Marcus Trescothick hails importance of late wicket to England’s victory hopes

England batting coach Marcus Trescothick hailed the importance of Jack Leach’s late wicket on day three of the second Test in Pakistan.

Leach claimed the scalp of Imam-ul-Haq in the final session to break a 108-run fourth-wicket partnership and leave Pakistan on 198 for four at stumps, requiring 157 runs to win.

England’s bowlers had toiled in the evening session without breakthrough, with Imam and Saud Shakeel appearing composed and comfortable at the crease against the tourists’ spin attack before Leach struck.

Pakistan England Cricket
Jack Leach took a key late wicket (Anjum Naveed/AP)

The batter remained at the crease with his head bowed over his bat in disbelief, and Trescothick stressed the significance of the evening session’s only wicket.

“I think it was a brilliantly important wicket,” Trescothick said.

“I think the partnership that they put together was pretty good, they were building into a nice place and the wicket was pretty docile.

“I think as the ball gets older it’s not quite as much happening, not as much seam and it looked a bit easier, so getting something there just for the boys to come in with is very nice.

“Always nice to get a wicket just before a break.”

Before Leach’s breakthrough, England had been left to rue missed opportunities, with a ball flashed through the slips and an ill-judged decision not to review a caught behind from Mark Wood hindering their progress.

Trescothick believes the surface has become more difficult to take wickets on as the match has continued, after 11 wickets fell on the first day and 12 on the second.

“It’s very difficult – 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,” he said.

“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.”

Earlier in the day, Harry Brook became the first centurion of the match in the City of Saints, with his milestone coming from 137 balls.

England lost five wickets for 19 runs, including Ben Stokes (41), who equalled Brendon McCullum’s record for the highest number of sixes in Test cricket but was caught in the deep trying to edge past the current head coach’s total.

However, Trescothick does not believe England will be left ruing not having amassed a higher total to defend.

“Of course you always want to get more runs and we tried to be aggressive, that’s our style to try and do that,” he said.

“We still got a hell of a total on the board, and there’s still a lot of runs to get.

“We’ll know probably by after lunch tomorrow whether that was part of the reason that we didn’t get enough runs, but we’re still in a very good position.”

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