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Cricket: England's Crawley, Buttler, Anderson heap misery on Pakistan

SOUTHAMPTON, England (Reuters) - Zak Crawley and Jos Buttler shared a record partnership and James Anderson grabbed three wickets to put England in total control at the close on the second day of the third and final test against Pakistan on Saturday.

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Crawley, 22, became the third-youngest England player to make a double century - behind only Len Hutton and David Gower - and went on to 267 before the hosts declared their first innings on 583 for eight in Southampton.

“It’s humbling to be on the list of England’s top scorers,” said Crawley, who also became the seventh England batsman to turn a maiden test hundred into a double ton.

“I don’t see myself anywhere near their calibre, hopefully I can build on this.”

Anderson then claimed three wickets with the new ball as Pakistan crumbled to 24 for three in reply, leaving England in prime position to win the match and clinch the series 2-0.

Crawley and Buttler (152) negotiated a rain-hit morning session and went on to add 359 runs, surpassing England’s previous record fifth-wicket stand of 254 shared by Keith Fletcher and Tony Greig against India in 1973.

Chris Woakes, Dom Bess and Stuart Broad added another 82 runs to help England post their highest total in four years.

“We talk as a side about big first-innings runs. To do that and then the wickets tonight, it’s a really great day for us,” Buttler said.

“I was very happy to play second fiddle to Zak who was scoring all around the wicket. He made the margin for error very small.”

Pakistan lost openers Shan Masood and Abid Ali along with Babar Azam in just under 11 overs.

Anderson claimed all three wickets and is only four short of becoming the first pace bowler to reach the milestone of 600 in tests.

Pakistan need a victory to level the series after England won the opening match in Manchester by three wickets, and the rain-hit second game ended in a draw.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ed Osmond

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