Zak Crawley has previously scored two centuries while donning the England Test jersey, but both were during warm-up games - the first one in New Zealand and the other in Sri Lanka. His overall first-class career has three centuries. But all until this Friday evening in Southampton. Driving fluently and elegantly at an impressive rate against Pakistan in the third Test at the Ageas Bowl, Crawley botched up his maiden international ton for England.
Reaching the triple-figure mark with a two down to deep extra cover in the first over after Tea, Crawley became the first England No.3 to make a Test century since Jonny Bairstow in 2018 and Joe Root in 2016. He also became the third youngest at 22 years and 200 days to score a century for England against Pakistan after Alaistair Cook (21y 200d) and Ian Botham (22y 191d).
It has been a start-stop summer for Crawley who has been looking to cement his place in the England Test lineup as a No.3 batsman. And had it not been for Ben Stokes' personal reason, Crawley wouldn't have been of the squad probably. Stokes' departure ahead of the second Test, handed Crawley only his fourth appearance this summer despite impressive numbers. In his first Test on home soil, against West Indies at this very venue, Crawley managed to carve out a decent 76 at a brisk rate which played a pivotal role in England's comeback win. And then in the previous Test, a rain-curtailed clash once again at the Ageas Bowl, Crawley scored his second half-century score this summer.
With his maiden century, Crawley, who is playing his eighth Test match, has improved on his career-best score from 76. He hit 11 fours in the 170-ball knock while having an unbeaten 65-run stand with Jos Buttler (24) until Tea break after England lost captain Root (29) and Ollie Pope (3) in the second session.
England presently lead the series 1-0 in the three-game series and is looking to win their first Test series against Pakistan in 10 years and second this summer after having beaten West Indies 2-1.