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England v Pakistan

The stats behind Zak Crawley’s breakthrough knock

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Having impressed in the second Test with his third Test half-century, Zak Crawley finally brought up three figures for England on day one of the third Test against Pakistan.

With great fluency – confident strides forward to the quicks and nimble footwork against Yasir Shah – Crawley finished the day on 171 not out off just 269 balls to leave his side sitting pretty on 332-4, having added 205 in an unbeaten fifth-wicket stand with Jos Buttler.

The 22-year-old’s century made him the 17th Englishman to hit a Test century before turning 23; should he add 29 runs to his current total, he will become his country’s third-youngest Test double centurion, following in the footsteps of two iconic names: Len Hutton and David Gower. His fourth first-class century, Crawley now has a new personal best, passing his 168 against Glamorgan for Kent in September 2018.

Despite losing his place for two Tests as England reconfigured their line-up with Ben Stokes unable to bowl, Crawley now has 321 runs this summer at an average of 64.20. Furthermore, Crawley’s century also made him the first Englishman to reach 100 at No.3 in Test cricket since Jonny Bairstow against Sri Lanka in November 2018. Crawley’s score is also the highest by an England Test No.3 since Joe Root’s 254 against Pakistan at Old Trafford in 2016.

The Crawley-Buttler partnership was a significant one; only Dom Sibley and Ben Stokes have put on more for a wicket for England this year, with their patient 260-run stand in the second Test against West Indies. The unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership is also England’s seventh-highest stand ever against Pakistan.

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