England will target 150 to secure third Test victory over Pakistan
Andrew Strauss led by example with the bat on the opening day of the final Test with Pakistan and if he can provide England with at least a 50-run lead in the first innings, they will have a great chance of victory.
The series is already dead for England, having lost the first two Tests, but a success in the final match will at least ensure they remain top of the Test rankings when the positions are reassessed in April.
Bowling once again stole the limelight on the opening day in Dubai, with 16 wickets in total falling.
Stuart Broad took four wickets for England as they dismissed Pakistan for a measly 99, with Asad Shafiq the only batsman to show any resistance in surpassing 13.
However, England failed to totally build on their bowling efforts, as they reached only 104-6 by the close of play, with the middle-order batsmen once again falling short of expectation in the series.
Captain Strauss did manage to keep his head as wickets consistently fell around him, ending unbeaten on 41.
The onus will now be on Strauss to settle in at the crease again and get some support from free-swinging duo Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann at the other end to enable England to build some kind of healthy lead.
Reaching 150 would be the first goal and England’s tail does have a track record of wagging to eke out extra runs.
Strauss is 5/6 to make it to a minimum of 62 runs, but reaching this figure could be solely dependent on whether he does not run out of partners at the other end, while the same price looks good value that England are all out for 177 or fewer.
The safest bet at present may be the 8/15 in the cricket odds that England win the third Test.