The Oval: Asad Shafiq and Younus Khan made gritty centuries to lift Pakistan to 340 for six as England’s bowlers toiled in perfect batting conditions on the second day of the final test at The Oval on Friday.
Shafiq scored 109 and shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 150 with Younus to lay the foundation for a large first-innings total for the touring side who need to win the match to level the series 2-2.
Pakistan, replying to the home team’s 328, lost only the wicket of nightwatchman Yasir Shah in the morning session as England dropped three catches.
Badly spilled by Alex Hales in the gully off Chris Woakes, Shah fell for 26 when he edged a lifting delivery from Steven Finn to Joe Root at second slip.
Finn put down a straightforward caught and bowled chance off Azhar Ali and Shafiq was dropped by James Anderson in the slips off Woakes on 24.
Azhar moved on to 49 before he was caught off the glove by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow off spinner Moeen Ali.
Shafiq claimed his ninth test century, hitting two sixes and 12 fours, before he pulled Finn to mid-wicket where Stuart Broad held an excellent diving catch.
Woakes boosted England spirits late in the day with two wickets in an over.
Misbah-ul-Haq, on 15, was caught by Hales in the gully and debutant Iftikhar Ahmed miscued his fourth ball and Moeen held a good catch running back from mid-on.
The experienced Younus kept his nerve to register his 32nd test hundred and he was unbeaten on 101 at the close with Sarfraz Ahmed on 17.