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Anderson fifer bundles out Pakistan for 273 after Azhar frustrates England with stellar ton
Day Three Report

Anderson fifer bundles out Pakistan for 273 after Azhar frustrates England with stellar ton

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali fronted his side's resistance with a splendid 141 not out but James Anderson completed his 29th five-wicket haul allowing England to enforce the follow-on in the third Test on Sunday.

Pakistan were skittled for 273 with a huge deficit of 310 runs, which they will have to surmount in their second innings to make England bat again.

Anderson inched closer to the astonishing 600-wicket landmark as he is now just two scalps away after removing tail-ender Naseem Shah on what turned out to be the last ball of the day.

Anderson might have had more wickets to show for his figures of 5-56 had his teammates held onto a slew of chances offered by Pakistan towards the end of the day.

Following England captain Joe Root's decision to make Pakistan follow on, the umpires intervened and concluded that the light was not suitable enough to play and called stumps.

Pakistan's slide into dire straits was arrested by a 138-run partnership between Azhar and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

The two were paired together when Pakistan were 75-5 but Azhar made amends to his abysmal record in the series thus far as he became the fifth Pakistan batsman to reach 6,000 Test runs amid his sterling effort.

Having picked all three wickets to fall for Pakistan on day two, Anderson needed only six deliveries to produce the first breakthrough in the morning session when he had Asad Shafiq limply edge the ball to Root at first slip.

Fawad Alam, whose near 11-year wait for a Test recall ended with a four-ball duck, fell on 21 when he lethargically lunged forward to feel a Dom Bess delivery through to Jos Buttler.

Azhar, however, grew in confidence the longer he spent time at the crease. The top-order batsman had visibly worked hard on his stance, opening up more in his stationary position to avoid falling victim to the lbw mode of dismissal and progressed to the 17th century of his Test career.

The triple-figure score arrived via a gorgeous cover drive he creamed off Bess, prompting loud cheers from the Pakistan camp as their applause echoed all over the empty stadium.

Rizwan also proved his credentials as Pakistan's first-choice wicketkeeper by marching to his second consecutive half-century.

His fine contribution of 53 was cut short by a fantastic grab down the leg-side by opposite number Buttler.

The Englishman had another stunning catch to show for the highlights reel when he completed a one-handed take to send Shaheen Afridi back to the pavilion.

England then dropped three easy catches to pile on Anderson's misery, who was clearly not impressed by the sloppy display in the field.

The first of the comical drops was by Rory Burns as he grassed a routine chance when Azhar powerfully drove on 116.

Zak Crawley floored Mohammad Abbas when the paceman was on nought. Later, Anderson's longtime bowling partner Stuart Broad dropped another simple catch from Mohammad Abbas at mid-on before rattling the stumps with a direct throw to pull off a run-out.