Pakistan vs England: Marcus Trescothick confident of second Test victory despite late batting collapse

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oach Marcus Trescothick is “confident” England will claim victory in the second Test in Pakistan, with early morning conditions holding the key for a match that remains in the balance.

A rollercoaster day three in Multan started with England in control of the fixture before a dramatic collapse by the visitors was followed up by a resilient Pakistan batting performance. The hosts require a further 157 for victory, while England need six wickets.

There has been plenty of fog in Multan during the mornings which has led to damper, more bowler-friendly conditions to start the day. Of the 34 wickets that have fallen across the match, 19 have come in the first session.

“Over the course of the three days so far,” he said, “the morning session seems to be the one where most of the wickets have fallen so hopefully it carries on in that trend and we can put ourselves in a position to win the game.

“It was a little bit different today because there wasn’t as much dew around this morning, there was a bit more breeze so we’re hoping there will be a little bit more fog around in the morning and it’ll sort of settle along the ground.”

Outside of the first session of the day, wickets have been hard to come by on a pitch that is counterintuitively getting better rather than worse as the match goes on. A fact that makes Pakistan’s pursuit of 354 a realistic, if still monumental, task.

However, that Pakistan even have a chance in this game is the result of an England batting collapse that saw them lose their final five wickets for nineteen as they pushed for quick runs. A passage of play that left the door ajar for Pakistan where it should have been slammed shut.

“I don’t know if it’s done that,” Trescothick responded to whether England’s pursuit of positivity had let Pakistan back into the game. Of course you always want to get more runs and we tried to be aggressive, that’s our style to try and do that.

“Yes, we lost five wickets and yes we’d have liked another 150 runs, of course we would have, but we still back ourselves in these sorts of positions to have that total on the board and win.”

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England did strike late in the day to remove the impressive Imam-ul-Haq, a wicket that broke a century partnership between the left-hander and Saud Shakeel and will mean new batter Faheem Ashraf will begin tomorrow on just three runs.

“It was a brilliantly important wicket,” said Trecothick. “I think the partnership that they put together was pretty good, they were building into a nice place and the wicket was pretty docile.

“We’ve still got a hell of a total on the board, and there’s still a lot of runs to get. As you can see as the ball gets older and the pitch has got more and more flat as the heavy roller has been used on it.

“It’s always tricky, you’ve got to come up with something different and that’s either real good pace, the spinning out of the rough or something different with your field and we’re trying all of those at the moment.

“We’ve got a little breakthrough but we’ve got to hope for some more tomorrow.”

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