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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 December 2005, 11:44 GMT
Pakistan duo ruin England chances
Third Test, Lahore, day three (close): England 288 v Pakistan 446-5

Mohammad Yousuf
Yousuf kneels to the ground after scoring a century in Lahore

Pakistan have all but ended England's chances of winning the third and final Test and squaring the series.

By the close on day three, the home side were 446-5, a lead of 158 runs.

Mohammad Yousuf (183) hit his 14th Test ton and Kamran Akmal (115) his second as they broke the Pakistan record for the highest sixth-wicket partnership.

They put on an unbeaten 199 after Shoaib Akhtar was the solitary wicket to fall in the day, dismissed by Liam Plunkett for a career-best 38.

Pakistan hardly gave England any chances on a track offering little help to the bowlers.

Marcus Trescothick dropped the clearest chance, Akmal edging Steve Harmison on 95, but that would have been a great diving catch at slip.

Pakistan resumed on 185-4 and nightwatchman Shoaib at first batted sensibly before he opened his shoulders to clobber spinner Shaun Udal for two big sixes.

Michael Vaughan
Vaughan tries to rally his England troops

England had been looking for a quick breakthrough but were frustrated, with Michael Vaughan giving all his bowlers spells to try and make something happen with an old and worn ball.

Yousuf, dropped on 16 by Andrew Flintoff on day two, was in no hurry to complete his hundred.

But on 99, and with Vaughan bringing in the field to save the single, he hoisted a Shaun Udal delivery into the stands to bring up his ton.

Yousuf, who recently converted to Islam, kneeled to the ground by way of a celebration and was 183 not out at stumps in a 335-ball marathon.

Shoaib had batted competently and did not look in any danger of giving his wicket away but a change of bowling did for him and he was finally caught in the deep with Pakistan on 247-5.

That brought wicket-keeper Akmal to the crease instead of captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who had retired hurt on 35 on the second day after being hit on the forearm by Harmison.

Despite having to face the new-ball, Akmal was in good touch and reached three figures off 178 balls, including nine boundaries as he and Yousuf heaped the misery on England.

He passed his previous highest Test score of 109 and was unbeaten on 115 at the close.

They also beat Mushtaq Mohammad and Intikhab Alam's 33-year 145-run sixth wicket record, set at Hyderabad in 1972. Pakistan still have the luxury of calling on Inzamam-ul-Haq if they need him but with a healthy lead his services may not be required.

Interview: England coach Duncan Fletcher



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