Pakistan spared the follow-on but England remain on course for victory

Paul Farbrace defends decision for England to bat again at Old Trafford on Sunday

England’s Alex Hales leaves he field after being caught out from the bowling of Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir, during day three of the Second Investec Test match at Emirates Old Trafford. Photograph: PA

England’s Alex Hales leaves he field after being caught out from the bowling of Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir, during day three of the Second Investec Test match at Emirates Old Trafford. Photograph: PA

 

England assistant coach Paul Farbrace believes that the decision to bat again was the correct one and hopefully that will be proved with a win to level the series with Pakistan at Old Trafford.

Pakistan started the day on 57 for four but were bowled out for just 198, trailing by 391 runs from England’s first innings total of 589 for eight declared.

The England bowlers shared the wickets with Chris Woakes leading the line with four, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes with a brace apiece and Stuart Broad and James Anderson getting one each.

Despite the huge lead, England decided to bat again before three rain delays interrupted their response.

They finished on 98 for one, with Alex Hales falling to Mohammed Amir for 24, with England 489 runs ahead at stumps.

Paul Farbrace, when asked why the visitors were put back into bat, told Sky Sports 2: “It’s pretty simple from our point of view. We thought that while we were in such a good position, bat while the wicket is very good.

“It was quite simple, we might as well get our runs now while the pitch is good rather than put ourselves under pressure if we had to bat again having bowled them out a second time.

“We’re in a great position. We are very much in the driving seat for this game, we’ve played fantastic cricket for three days and certainly having bounced back from the way we played at Lord’s, we are really pleased with the way it has gone.

“We just think that by keeping them under pressure by batting again and putting a big lead on the board we really are in the best position to bat on the wicket while it’s still a good pitch.

“At the end of the day we are happy with the decision, hopefully we prove it right by some time tomorrow.”

Farbrace also confirmed that the decision to not let Pakistan follow-on was not due to the fitness of Stokes or Anderson.

“They are both fully-fit, it’s great having them back in the side, it’s fantastic to have the two in the team. At no stage was it looking after them two, I promise you.”

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