Cricket
England's Zak Crawley celebrates reaching 200 runs during the second day of the third cricket Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Saturday. Crawley and non-striker Jos Buttler stitched together a record 359-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Zak Crawley’s epic double century was the toast of the cricketing fraternity on Sunday - from his England teammates - to Indian legends like Sourav Ganguly.

Crawley converted an overnight 171 not out, his maiden Test century, into an innings of 267.

Together with Buttler, whose 152 was just his second hundred at this level, he put on 359 - an England record for the fifth wicket - as the hosts piled up a mammoth 583-8 declared against Pakistan in their first innings on the second day at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.

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“It’s a pleasure to watch him from the other end,” Buttler told reporters.

“He hits the ball incredibly hard, has shots all around the wicket and he’s a great kid to bat with.

“It’s the start of a very special career. He’s going to score a few more hundreds for England, no doubt.

“This will give him a huge amount of confidence, but an innings of that magnitude will give him so much more belief. He’s got a level head too and he won’t get ahead of himself.”

Crawley, who only two Tests ago was left out of the side when England wanted to play an extra bowler because of an injury to all-rounder Ben Stokes, proved Buttler’s words correct in an interview with Sky Sports.

Asked about being in the company of Len Hutton, Wally Hammond, Graham Gooch and Alastair Cook when it came to batsmen with England’s highest Test scores, Crawley replied: “It’s very humbling indeed. “I certainly don’t see myself anywhere near their calibre but hopefully I can build on this.”

Meanwhile, Sourav Ganguly, former India captain and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly said England have found a “very good” number three batsman in Crawley, hoping that he will play for Three Lions in all formats regularly.

Taking to Twitter former India skipper wrote, “England have found a very good no 3 in Crawley.. looks a class player .. hope to see him in all formats regularly @nassercricket @ECB_cricket.”