Crawley shines again with half-century in third test v Pakistan

SOUTHAMPTON: Zak Crawley struck a second successive half-century as England made a positive start to the third and final test against Pakistan, reaching 91 for two at lunch on the first day at the Rose Bowl on Friday.

Crawley took 80 balls to reach his milestone, and will resume in the afternoon session on 53 along with captain Joe Root (10 not out) after England had won the toss and elected to bat in blustery conditions.

Crawley also scored 53 in England's only innings in the rain-hit second test that ended in a draw at the same venue last week.

Pakistan battled to find their accuracy with the ball in the first session, offering too many scoring shots, but did pick up two wickets on a dry pitch as they introduced leg-spinner Yasir Shah just 10 overs into the match.

England opener Rory Burns continued his poor run when he was caught at third slip by Shan Masood off the bowling of seamer Shaheen Afridi for six.

Left-hander Burns has managed just 20 runs in four innings in this series.

His opening partner Dom Sibley (22) was leg before wicket to Shah and he too has battled in the series with a top score of 36, something for the selectors to ponder when England next play red ball cricket.

The home side have brought fast bowler Jofra Archer back into the side for left-arm seamer Sam Curran as their only change from the last test.

Pakistan have an unchanged side, as captain Azhar Ali said he too would have elected to bat in what is a must-win test to level the series at 1-1.

England won the first test in Manchester by three wickets.