Pakistan took a giant stride towards winning the third Test at The Oval after ripping through England’s top order in the opening session.
In a complete reversal to the first two Tests where Pakistan have disappointed with the bat, it is England who have slumped to 70/5, with debutant Wahab Riaz inspiring with 3/16 off seven overs.
After Mohammad Asif had dismissed the out-of-form Alistair Cook, it only took nine deliveries for Riaz to remove England skipper Andrew Strauss, before also sending Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen back to the pavilion.
In between Mohammad Aamer bowled Paul Collingwood, with England perhaps rueing their decision to bat after winning the toss on a pitch offering swing and bounce.
Eoin Morgan is already England’s top scorer with 17 not out and now faces a challenge with Matt Prior to lead England to a respectable total.
Prior has already proven in the series that he can dig England out of a hole as he scored a century at Trent Bridge when coming to the wicket at 72/5 and helping them reach 262 before declaring.
Meanwhile, Morgan scored a maiden Test ton in the first innings of the same match and can be backed at 5/1 to do the same at The Oval.
Prior is 9/1 to hit another century and 9/4 to reach 50.
With only recognised bowlers to come, Pakistan will feel that they can keep England to a small total if they break this partnership, with it 5/6 that England will not score 219 or more.
Pakistan’s highest first innings score in the series is only 182 so there is no guarantee that they will outscore England even if they wrap up the remaining five wickets they require cheaply.
It is 5/2 that England will lead after the first innings and evens that they will secure a 3-0 lead in the four-match series. See the entire Bet In Play market.