Twitter Reactions: England's bold declaration sets up thrilling final day

Pakistan still need 263 runs to win the game on the final day.

Day 4 stumps England vs Pakistan
Day 4 stumps England vs Pakistan. (Photo Source: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Chaitanya Prakash

Jr. Staff Writer

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The fourth day of the ongoing first Test match between hosts Pakistan and England in Rawalpindi moved at a rapid pace, making for an enthralling finish to the series opener on the fifth and final day. The day started with England struggling to dislodge the Pakistani tail, which wagged for more than an hour in the morning session. By the time the hosts were bowled out, they had eaten up a major chunk of England's total, handing the visitors a 78-run lead. Will Jacks was the star of the show with a six-wicket haul on debut on a flat track that did not have much to offer for the bowlers.

Despite a considerable amount of time still left in the Test match, England persisted with their exuberant approach with the bat in the second innings. First innings' centurion Ben Duckett was removed for a golden duck on the second delivery of the England innings. But that did not perturb the English batters as they continued with their attacking intent at the crease.

Ollie Pope was next to perish after a brisk cameo as Ben Stokes' men kept looking for boundaries. The Pakistani bowlers were frustrated by the pair of Joe Root and Harry Brook, who were finding the fence at will. Root even switched to being a left-handed batter for a while to tackle Pakistan's spin-bowling threat.

Harry Brook dazzled before Stokes' bold declaration

While Root played a flawless knock of 73 runs off just 69 deliveries, it was the young Harry Brook, who captivated spectators at the Pindi stadium with his eye-catching shots. The prodigious batter, fresh off his stellar century in the first innings, was en route to another trailblazing ton before being dismissed for a 87-run innings. His dismissal prompted a bold declaration from Ben Stokes, who dangled the proverbial carrot in front of the hosts, setting them a chaseable target of 343 runs.

Pakistan started the chase cautiously but lost Abdullah Shafique in the fifth over. Things got worse for the home side as Azhar Ali walked off the field in the same over due to an injury after the ball had struck his glove. The incoming Babar Azam looked in sublime touch before his opposite number Ben Stokes sent him packing with a short delivery in the very next over. 

Babar's dismissal was a body blow for the hosts, who survived a nervy last few overs before bad light put a halt to the proceedings on the fourth day of the series opener. Pakistan still need 263 runs to win the game, while England will be eyeing a famous victory on an exciting fifth day of the series opener.

Here is how Twitter reacted to a fast-moving day of Test cricket in Rawalpindi: