70th over: Pakistan 210-5 (Shakeel 59, Nawaz 0) Meanwhile, given the time of day (in the UK), this is an interesting read. My sleep patterns are a disgrace, and not only when there’s cricket on in the wee hours, so I might give it a try.
A big breakthrough for England! Ashraf pushes with hard hands at a good delivery that curves in and then straightens to take the edge, and Zak Crawley takes a comfortable catch at slip. That’s Joe Root’s 50th Test wicket.
69th over: Pakistan 208-4 (Shakeel 58, Ashraf 9) A swinging half-volley from Anderson is crunched through mid-off for four by Ashraf, the first boundary of the day. So far so good for Pakistan.
68th over: Pakistan 203-4 (Shakeel 58, Ashraf 4) Saud Shakeel looks a really good players. This is only his second Test, but he has a striking first-class average of 53.
“Sorry to hear that you are not feeling too chipper, but kudos for still taking the reins of the OBO in the wee small hours,” says Brian Withington. “Let’s hope the cricket keeps you entertained if not compos mentis!”
I feel like Tony Sopranos at the start of Funhouse, though I should stress I’m not about to kill my best friend, and I can’t blame Artie’s shellfish.
67th over: Pakistan 201-4 (Shakeel 57, Ashraf 3) Ashraf punches a pleasant drive that is well fielded to his right by the bowler Anderson; then he defends a good one that keeps a bit low. It’s been a cagey start.
66th over: Pakistan 200-4 (Shakeel 56, Ashraf 3) It’s Joe Root from the other end. There’s a bit of turn, but it’s very slow, and Shakeel has plenty of time to wave a single behind square on the off side.
“In this Test we’ve had a beglassed bowler bowling to a similarly handsome batsman in Leach to Imam-ul-Haq,” says Tom Peach. “When was the last time this happened? Vettori to Sehwag?”
Did Sehwag wear glasses? That completely passed me by. I suppose I was distracted by the ball being slammed through point for four.
65th over: Pakistan 199-4 (Shakeel 55, Ashraf 3) We’re starting early to make up for lost time. Jimmy Anderson starts with no slips, two men on the drive and another at short midwicket. Everything is pitched up to invite the drive, but Shakeel and Ashraf politely decline for now. One from the over.
If Pakistan win it will be their second highest runchase in Tests, behind a fourth-innings romp at Pallekele in 2015. The last time England failed to defend a target of this size was on an emotional day at Mumbai in 2008.
A bit of news from Australia, where Pat Cummins and friends will be going toecrusher to toecrusher with South Africa’s pacemen in Brisbane at the weekend.
A pre-emptive apology
Over the last 24 hours I’ve caught something not entirely pleasant, and I’m not entirely cognisant of what day it is. Thus, please accept my apologies for what you’re about to read over the next few hours until Daniel takes over.
Ali Martin’s day three report
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the fourth and final day of the second Test between Pakistan and England. It’s a simple race to the finish line: Pakistan need 157 runs to square the series, England need six wickets to win it with a match to spare. Shall we crack on?