Southampton: Zak Crawley was on the verge of posting his first test century as England reached tea on 184-4 on the opening day of the third and final test against Pakistan at the Rose Bowl on Friday.
Crawley was on a career-best test score of 97 and sharing an unbeaten 57-run partnership with Jos Buttler (24) after England lost captain Joe Root (29) and Ollie Pope (3) after lunch.
Root edged a beautiful delivery from paceman Naseem Shah that seamed away, with wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan taking a flying catch to his right.
Pope lasted 15 balls before he was bowled by Yasir Shah trying to play the legspinner off the back foot, leaving England 127-4.
Playing his eighth test match, Crawley’s previous best score was 76 against the West Indies at the same ground in Southampton last month. He has hit 11 fours in a 165-ball knock.
Buttler is also seeing the ball well, striking four boundaries.
Yasir has 2-60 off 19 overs after coming into the attack early.
England leads 1-0 and is looking to clinch a first series victory over Pakistan in 10 years, as well as a second of the summer after beating the West Indies 2-1.
Fast bowler Jofra Archer was recalled by England in place of Sam Curran in the only change from the drawn second test on the same ground in Southampton.
Pakistan selected an unchanged team. (AP)