Watch day two of the third and final #raisethebat Test between England and Pakistan live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Saturday
Last Updated: 21/08/20 8:18pm
England centurion Zak Crawley has praised batting partner Jos Buttler for helping him to conquer his nerves en route to a maiden Test hundred against Pakistan.
Crawley registered three figures for the first time at the highest level as he and Buttler shared an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 205 to put England in control of the third Test at the Ageas Bowl.
The 22-year-old admitted: “When I was about 91, I was really nervous. Jos didn’t think I was, so I must have been hiding it pretty well!
“It was handy batting with Jos – he’s a very calm head and he’s always telling you to keep switched on. I think that’s why we managed to get a good partnership today.
England vs Pakistan
August 22, 2020, 10:30am
“I had to keep the hundred out of my head. When I was on about 25, I was in decent touch and couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“Luckily when I got to about 70 I calmed down a bit, but that period in the middle I played a couple of rash shots and managed to get through that.
“Jos batted great as well and made it easy for me. It was an unbelievable feeling, to see everyone else up there on the balcony, clapping – it almost flashed before my eyes, my whole career so far.
“It was the best feeling I’ve had on a cricket field – hopefully there’s a few more to come.”
The partnership between Crawley – who ended the day on 171 not out – and Buttler (87no) turned the opening day firmly in England’s favour after leg-spinner Yasir Shah had taken two wickets to reduce the home side to 127-4.
Crawley acknowledged that his innings of 53 at the end of the second Test – at that time, his third half-century at international level – had helped to lay the foundations for his marathon knock this time around.
“It was challenging because he (Yasir) is quite small and gets low bounce,” Crawley said. “He bowls this ball which feels like it’s quite short.
“It does you and gets you when you go back to it, which I did on quite a few occasions but managed to get a bit of bat on it.
“But it was nice to get a look at him the other night and that made it a lot easier today. I had a much clearer game plan of how I wanted to go about it after the other game, so it was definitely beneficial.”
Crawley’s innings at the tail-end of the second Test was eventually brought to an end by seamer Mohammad Abbas, who trapped him lbw.
But the batsman responded by frequently advancing out of his crease against Abbas, who was again the most consistent performer among Pakistan’s pace attack.
“I felt maybe I’d have covered it more (in the second Test) if I’d been further out of my crease,” Crawley added.
“It’s something I try and work on in the nets and I feel like I can take two dismissals – lbw and bowled – out of the game if I do that.
“He can obviously still nick me off – he’s a very good bowler and he beat the bat plenty, even towards the end of the day.”
Watch day two of the third and final #raisethebat Test between England and Pakistan live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Saturday.