Karachi: Teenager Rehan Ahmed claimed two wickets on the day he became England’s youngest male Test cricketer of all time as the tourists bowled Pakistan out for 304 in their pursuit of a historic 3-0 series sweep on Saturday.
The leg-spinner, making his Test bow at 18 years and 126 days, bowled five overs before lunch, conceding 37 runs as he struggled to find his length in Karachi.
However, Ahmed (2-89) struck in memorable style in the second session as he accounted for Pakistan batter Saud Shakeel (23) and Faheem Ashraf (4).
England were at 7-1 from three overs in reply to trail by 297 as Zak Crawley (0) was lbw to Abrar Ahmed as the Pakistan leg-spinner backed up his 11-wicket outing during the second Test in Multan.
Skipper Babar Azam (78) and Agha Salman (56) scored half-centuries. The pitch offered more turn as the day progressed with Ahmed starring, Jack Leach completing figures of 4-140 and Abrar then dismissing Crawley.
Ahmed, who had beaten Shakeel’s outside edge with a terrific googly the ball before, had Ollie Pope to thank for his maiden wicket with his team-mate taking a superb one-handed grab at short leg after left-hander Shakeel had inside edged onto his pad, sparking vibrant celebrations from Ahmed’s Pakistan-born father in the crowd.
Babar was run out at the wicketkeeper’s end after the recalled Ben Foakes collected Harry Brook’s throw, but the most memorable scalps were taken by Ahmed, who has eclipsed Brian Close (18 years and 149 days) as England men’s youngest player.
The Leicestershire all-rounder Ahmed pinned Faheem Ashraf lbw with a googly during the evening session. He became the first England leg-spinner to take two wickets in his debut innings since Ian Salisbury against Pakistan at Lord’s in 1992.
England, victorious by 74 runs in Rawalpindi and 26 runs in Multan as they clinched a first Test series win against Pakistan away from home since 2001, are looking to become the first side to earn a 3-0 sweep in Pakistan.
They reduced Pakistan to 46-2 in the morning session with Leach pinning Abdullah Shafique (8) lbw in the sixth over before Mark Wood’s short ball accounted for Shan Masood (30 off 37) in the 13th.
Azhar Ali (45) and Babar rebuilt during a third-wicket stand of 71, with Azhar - who announced on Friday that his 97th Test for Pakistan would also be his last - shaking off a nasty blow to the arm from a fierce Wood delivery to move five runs shy of what would have been his 36th Test half-century.
Azhar was denied that on the stroke of lunch as he gloved Ollie Robinson down the leg-side and the soft signal of not out was overturned with third umpire Marais Erasmus deciding England wicketkeeper Foakes had got his gloves underneath the ball.
A diving Foakes got Babar run out to reduce Pakistan to 219-6.
The previous two wickets had fallen to spin in the afternoon - Ahmed banishing Shakeel in what was the moment of the day before Mohammad Rizwan (19) had a moment to forget as he cue-ended a filthy full toss from Joe Root to Stokes.
Ashraf, Nauman Ali (20), Salman, and Abrar Ali (4) also fell to turn in the third session, with the final three on that list out to Leach - Nauman skying to Stokes down the ground having put on 48 with Salman for the eighth wicket before Leach found turn to have Salman stumped and bowled Abrar off stump.
Ben Duckett (4 n.o.) and Ollie Pope (3 n.o.) were at the crease at stumps.