Pakistan require 323 runs to defeat England
The fourth day of the Headingley Test was another run feast made possible by quick scoring conditions and erratic bowling. The game might still be drawn although with a match run rate of over four per over, normal equations are inapplicable.
If it is, Pakistan are entitled to feel they have had the wrong end of some awful umpiring decisions. Honest, but awful.
The three on the first morning were well chronicled, particularly when Kevin Pietersen was only two; to those can be added two shockers yesterday that also changed the complexion of the match. Wristspinner Danish Kaneria suffered twice when he was denied two of the plumbest lbw appeals imaginable by umpire Billy Doctrove.
Andrew Strauss would have had his middle and leg stumps disturbed and Paul Collingwood was the luckiest man on the field when he was well and truly diddled by a googly.
Thinking it was a leg break, he padded off, only for the ball to spin back and hit him on the knee roll. There was no question of height, line or an inside edge because the bat was lifted out of the way.
The inevitable conclusion must be that, with every mathematical question of the law answered 100 per cent, the West Indies umpire - a relative newcomer to the elite list - finds it difficult to distinguish between what is marginal and what is cast iron.
A defensive argument is that such things even themselves out on a swings-and-roundabouts basis. Try telling that to the tourists, who also suffered at Lord's.
Seldom does a Test match sprint along at such a pace with all 12 sessions producing over 100 runs, but the lack of real quality bowling has enable batsmen to score so quickly without risk.
Pakistan had a nightmare start to the day in their search for early wickets. Wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal has had a poor series and he promptly added to his crime list with certainly one dropped catch and probably another in successive overs, both given by Marcus Trescothick, who was still in single figures.
The first one was high down the legside, with Akmal flapping one glove at it instead of two; next over, the appeal for an outside edgewas spontaneous and confident.
The ball arrived at waist height, with the 'keeper not needing to move either foot one inch but, to general horror, he punched it out. Heads went down, with the general fielding display well below par.
Trescothick played and missed over a dozen times, but he remained positive and hit eight fours in his 54 at lunch -the same score as Strauss. The breakthrough came when the Somerset man's luck finally ran out and an edge was smartly taken by Salman Butt.
Alastair Cook never settled before he was caught at short leg off Kaneria for 22, but at 198 for two and a lead of 175, there was no tinkle of alarm bells, until Kevin Pietersen came in.
At times, his approach becomes feverish instead of positive and he decided to take on Kaneria. He slog-swept him outrageously for two fours, missed a third attempt before he crashed one through the covers and was then bowled in ugly fashion.
It was a googly which he tried to shovel through mid-wicket, only to be bowled through a huge gate. It was a poor shot if he picked the googly and an even worse one if he didn't.
Strauss then reached a superb hundred, his tenth for England and his second in three matches as captain. His conversion from 50 to 100 is Bradmanesque, having turned 16 fifties into 10 hundreds and this was a captain's innings in every sense.
The small downside is that he has yet to reach 150 and he was mortified when he tried to leave one alone from Mohammad Sami in the final over before tea, only for the ball to jag back and take the edge to Akmal.
Pakistan came out fired up after tea and whittled out Ian Bell (4), Collingwood (25), Sajid Mahmood (2), Matthew Hoggard (8) and Steve Hamison for four.
Only Chris Read held firm and he batted brilliantly to reach a priceless fifty off 78 balls including a six and six fours; he has had a fine match so far. He came in at 246 for five and masterminded the advance to 345 before he was last man out, bowled by Mohammad Sami for a character-filled 55.
What a game we have today. A target of 323 normally favours the bowling side, but not on this pitch against this England attack.