha (not pictured) during the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - AFP

Robinson’s first ball to Naseem shaved the off stump but the bails did not move. He checked them for glue between overs. All it did was steady his resolve. With the first ball of his next over Azhar fell in the leg trap, clipping a catch to leg slip for 40.

England knew they had the game now. Anderson was back on and hunting for his wickets. Zahid Mahmood went for the leg-side glance and was brilliantly caught by Pope diving to his left. Haris Rauf lasted two balls, leg-before for nought as Anderson took two in four.

Last man Ali had eight close fielders for company, hunched over for the catch as Anderson and Stokes probed away. A bit of old-fashioned time-wasting added to the drama – Ali nipped off for a loo break during drinks and had to be shooed out of the pavilion by the third umpire.

Stokes took the new ball and brought back Leach as Ali and Naseem looked comfortable blocking. The umpires checked the light. Perhaps two, maybe three overs left. Naseem prodded forward. The ball from Leach straightened, beat the bat and England had won.

This was not the strongest Pakistan side of all time and they lost 1-0 to Australia at home in March, but that was a rained-out series. The Aussies called it a 15-day Test.

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This was a classic and Pakistan played their part. They made good progress in the morning, taking on the spin as both sides played a cagey game. Just one wicket fell – Imam caught down the leg side – as the spinners conceded 72 and the seamers 16 off the same number of overs.

Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel put on 87 for the fourth wicket, riding out a Stokes blitz of 11 overs in a row. Anderson induced the mistake, Rizwan fiddling outside off and swishing at the stumps in anger on his way off.

Shakeel drove Robinson to one of the close catchers – substitute Keaton Jennings at short cover – and England were in charge again. Pakistan kept fighting. Five wickets after tea seemed a steep order, surely too much. But never give in is what Stokes preaches. The rest listened. England are 1-0 up and the next two weeks will be riveting.

Full scoreboard

12:52 PM

Thank you

Many thanks to any and all who joined this morning and afternoon for an England win that will not be soon forgotten.

We will see you in Multan in four days' time.

England's players celebrates after last wicket out of Pakistan's Naseem Shah (not pictured) during the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - AFP
England's players celebrates after last wicket out of Pakistan's Naseem Shah (not pictured) during the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - AFP

12:45 PM

Losing reaction

Pakistan captain Babar Azam:

“We were not up to the mark bowling and after they scored 600 we had to execute our plans in the first innings to try and get up to the score. In the second innings we had a chance to win but we kept losing wickets, which is why we lost the match.

“Our bowling is young and we had Haris Rauf pick up an injury but credit to my bowlers after the injury they bowled very well. It was a difficult. We to stuck to our plans but credit to England.

“We were expecting the declaration so we had a plan according to that situation and we had an opportunity. We did not build partnerships and that’s why we lost.

“We have a lot of positive things to take. Our batters and bowlers performed very well. We will try to continue that.”

12:45 PM

Fair play Pakistan

In all of this excitement I have failed to give adequate props to a Pakistan side who very nearly got a draw out of this Test match.

They must be credited for having a go at what was a tempting total set by England and the heart shown by tailenders Naseem and Ali to last as long as they did with was superb.

They played their part in what was an exceptional Test match and this series is now set up to be a cracker.

Pakistan's Azhar Ali plays a shot during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP
Pakistan's Azhar Ali plays a shot during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP

12:41 PM

Next summer

In other news Australia hammered the West Indies by 164 runs in Perth today. It feels as if both they and England are cresting at just the right time to make next summer's Ashes possibly the most anticipated on record.

12:38 PM

Full quotes from James Anderson

England's bowler James Anderson speaking to BBC Sport:

"I feel like it's the best win I've been involved in away from home and at all really. That wicket was so flat and unresponsive. The way we batted allowed us to set something up. It gave us time to set something up the back end.

"Today was a monument effort. Stokes put in one of his spells as usual and we got over the line.

"I think the satisfaction you get from getting a win on a pitch like that, the way we've all played it should give us confidence, we had a good summer, we knew it was going to be a challenge and we all stepped up.

"It was a plan that was working well. It was working for us. Today it was more of a case of bowling tradition lengths and execute your skills as good as you could.

"I personally always believe that we were bowling well enough and I kept the faith until the end."

12:37 PM

Lord Gower

I'm surely not the the only who has enjoyed having David Gower back in the commentary box of late.

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12:30 PM

Words from the man himself

England captain Ben Stokes: 

“There are a few things you can plan for, which is the way we approach the game. But you cannot plan what happened to the squad a few days before. That seems a long time ago now wondering whether we would start on time so I have to give the group credit.

“There were some key individual performances – Will Jacks getting his call up minutes before call time. Ollie Pope donning the gloves while batting at three. What we had to deal with going into this Test makes this win even better.

“We have had eight or nine Tests now under mine and Brendon’s leadership and the one thing we focus on is ourselves rather than the opposition. We will always take the positive route and not second guess ourselves about the opposition. It was a great surface to bat on so was a real opportunity for the talent we have to express themselves.

“We have some broken bodies in that dressing room. Having the lads run in as a captain it is great to see that enthusiasm and heart in the field.

“I don’t think I have seen a group of players who want to put their bodies on the line so much. They are a real special group of players.”

12:27 PM

Following on

Just to piggy bag our last post.

James Anderson figures in the second innings: 24 overs, 12 maidens, 4 for 36.

The man is 40-years-old. It defies logic.

12:24 PM

James Anderson - 'one of my best wins'

"One of the best wins I've been involved in. If not, the best"

England's James Anderson, center, and Ben Stokes celebrate after the dismissal of Pakistan's Zahid Mahmood during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England, in Rawalpindi - AP
England's James Anderson, center, and Ben Stokes celebrate after the dismissal of Pakistan's Zahid Mahmood during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England, in Rawalpindi - AP

12:20 PM

England reaction

Ollie Robinson, who took 4-50 and has been named Player of the match:

“The pitch was tough for our seamers but we kept going. Every player didn’t leave anything behind and it was a great effort.

“We had to be patient. We knew if we could get a fresh partnerships in with a reversing ball we had a chance.

“We knew it would be hard but we toiled away and the batters gave us that opportunity. If they didn’t score as quickly as they had we would have had the chance.

“Coming to Pakistan and playing on these flat wickets. This is probably the best Test win I’ve had so far definitely.”

England's Ollie Robinson (2R) celebrates teammate after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Salman Ali Agha (not pictured) during the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi - AFP
England's Ollie Robinson (2R) celebrates teammate after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Salman Ali Agha (not pictured) during the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi - AFP

12:15 PM

A key stat

This pitch was dead in terms of offering anything for the bowlers but it was a batting paradise.

England scored 921 in 133.5 overs at 6.73.
Pakistan scored 847 in 252 overs at 3.36.

England scored twice as fast as the hosts.

12:12 PM

Will Macpherson raises a good point

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12:07 PM

England's evil geniuses

Hyperbole is often annoying but in this case I think it's actually quite valuable.

What these two have done for England's Test match team is nothing short of astounding.

Ben Stokes of England celebrates with coach Brendon McCullum after winning the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - Getty Images
Ben Stokes of England celebrates with coach Brendon McCullum after winning the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - Getty Images

12:04 PM

In pictures - England's winning moment

England's players celebrate after the dismissal of Pakistan's Naseem Shah, left, during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP
England's players celebrate after the dismissal of Pakistan's Naseem Shah, left, during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP
England's players celebrate after the dismissal of Pakistan's Naseem Shah, left, during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP
England's players celebrate after the dismissal of Pakistan's Naseem Shah, left, during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP
Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach and Ben Stokes of England celebrate winning the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - Getty Images
Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach and Ben Stokes of England celebrate winning the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - Getty Images
England's players celebrates after their victory at the end of the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi - AFP
England's players celebrates after their victory at the end of the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi - AFP

12:00 PM

Michael Atherton on Sky Sports

It has to be one of England's finest ever Test match wins. I couldn't think of another England side who would have won the game on this pitch. That's not to disparage any previous England team but what it needed was a team to score at an unbelievable rate of knots to give themselves time to win the game. Six and a half an over in the first innings, seven an over in the second innings – that's incomparable with anything that has gone before.

A brilliant declaration by the captain. Even if the result had gone against England I don't  think you would have heard any dissenting voices. England have made all the running here and have got a thoroughly deserved victory in the end.

11:55 AM

Cricket reacts

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11:53 AM

Never in doubt

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11:52 AM

Captaincy from the gods

Ben Stokes knew that in order for England to have a chance of winning this Test match he had to give Pakistan the thought that they themselves could win it.

That was the thinking behind the aggressive declaration and that has proved a complete masterstroke. Has England been 500 ahead at the start the day's play having taken no wickets, Pakistan would have dropped anchor and simply blocked out.

Instead, after tea Pakistan thought they might win, hell, they were probably favorites. But wonderful bowling from Anderson and Robinson in the closing session finally got the job done and put the finishing touches to Stokes' masterplan.

11:48 AM

Michael Atherton on Sky Sports

Ben Stokes is one of our greatest ever sportsmen

11:47 AM

Final result

In all the excitement I failed to properly put a bow on that result.

England beat Pakistan by 74 runs.

11:45 AM

The winning moment

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11:44 AM

Shivers down the spine

Something about seeing Ben Stokes and Jack Leach embrace in celebration at the end of Test match makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

11:42 AM

Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports

Ben Stokes and Brendan McCullum are changing the face of Test match cricket

Hard to disagree..

11:41 AM

Babar meets Stokes

Babar Azam gives Ben Strokes his own round of applause to Stokes as they approach to shake hands.

Incredible captaincy from Stokes. Yet another landmark moment from a man who is already one of his country's greatest cricketers.

England's Ben Stokes (L) shakes hands with Pakistan's captain Babar Azam after their victory at the end of the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi - AFP
England's Ben Stokes (L) shakes hands with Pakistan's captain Babar Azam after their victory at the end of the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi - AFP

11:39 AM

I'm not sure what to say

What a performance from England.

What a performance from Ben Stokes.

One of the finest Test match victories in England's history.

11:38 AM

WICKET! Naseem LBW Leach 6

Leach tosses one up and Naseem takes a stride down. The new ball skids on that bit quicker and canons off his pads.

11:37 AM

Review

LBW has gone to DRS but this looks stone dead.....

11:36 AM

WOOOOOWWWWWW

Jack. Leach.

11:35 AM

OVER 96: 268/9 (Naseem 6 Ali 0)

Every single dot ball is now being cheered on by the Pakistan fans. Robinson is the bowler. Can he find the breakthrough?

Ali's forward defence is going to be an ever-present in Ben Stokes' nightmares after this I reckon.

Excellent bouncer from Robinson, who's still bending his back here.

Another bouncer, another duck from Ali, another few minutes tick away....

11:31 AM

OVER 95: 268/9 (Naseem 6 Ali 0)

Stokes is jogging back to his mark after every ball. But Ali's defence remains impenetrable. Could this be the time for the new ball? It is.

England have taken the new ball...which actually carries less than the old one on initial evidence.

Stokes ends that over on his knees. Superb defence from Pakistan.

11:28 AM

OVER 94: 268/9 (Naseem 6 Ali 0)

Leach is on and there are eight men around the bat. Ali still holds strong though. Jack Leach has been England's hero before...can he do it again.

Ah there's an inside edge but it goes straight down. England are running out of time here....

11:26 AM

OVER 93: 268/9 (Naseem 6 Ali 0)

Fabulous bowling from Stokes who bowls a fierce, rising short ball past Naseem's nose. This is exceptional old-ball bowling form the England captain but can he generate the last, telling chance?

Over bowled, England are rushing between overs.

11:24 AM

One wicket

That is all England need....

England captain Ben Stokes during day five of the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on December 05, 2022 in Rawalpindi - Getty Images
England captain Ben Stokes during day five of the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on December 05, 2022 in Rawalpindi - Getty Images

11:23 AM

OVER 92: 268/9 (Naseem 6 Ali 0)

We have about 15 minutes of fast bowling allowed, maybe 25 minutes in total. Anderson continues but bowling short with the old ball doesn't feel like the right play here.

He then tries to go full but Ali's defence remains stout. Anderson then gets one to fly past the outside edge.

11:19 AM

Something is occurring in the Pakistan dressing room

Play has stopped...not sure why.

Ah, Ali went for a loo break at the most opportune time. England not impressed.

11:16 AM

OVER 91: 268/9 (Naseem 6 Ali 0)

What has happened there? Naseem nicks one straight between Pope and Root. Either can take it, neither goes for it and that's a massive chance gone begging. Stokes can't believe it.

Will England come to regret that missed chance?

11:13 AM

OVER 90: 264/9 (Naseem 2 Ali 0)

Every fielder bar one is now around the bat. England are throwing everything at this to find this final wicket. They maybe have another 20 minutes or so to bowl seam before the umpires will tell Stokes to bring the spinners on.

Anderson can't get through Ali's stout defence in that over.

11:10 AM

OVER 89: 264/9 (Naseem 2 Ali 0)

Stokes beats the outside edge again. Quite how he hasn't taken a wicket today is beyond me.

He beats the edge four times in that over with no luck. Incredible.

11:06 AM

OVER 88: 264/9 (Naseem 2 Ali 0)

What an over from Anderson and England are on the verge here.

11:04 AM

WICKET! Rauf lbw Anderson 0

James Anderson gets Harris Rauf trapped on the crease. England get the umpire's call verdict and are now just one wicket away from a famous victory.

James Anderson of England celebrates with teammates Will Jacks and Ben Stokes after taking the wicket of Haris Rauf of Pakistan during day five of the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - Getty Images
James Anderson of England celebrates with teammates Will Jacks and Ben Stokes after taking the wicket of Haris Rauf of Pakistan during day five of the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - Getty Images

11:03 AM

DRS called for

Review pending though...

11:02 AM

AND ANOTHER

Jimmy Anderson take a bow.

James Anderson of England celebrates the wicket of Zahid Mahmood of Pakistan during day five of the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on December 05, 2022 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan - Getty Images
James Anderson of England celebrates the wicket of Zahid Mahmood of Pakistan during day five of the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on December 05, 2022 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan - Getty Images

11:02 AM

WICKET Mehmood c Pope b Anderson 1

Anderson lets one stray down the leg side and Mahmood gets just the tiniest of tickles on it. Ollie Pope launches himself to his left and takes a simply stunning one-handed catch.

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10:59 AM

WHAT A CATCH

Ollie Pope....that is superb

10:58 AM

OVER 87: 264/7 (Naseem 2 Mahmood 1)

Stokes back into the attack. It would be fitting for him of all people to land the killer blow here. He beats the outside edge of Mahmood, surely one of these will stick soon for England. Maybe yorkers could be the order of the day?

Outside edge beaten AGAIN and AGAIN. Whatever happens, England have been utterly superb in this final session.

10:55 AM

OVER 86: 263/7 (Naseem 2 Mahmood 0)

Anderson goes past the outside edge of Naseem. He deserves another wicket after another superior bowling performance today. England almost appeal for lbw after an attempted bouncer hits Naseem on the hip.

Do England think about taking the new ball here?

10:51 AM

OVER 85: 263/7 (Naseem 2 Mahmood 0)

Good from Robinson again as he homes in on Mahmood's off stump. His defence is good though and it'll need to stay that way for at least another 50 minutes. Harry Brook could not be closer at short leg.

Robinson beats Mahmood with an outswinger to end the over. This is superb work with the old ball from the England seamer.

10:47 AM

OVER 84: 261/7 (Naseem 1 Mahmood 0)

Anderson is on from the other end. There will come a point when England have to bowl spinners in the fading light so Stokes is going for this now. Bodies are crowded around Mahmood as he tries to get through the over.

Fair play, he does well to get through that unscathed.

10:42 AM

OVER 83: 260/7 (Naseem 0 Mahmood 0)

This has been a simply stunning spell from Robinson after tea. He looks dangerous with every ball. Will England get another seamer on from the other end?

England's Ollie Robinson (C) celebrates teammate after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Salman Ali Agha (not pictured) during the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - AFP
England's Ollie Robinson (C) celebrates teammate after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Salman Ali Agha (not pictured) during the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - AFP

10:39 AM

WICKET! Ali c Root b Robinson 40

Robinson arrows one at Ali's pads and he tries to turn it away fine. He manages to do just that but hits it straight to Root at leg slip and England have the key wicket.

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10:37 AM

Breakthrough for England

ROBINSON AGAIN!

10:36 AM

OVER 82: 260/6 (Naseem 0 Ali 40)

Leach continues as a huge shadow starts to come across the ground in Rawalpindi. The shadows and lengthening but England fancy this. Leach has Naseem in his sights but he gets through it. Just one from it.

10:33 AM

OVER 81: 259/6 (Naseem 0 Ali 39)

A brilliant, brilliant over from Ollie Robinson comes to an end. England need four wickets to win this match.

10:31 AM

Wickets hit, stumps on

Has that clipped the stumps?!?!? I think it has. How have the bails not come off. Robinson can't believe it. Neither can I.

10:28 AM

WICKET! Salman lbw Robinson 30

Ollie Robinson with a massive breakthrough.

The ball drifted back in off a length and smashed into into Salman's pads. DRS says it was hitting and England are have a real chance now.

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10:27 AM

Was it pad or bat first?

Looks to be pad to me. That must be very close.

10:26 AM

REVIEW

England have taken the new ball. They are persevering with this one for now. It's understandable.

Huge appeal for LBW and England review!

10:24 AM

OVER 80: 258/5 (Salman 30 Ali 38)

Ali charges twice at Leach to begin the over. Can England draw an error here? The tension is growing with every ball. Ali gets off strike with a single.

Excellent from Leach. Just one from it.

10:21 AM

OVER 79: 257/5 (Salman 30 Ali 37)

Robinson starts with a bumper but the carry barely gets the ball over a ducking Salman. Will England take the new ball here? It's the huge unanswered question hanging over the closing stages of this game.

There's a chance of a run out as Ali comes charging down looking for a single but is sent back. Jennings has a shy but misses. Think Ali would have been safe anyway.

Two maidens since tea.

10:17 AM

OVER 78: 257/5 (Salman 30 Ali 37)

Leach gets Ali to waft at a wide one and he's lucky there's no edge there. Maiden to start the final session.

10:14 AM

Final session set to begin

Jack Leach will continue after tea. He needs to be spot on here.

10:09 AM

'It will be a battle against the fading light'

by Nick Hoult, in Rawalpindi

Pakistan are now edging towards victory in an incredible Test match. Ben Stokes bowled a mammoth 11 over spell, James Anderson was at his finest but Azhar Ali is seeing his side home at the moment with 86 needed in the final session. It will be a battle against the fading light in what will be a riveting final hour.

Azhar had two lives in two balls - first an overturned lbw to Leach that looked out and next delivery dropped down the leg side by Ollie Pope off Ollie Robinson. They feel like pivotal moments.

It has been the seamers on a day-five pitch that have offered the threat - not the spinners who have been milked - with Robinson and Anderson taking the two wickets to fall since lunch.

Stokes put himself on at the start of the session and bowled an 11 marathon spell but without any luck while Anderson has 2-35 from 19 overs.

Stokes held a lengthy team talk in the huddle at the end of the season. There will be no let up. He will keep attacking with his fields.

There was just one over of spin in the afternoon session and will England look back and regret not picking the third seamer instead of the third spinner?

Saud Shakeel gave Pakistan hope on debut with 76 off 248 before driving to short cover, the field bringing reward, and Mohammad Rizwan avoided temptation for 92 balls before fiddling at Anderson.

Azhar is hanging in. He swept Leach in his only after after lunch and was bang in front, the umpire giving him out but DRS showing the ball going over the top. Next ball he flicked down the leg side and Pope diving to his left could not hold on.

09:56 AM

The equation

Pakistan need 86 runs to win. England need five wickets. We're set up for an marvelous final session.

09:55 AM

OVER 77: 257/5 (Salman 30 Ali 37)

Ollie Pope puts down a tough chance off an inside edge but he did get there and will feel he should have taken that. Robinson is creating chances here though, you've feel as if England need a wicket before tea is they want to win this game.

Just one from the over and that's tea. What an absorbing session of Test match cricket.

09:50 AM

OVER 76: 256/5 (Salman 30Ali 36)

It's bouncing a long way over according to DRS. England must regroup now.

England's Will Jacks, center, and Ben Duckett, second left, react after third umpire given not out to Pakistan's Agha Salman during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP
England's Will Jacks, center, and Ben Duckett, second left, react after third umpire given not out to Pakistan's Agha Salman during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP

09:49 AM

It's missing!

I don't believe it...DRS says the ball is bouncing over the top. England can't believe it.

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09:47 AM

Reviewed

DRS will have a look at this.

09:46 AM

WICKET

Jack Leach has got Salman.

09:42 AM

OVER 75: 254/5 (Salman 29 Ali 35)

An eventful Robinson over ends. With tea fast-approaching, England are running out of time with Pakistan needing 89 to win.

09:40 AM

NOT OUT

It's missing down the leg side. England curse their luck.

09:40 AM

This look tight

Salman was a fair way down the wicket here and it might just be sliding down. Umpire's call could go against England here.

09:39 AM

REVIEW FOR LBW

That looks close...

09:38 AM

NOT OUT

The ball may have touched Robinson's foot on the way back through before it hit the stump. That would be a run out if so.

It didn't touch him to my eye. Not out is the decision.

09:37 AM

Review....

Robinson is on to replace Stokes his marathon spell and Salman almost immediately climbs into a half-volley, getting a boundary straight down the ground.

He almost does the same the very next ball but England are fortunate to see the ball canon in to the stumps at the non-striker's end.

We do have a review here though...

Pakistan's Agha Salman plays a shot during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan - AP
Pakistan's Agha Salman plays a shot during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan - AP

09:33 AM

OVER 74: 249/5 (Salman 24 Ali 35)

Anderson is giving Salman chances to drive with four catchers lurking at cover and mid-wicket, as well as a slip.

Salman does drive this time, neatly down the ground for two and Pakistan need 99 to win now. Make that 98 as Salman runs another single down to third man.

Ali then shuffles down the pitch and whips Anderson through mid-wicket for four.

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09:28 AM

OVER 73: 242/5 (Salman 21 Ali 31)

Stokes shrieks in frustration as Salman gets fortunate to nick one down to third man for four. There's no carry at all with this ball anymore meaning those edges are just falling straight to the floor.

Stokes oversteps for a no ball. He looks exhausted as he walks back to his mark for a seventh ball.

09:23 AM

OVER 72: 236/5 (Salman 16 Ali 31)

Should England take the new ball? We've probably got about two hours of cricket left with the light fading so early in Rawalpindi and this ball is reversing for England. Take it the new ball, you may lose that movement but might get some more zip, especially with the short ball. Leave the new ball and the ball may keep moving but will get soft and eventually fairly ineffective, especially with the spinners having been hit out of the attack.

Lovely shot from Salman, who drives Anderson majestically through mid-on for four. Anderson's frustration is audible. Two balls later he wafts at one and is lucky not to get a nick.

09:19 AM

OVER 71: 230/5 (Salman 11 Ali 30)

Stokes is still continuing, this really had been a mighty spell from him but how England would love to have Mark Wood to turn to now. Stokes isn't getting the carry he was earlier on, for obvious reasons, but it's just two from the over.

England's Ben Stokes reacts - Reuters
England's Ben Stokes reacts - Reuters

09:14 AM

OVER 70: 228/5 (Salman 10 Ali 29)

A reminder that Pakistan need 345 to win this match. This is going to get very tight provided the light holds later into the day. Anderson is continuing to get movement out of this old ball, raising the question of whether Stokes actually takes the new ball in 11 overs time.

Anderson gets one ducking back in and Ali is playing round his front pad. Hand on head for Anderson, that's the one he's looking for. Two balls later Ali is beaten all ends up but there's no edge. Anderson curses his luck.

09:10 AM

OVER 69: 228/5 (Salman 10 Ali 29)

Stokes is still on maybe for one more. Perhaps he wanted one last go at Salman after that nick in the last over. After four dots Salman does get off strike when he runs one out to deep point. Ali then gets a further three into the leg side.

09:06 AM

OVER 68: 224/5 (Salman 9 Ali 26)

Anderson is on but in relief of Robinson. He's also getting the ball to move but Ali is looking more and more comfortable here. How England would love his wicket now. Anderson is begging him to have a go at some wide ones outside his off stump but Ali is resisting at present.

09:02 AM

OVER 67: 223/5 (Salman 8 Ali 26)

Stokes keeps charging in but the sign of Anderson warming up suggests the England captain may be coming to the end of this spell. He deceives Salman with one that just leaves him late but the edge is wide and short of the man at slip.

Final ball is a full toss and it's punched for four by Ali. Tired ball from Stokes.

08:54 AM

OVER 66: 217/5 (Salman 7 Ali 21)

You feel this is a vital period now. The ball is moving for both Stokes and Robinson and England will want at least one more wickets before tea. Robinson continues to probe in and around Ali's off stump but that's a good shot. Ali get three after working one through wide mid on.

Salman then leaves on length....well judged or fortunate? I'm not sure.

08:49 AM

OVER 65: 214/5 (Salman 7 Ali 18)

What a nut that is from Stokes. Angle in, late movement and Salman is done all ends up. So was Ollie Pope nearly behind the stumps. There is enough for England with this reverse swing - chances will come.

Just like that. Stokes gets another one past the outside edge of Salman.

08:45 AM

OVER 64: 212/5 (Salman 5 Ali 18)

Good work from Ollie Pope behind the stumps as he throws his body in front of an awkward one to prevent any byes. Robinson is getting some good carry here and the odd ball is just doing enough to keep him interested.

Ali digs one out for a couple into the leg side.

08:41 AM

WATCH: Robinson snares Shakeel

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08:40 AM

OVER 63: 210/5 (Salman 5 Ali 16)

England are on the hunt now but Ali gratefully takes on a short, wide ball from Stokes and gets a boundary. Two balls later Stokes finds some real shape as he gets Salman pushing away from his body.

08:36 AM

OVER 62: 205/5 (Salman 5 Ali 11)

Salman is the new man and he gets off the mark with an outside edge that races away for four. Robinson replies with an excellent bouncer which gets up around the batter's grille but it's a no ball.

08:30 AM

WICKET Shakeel c Jennings b Robinson 76

Ollie Robinson is back with a HUGE wicket.

He floats one up outside off stump and Shakeel is tempted into a drive. He gets his timing all wrong though and Keaton Jennings takes a good catch at short cover.

Massive moment in this Test match.

FOW: 198/5

England's Ollie Robinson celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Saud Shakeel during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP
England's Ollie Robinson celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Saud Shakeel during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP

08:30 AM

WICKET Shakeel c Jennings b Robinson 76

Ollie Robinson is back with a HUGE wicket.

He floats one up outside off stump and Shakeel is tempted into a drive. He gets his timing all wrong though and Keaton Jennings takes a good catch at short cover.

Massive moment in this Test match.

FOW: 198/5

England's Ollie Robinson celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Saud Shakeel during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP
England's Ollie Robinson celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Saud Shakeel during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP

08:28 AM

OVER 61: 198/4 (Shakeel 76 Ali 10)

Stokes is looking to bowl very straight at Ali but the batter is up to the task as he works one into the leg side for a couple. Two slips and two men on the drive for Stokes but he's left with his head in his hands after Ali gets a thick outside edge between first and second slip for four.

08:23 AM

OVER 60: 191/4 (Shakeel 76 Ali 4)

Ali tucks one off his pads for one and Anderson now has Shakeel in his sights. The left hander is showing a willingness to come down to Anderson as he tries to get him off his length. Maybe it's worked as Anderson bowls his first bad ball of the day as he bowls a leg stumped half volley which is put away by Shakeel.

08:19 AM

OVER 59: 186/4 (Shakeel 72 Ali 3)

Stokes continues in a match that is now perfectly poised. Ali wants a quick single into the off side but is sent back by Shakeel. England's seamers have offered all the cutting edge so far today but how much bowing can they do here?

Shakeel gets on the front foot to punch Stokes through the off side for two - his wicket is now the big one England. He goes and they may be in business. The longer he's there, Pakistan will fancy their chances.

08:13 AM

OVER 58: 183/4 (Shakeel 70 Ali 2)

You can't say Ali look overly confident here. That finger knock is certainly playing on his mind. He's jumping all over the crease as Anderson hits an uncomfortable length. That's too short from the England paceman though and Ali is again off strike cheaply.

08:09 AM

OVER 57: 182/4 (Shakeel 70 Ali 1)

Shakeel works one off his hips for a single, giving Stokes a look at the new man Ali. He's looking to get the ball reversing away from the right-handed Ali That's a let off though as Stokes drags one shot and Ali can escape strike but tucking one off his hip.

The next ball goes for four as Shakeel launches into a wide one from Stokes.

08:04 AM

OVER 56: 176/4 (Shakeel 65 Ali 0)

Azhar Ali is the new man. He retired hurt yesterday after taking a bang on the finger. Anderson is straight on the money to him and Ali is pushing away from hi body outside the off stump.

Superb stuff from Anderson.

07:59 AM

WICKET Rizwan c Pope b Anderson 46

It's Jimmy Anderson!

Rizwan is the man to go and it's a huge wicket for England. Anderson gets one to just move away off a length and Rizwan can't resist a nibble. The nick carries to Pope and England have vital, vital breakthrough here.

FOW: 176/4

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07:59 AM

WICKET Rizwan c Pope b Anderson 46

It's Jimmy Anderson!

Rizwan is the man to go and it's a huge wicket for England. Anderson gets one to just move away off a length and Rizwan can't resist a nibble. The nick carries to Pope and England have vital, vital breakthrough here.

FOW: 176/4

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07:58 AM

OVER 55: 176/3 (Shakeel 65 Rizwan 46)

Is this pitch showing some smalls signs of wear? There looks to be some cracks appearing and one from Anderson in that last over certainly jumped slightly on Rizwan. England need to get it right though.

Stokes is bowling with an outrageously attacking field for the situation, with four catchers around the bat. Three from the over.

07:54 AM

OVER 54: 173/3 (Shakeel 63 Rizwan 46)

If England can make a breakthrough here they'll have a chance to have a go at an injured Azar Ali before getting a sight of a very long Pakistan tail.

Anderson starts from the other end and, as ever, is on the money. Rizwan is as well though and he plays arguably the shot of the day so far when punching one down the ground for four.

Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan runs after playing a shot - Reuters
Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan runs after playing a shot - Reuters

07:48 AM

OVER 53: 169/3 (Shakeel 63 Rizwan 42)

Reverse swing immediately for Stokes. He feels like the man to find a breakthrough. It's moving both into and away from the left-handed Shakeel and there's signs of life for England.

Maiden start for the England captain.

07:43 AM

The players are out

Ben Stokes looks like he's going to take the first over after lunch.

07:30 AM

Rizwan on the front foot

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07:27 AM

A session of two halves

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07:23 AM

Lunchtime reaction

by Nick Hoult, in Rawalpindi

It is in the balance. England need seven wickets, Pakistan 174 to win with two sessions (well, one and a half with the light) left.

It has looked a different game when seamers are bowling. James Anderson has bowled 9-4-7-1 today taking the only wicket, a strangle down the leg side to remove Imam ul-Haq.

Ollie Robinson was tidy too, but when Jack Leach, Will Jacks and Joe Root have bowled Pakistan have taken it on. With Stokes sticking to aggressive fields there are plenty of run scoring opportunities, the spinners have conceded 72 of the 89 runs scored in the first session.

Saud Shakeel is shaping up to be the hero on his Test debut. He is 63 not out and has already scored two hundreds in Rawalpindi in state cricket since October. Mohammad Rizwan is with him and ticking over.

Anderson has bowled beautifully to his fields, Stokes going for four covers at one point and close in catchers hoping for the inside edge off bat pad. The pitch is doing very little as expected and Stokes has to think imaginatively. He will not back off.

07:09 AM

England have a big problem

After a good start to that session, England really started to toil. Their spin options are economical enough in a situation where Pakistan are chasing what is a gettable total on this pitch. Either the spin bowling needs to improve or Stokes is going t have pull something else out of his hat.

To their credit, Rizwan and Shakeel have been excellent for Pakistan. They have taken the attack to Jacks and Leach especially and have given the England brains trust plenty to think about at the lunch break.

07:04 AM

OVER 52: 169/3 (Shakeel 63 Rizwan 42)

England's spinners are struggling to control proceedings here and Pakistan are getting into a good position. Could Stokes maybe think about bringing himself on?

England's field is still hyper attacking for Anderson. A slip, two gullies, two men on the drive and one catching at mid-wicket. Now Pope is coming to stand up to keep Shakeel honest as well.

That's lunch on day five and it's Pakistan's session.

06:59 AM

OVER 51: 168/3 (Shakeel 62 Rizwan 42)

Oh that's so close. Rizwan goes after Leach and skews one out into the offside where it falls agonisingly out of the reach of Will Jacks. Next ball is more convincing though from Rizwan as he hammer it for six over Leach's head.

The four more as Leach drops short as Rizwan cuts him away.

06:56 AM

OVER 50: 156/3 (Shakeel 62 Rizwan 30)

Anderson has gone for nine runs as this over begins. His consistency, even with no assistance from the pitch, is remarkable.

Shakeel gets an inside edge on one that would have fallen easily to a short leg but there isn't one installed. Just one from the over.

06:50 AM

OVER 49: 155/3 (Shakeel 62 Rizwan 29)

Will Jacks is back on. Can he find a breakthrough?

Shakeel isn't all that convincing as he turns one fine off his pads but that's better though, as he sweeps hard for four through square leg.

06:48 AM

OVER 48: 149/3 (Shakeel 58 Rizwan 29)

Anderson is back on to try and wrestle back some initiative and there's a hint of reverse swing already. He's right on the money to Rizwan, who's playing round his front pad. That's how he got in trouble in the first innings. The he nearly plays on.

A good reintroduction for Anderson.

06:44 AM

OVER 47: 149/3 (Shakeel 58 Rizwan 29)

It's interesting to note that spinners bowling in the last innings in Test matches in Pakistan have a higher average than anywhere else in the world. This is not India or Sri Lanka.

Root continues to toil hard, but there's not much happening out there for England at present.

06:40 AM

OVER 46: 146/3 (Shakeel 57 Rizwan 28)

Shakeel looks very comfortable here. He averages over 50 in fourth innings in first-class cricket and he's showing that aptitude here. The stands are filling up and atmosphere is building here. Make no mistake Pakistan are seriously in the hunt here.

Just two from that Leach over.

06:36 AM

OVER 45: 144/3 (Shakeel 55 Rizwan 28)

Shakeel sweeps Root fine for four but England won't mind that, it was a high risk shot taken from almost outside off stump. Duckett then channels his inner Phil Foden in the field to stop a Pakistan single.

06:32 AM

OVER 44: 139/3 (Shakeel 50 Rizwan 27)

Two balls have spun for Leach this morning otherwise its been pretty hard going for the England left-armer. He's still grinding though and if Rizwan keeps being drawn forward then Stokes will be satisfied for now.

The last ball just grips a touch.

England's Jack Leach, right, bowls as Pakistan Saud Shakeel watches during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP
England's Jack Leach, right, bowls as Pakistan Saud Shakeel watches during the fifth day of the first test cricket match between Pakistan and England - AP

06:29 AM

OVER 43: 139/3 (Shakeel 50 Rizwan 27)

David Gower reminding me that life is too short for sensitive teeth...you know what David I haven't been the to dentist in a while and you may well have just forced my hand.

Just one from that Root over.

06:26 AM

OVER 42: 138/3 (Shakeel 50 Rizwan 26)

Nice stuff from Leach as he goes into the footholes outside Shakeel's off stump looking for an inside edge. But the batter then goes over Leach's head for four and reaches an excellent 50 for his side.

06:24 AM

Full Livingstone update

by Nick Hoult, in Rawalpindi

Liam Livingstone has been ruled out of the rest of the Test series against Pakistan with a right knee injury and will return home on Wednesday. England will decide on whether to call up a replacement over the next 24 hours. They have Rehan Ahmed as a spare spin bowler in the squad.

06:22 AM

OVER 41: 132/3 (Shakeel 44 Rizwan 26)

Jacks is out of the attack already and Joe Root will now have a go. He does the tendency to come up with a big wicket and is arguably a bigger turner of the ball than either of England's other options. Nice start from Root until Rizwan sweeps one hard for four. One errant ball spoils a decent over.

06:19 AM

OVER 40: 127/3 (Shakeel 43 Rizwan 22)

Shakeel takes Leach over his head for four from the first ball of the over before nicking a quick single. This is good counter-attack now from Pakistan after a slow start.

06:16 AM

OVER 39: 122/3 (Shakeel 38 Rizwan 22)

Jacks has struggled to find a rhythm early on here and he's having a conflab with Stokes and Anderson as the umpires look at the ball. We may have a new (old) one here. Anderson's looks nonplused by the selection and asks Stokes to have a word with the umpire. England will have to settle for this one though.

Better from Jacks, who moons one up above the eyeline before tucking Rizwan up. Then six....smashed over mid-off.

Great shot from Rizwan.

06:08 AM

OVER 38: 115/3 (Shakeel 37 Rizwan 16)

Better from Leach for gets Rizwan forward probing on the front foot. Good contest now as Rizwan looks to nab a quick single but England are wise to it. Good maiden from Leach.

06:06 AM

OVER 37: 115/3 (Shakeel 37 Rizwan 16)

Rizwan is not going to let the England spinners settle here as he tries to smash Jacks for four through the leg side. Shakeel then picks up three of his own off Jacks.

Mohammad Rizwan of Pakistan bats during day five of the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - Getty Images
Mohammad Rizwan of Pakistan bats during day five of the First Test Match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - Getty Images

06:04 AM

Stokes plaudits

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06:03 AM

OVER 36: 111/3 (Shakeel 34 Rizwan 15)

The ability of England's spinners to build some pressure will be key here. Pakistan are clearly looking to gather some momentum. Can Leach respond? Yes, he slides one past Rizwan's outside edge. There was some turn there.

The next ball is punished by Rizwan as Leach drops one short. The next ball leads to two more runs after a sweep is well fielded by Jacks in the deep.

05:59 AM

OVER 35: 104/3 (Shakeel 33 Rizwan 9)

Will Jacks gets a turn now as England go for spin from both ends. Rizwan goes for a big slog sweep that only just clears mid-wicket. He's off the mark and that felt like a statement of intent.

Two balls later, Rizwan goes over mid-wicket again. Pakistan look to have identified Jacks as a bowler to go after.

05:55 AM

Yeah me too

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05:51 AM

OVER 34: 93/3 (Shakeel 31 Rizwan 0)

Jack Leach is on. Will there be any turn for him early on? There's a hint and Rizwan continues to be scoreless as England keep up the pressure by crowding the bat. There's plenty of chatter too.

Maiden from Leach. He's going to be doing a lot of bowling today.

05:48 AM

OVER 33: 93/3 (Shakeel 31 Rizwan 0)

Mohammed Rizwan was part of Pakistan's dynamic opening duo during the T20 World Cup but he's dropped anchor early on here. Robinson finds a hint of extra bounce off a length and and ball whizzes through to Pope.

Then a huge appeal for LBW but that looked very leg side to me. The DRS committee meets but they decide not to review. That feels like a good call. Reviews on a day like this could be vital later on.

The maidens continue....

05:41 AM

OVER 32: 93/3 (Shakeel 31 Rizwan 0)

There's a question as to whether this start has been more down to England's good bowling or Pakistan's passivity. I'm leaning towards the latter. There's no need to be reckless but I was expecting a shade more positivity from the batting side, especially with victory a possibility. Another maiden from Anderson

05:37 AM

OVER 31: 93/3 (Shakeel 31 Rizwan 0)

Four men on the drive for England as Robinson continues. Watching Stokes tweak his strategy here is fascinating. They want to tempt Shakeel into a loose drive as Robinson pushes the ball full outside off stump.

Shakeel has nibble at one with hard hands and the ball squirts just past the man who Stokes had just moved into the gully. That was close.

05:31 AM

OVER 30: 91/3 (Shakeel 30 Rizwan 0)

England's tactic yesterday evening are completely at odds with those last night. They've bowled 66 per cent of balls on a good length so far this morning. Anderson's dot ball metronome comes to an end as Shakeel nabs a single off the final ball of the over

05:26 AM

OVER 29: 90/3 (Shakeel 29 Rizwan 0)

Ollie Robinson's relentless ability to hit the same spot n the pitch makes him such a vital asset to England. Pakistan cannot get him, or Anderson, for that matter away at all. Another maiden.

05:23 AM

WATCH: Anderson removes Imam

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05:22 AM

OVER 28: 90/3 (Shakeel 29 Rizwan 0)

Stokes appears determined to see what this pitch is going to give his seamers before turning to spin. Mike Atherton and Waqar Younis are commenting on Sky about how this pitch appears to be carrying through slightly better for the seamers on day five....go figure. Anderson continues to be right on the money.

05:17 AM

OVER 27: 90/3 (Shakeel 29 Rizwan 0)

The first bumper of the morning from Robinson is not a good one but he gets away with it. Shakeel then turns out to deep square leg for one. Zak Crawley has come into what can only be described a short catching point...Stokes is going for every trick in the book here.

05:13 AM

OVER 26: 89/3 (Shakeel 28 Rizwan 0)

Mohammed Rizwan walks out to the wicket. No Azar Ali yet but he may be coming in next.

Anderson is right on the money to the new man as England crowd the bat. Stokes going full offensive here with just the faintest sniff of blood in the water. Three maidens in a row for England but more importantly...a wicket.

05:08 AM

WICKET! Imam c Pope b Anderson 48

Anderson has got Imam!

It's unfortunate for Imam, who gets a little nick on one down the leg side and it's taken by a sprawling Pope. Imam is walking and England have a vital early breakthrough.

FOW: 89/2

England's James Anderson (R) celebrates with teammtes after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq (not pictured) during the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - AFP
England's James Anderson (R) celebrates with teammtes after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq (not pictured) during the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium - AFP

05:06 AM

OVER 25: 89/2 (Shakeel 28 Imam 48)

Pakistan are in no rush this morning. One feels they will try to get to the end of this first session and then have look and where the game lies. They won't want to give away the chance of winning this game by shedding cheap wickets early on.

Robinson's tight start continues and it's back-to-back maidens from England.

05:02 AM

OVER 24: 89/2 (Shakeel 28 Imam 48)

Azar Ali was injured while batting yesterday be we have had work that he will bat at some point today despite picking up what looked like a nasty finger injury.

In less good news, Liam Livingstone is out of the rest of the tour due to a knee injury.

Maiden over from James Anderson.

04:59 AM

Is the result irrelevant?

by Nick Hoult, in Rawalpindi

Do England mean it when they say results are irrelevant? Not really. It is a message to the younger players - like Will Jacks and Harry Brook - to buy in to how they want the team to play. It is a little like Eoin Morgan in 2015 hammering home that he wanted the players to go harder regardless of the result. It worked, it changed England’s mindset in white ball cricket and they won two World Cups. We are seeing it in Test cricket now and today could be a big step on the road

04:58 AM

OVER 23: 89/2 (Shakeel 28 Imam 48)

Line and length is going to be key today. I know I'm stating the obvious but on a featherbed like this England are going to have to be bang on the money. Ollie Robinson is going over the wicket to Shakeel and he's found a really good rhythm early on here. Just the one from that over.

04:53 AM

OVER 22: 88/2 (Shakeel 28 Imam 47)

Shakeel gets on the back foot and punches James Anderson through cover, the outfield is and that's four. Anderson responds well though, with one Shakeel has to dig out. Good contest early on this.

04:49 AM

OVER 21: 84/2 (Shakeel 24 Imam 47)

Robinson beats the outside edge of Imam with his first ball but the next is squirted away behind square on the off side for four. Ooo hang on, there's a bit of extra bounce there for Robinson as Imam gets tucked up...I dare say Ben Stokes will be very interested in that.

04:45 AM

We're about to get underway

Ollie Robinson has the ball in his hands.

04:45 AM

England's strategy today

How will England approach this morning? A new ball is available after 60 overs today and as such it would be no surprise to see them revert to some short-pitched bowling early on - as they did yesterday evening

Let's be frank, this wicket is going to offer very little, if anything, to the seamers with an ageing ball. England effort and Pakistan will be key, while at the other end the form of Will Jacks and Jack Leach will probably decide the outcome of this Test match.

04:40 AM

An extraordinary Test match

Just a few stats for you that underline what an incredible Test match we've enjoyed in Rawalpindi over the firts four days of action.

  • England’s first-innings run rate was 6.5 runs per over. They became the first team to score at more than a run a ball in the first innings of a Test.

  • England’s run rate in the second innings was 7.36 runs per over. That is the highest in Test history in an innings of more than 250 runs. It also made them the first team to go at a run a ball in both innings of a Test.

  • Harry Brook scored England’s third-fastest Test century in the first innings: 80 balls. That put him behind only Gilbert Jessop (76 balls in 1902) and Jonny Bairstow (77 balls, at Trent Bridge this year). Brook was on course to break Jessop’s record in the second innings, but was bowled for 87 from 65 balls.

  • In just his second Test, Brook has a match tally of 240 runs from 181 balls. His strike rate of 132.59 is the highest ever for a batsman with more than 200 runs in a Test.

  • Brook also hit 24 from an over on day one and 27 from an over on day two, England’s two most profitable overs in Test history.

  • Zak Crawley’s 86-ball first-innings hundred was England’s fastest by a Test opener.

  • Brook and Crawley are the only two batsmen in history to make 50+ scores in both innings of a Test, both at a run-a-ball or more.

  • This was the first Test in which both teams’ opening partnerships in the first innings were worth 200 or more, and all four openers made first innings centuries.

  • 506 for four was the highest total England have made on the first day of a Test. Their lunch score, 174 for four was the highest total England have made in the first session of a Test.

  • Crawley took 14 runs from the first over of the match, also an England record.

  • The 44 overs bowled by Zahid Mahmood are the most by a bowler going at more than a run a ball. His match figures were: 44 overs, 2 maidens, 319 runs, 6 wickets.

04:34 AM

Good morning

Good morning to those of you hardy enough to be with me on a cold Monday morning in the wee hours and welcome to live coverage of the final day of the first Test between England and Pakistan in Rawalpindi.

On another hugely exciting day yesterday, a positive declaration from Ben Stokes put England in position to attempt to win this game but also left the door ajar for a Pakistan side who will chase on what is still a pretty lifeless Test match wicket.

As it stands, Pakistan require a further 263 to win this Test match with eight wickets in hand. Imam-ul Haq and Saud Shakeel resume on 43 and 24 respectively and how this day goes will surely be predicated on whether England can make vital early inroads into this Pakistan batting order.

England’s new approach to the game’s longest format has been a real breath of fresh air but today arguably gets its greatest Test. The tourists know the risks but they are willing to roll the dice to go in search of what would be a famous victory.

England assistant coach, Paul Collingwood, said: “It's exciting, isn't it? On a pitch that's been pretty docile and slow, and to be in a position now to watch a game that's exciting tomorrow, it's going to be great for everyone.

"The bigger picture of what they [McCullum and Stokes] want is Test cricket to be entertaining and the way we have forced the game has got us a Test match tomorrow that everyone wants to watch.

"I'm looking forward to our guys going out there and eking out another seven wickets to go on and win the Test match. We are confident we can do it."

He added: "The boys have shown they are willing to come up with different plans to take wickets out there and it is going to be an exciting day.

"It has been pretty clear right from the start that we are willing to lose games for the sake of putting ourselves in the position to win them.

"Some might say it is an early declaration. We will see tomorrow if it is or if it is a really good declaration.

"We are not scared of losing, which is a good position to be in. It takes the consequences away from the players and how we want to go about things. Tomorrow, hopefully, we can get on the right side and get a win."