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England close to victory on day three

England are on the verge of a series victory over Pakistan after the tourists crumbled to 74 all out in their first innings with Graeme Swann starring on another thrilling day’s play at Lord’s.

Following on, the tourists were quickly reduced to 41-4 by the close with Mohammad Yousuf hooking the last ball of the day straight to Jonathan Trott off the bowling of Steve Finn.

Earlier in the day Trott and Stuart Broad had resumed their record-breaking partnership in the morning session with England’s number three reaching his 150 with the first run of the day.

Pakistan’s bowlers looked as flat as they had on the previous evening allowing Broad in particular to unveil some flowing drives, as he too passed the 150 mark.

Broad finally fell for 169, trapped LBW by Saeed Ajmal after a referral overturned Billy Bowden’s original not out decision.

That brought an end to a Test record 332-run eighth wicket partnership.

James Anderson fell to Ajmal in the first over after lunch before Trott missed the chance to become the first man to register two double centuries on the Honours Board, falling for 183 to Wahab Riaz.

Tremble to a wobble

The Lord's crowd had been applauding almost from the first ball as Trott and Broad broke record after record and passed successive landmarks.

With the fans roaring him into the crease century maker Stuart Broad, opening the bowling with James Anderson, didn't show any signs of tiredness.

England’s attack bowled with purpose from the opening over. Broad added a wicket to his century - Hameed caught at second slip in the fourth over.

Anderson had Farhat caught behind by Matt Prior in the very next over and Pakistan were rocking.

Broad turned the tremble into a serious wobble with another wicket in the very next over, the dangerous Mohammad Yousuf clean bowled.

Pakistan captain Salman Butt and Azhar Ali managed to last until Tea - quite an achievement in the context of the innings.

Just before the interval Graeme Swann and Finn bowled five successive maidens between them as England ratcheted up the pressure on Pakistan.

The pressure told immediately after the restart, Swann bowling Butt with the first ball after Tea.

In the next over Swann got Azhar too, tempting the batsman to pop up a catch to Alastair Cook at short leg.

After a wayward first over Finn joined the party. A maiden was followed up by two wickets as the Pakistan batsmen struggled to see the ball out of the 6'8" seamer's hand against the Nursery End sightscreen.

Umar Akmal was cleaned up by a yorker he got nowhere near and then Mohammad Amir was out LBW.

Kamran Akmal was Pakistan's last remaining recognised batsman but Finn soon had his wicket too, tempting the wicket-keeper to play at one that moved away from him as he too was caught by Prior

The last remnants of the tail didn't last long - two more wickets for Swann (Riaz LBW and Asif caught and bowled) closed the tourists first innings on just 74 - still an enormous looking 372 runs behind.

Follow-on formality

The follow-on decision looked a formality and sure enough Imran Farhat and Yasir Hameed were soon walking out to bat for a second time a little over three hours before they had opened their first innings.

England weren't feeling charitable and Broad had another wicket in the fourth over of the second innings - aided by a rash stroke from Farhat as he was caught at mid-on by Cook.

As Butt and his team-mates grumbled to the umpires about the Nursery End sightscreens Anderson took another wicket from the Pavilion End - Hameed out LBW.

Once again Butt was left having to save his team. With the experienced Yousuf at the crease there was still a sliver of a hope.

Three fours in one Finn over gave the Pakistan fans at Lord's something to cheer.

England, and Swann, were not to be denied though. The off-spinner, ranked as the world's second best bowler was finding a lot of turn from the Lord's pitch.

He deceived Butt enough with one delivery to remove the skipper LBW and when Yousuf went in the next over - holing out to Trott from Finn's delivery Pakistan's last hopes of saving something looked to have gone with them.

There was respite for Pakistan - in the form of a rain shower. It didn't last long but just long enough to bring a premature close to proceedings.

The home side still lead by 331 runs.

With just six wickets remaining and Ali and Umar Akmal, who scored six and ten in the first innings, at the crease it is surely only a matter of time before England put the seal on a ruthless victory.

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