The third and final Test between Pakistan and England began on Saturday (December 17) at the National Stadium in Karachi. Babar Azam won the toss and opted to bat first, but the batters couldn’t perform as the hosts must have anticipated.

Pakistan lost both openers Abdullah Shafique (8) and Shan Masood (30) when the team score read 46/2 in 12.3 overs. The home team then came back with Azhar Ali, who is playing his final Test, and skipper Babar forming a vital stand of 71 runs for the third wicket.

Babar kept his fort alive, but Pakistan lost two more wickets in form of Saud Shakeel (23), and Mohammad Rizwan (19) when the team’s total was near 200. While Rehan Ahmed, England’s youngest debutant, removed Shakeel, it was former skipper Joe Root who gained maximum attention with his dismissal of wicketkeeper-batter Rizwan.

Root’s reaction after sending Rizwan back to the pavilion became the major talking point as the Yorkshire cricketer was in splits and laughing hard. It felt like Root got a welcome wicket as he bowled a gentle loopy full toss outside off, and Rizwan came running down the pitch to dispatch the ball into the stands.

But Rizwan clearly mistimed his shot and the ball went in the cow-corner. Then, England captain Ben Stokes, who was fielding at the mid-wicket region, came running back to his right and completed the catch to dismiss the 30-year-old batter. Soon, Root burst into laughter as he couldn’t believe how Rizwan ended up gifting him his wicket.

Here is the video:

Eventually, the home team got all-out for 304 in their first innings. Left-arm spinner Jack Leach was the pick of the bowlers for England with four wickets.

Earlier at the toss, Pakistan made four changes in the playing XI. Masood was picked to replace Imam-ul-Haq, who seemed to be having some injury concerns. Similarly, Nauman Ali, the left-arm orthodox spinner, came in for Mohammad Nawaz while pacer Mohammad Ali was benched for the 21-year-old Mohammad Wasim Jr. Further, Azhar got an opportunity at the expense of Zahid Mahmood.

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