The fading light of the last session

Looking at England's win and Pakistan's fight.

Cricket in Pakistan looks different to other places. I don't know how to explain it fully, but the sun hits the cameras different. It always has.

And the light looks distinct in the last session of a Test match that is close. It's obviously an optical illusion, but the shadows seem longer, harsher, and more finite. Luck some old German Film Noir. Everything has this new dangerous look to it. And a ball that is bowled in this situation is unlike any other.

Here we have three characters, but one is lit differently, as if by design.

If you compare Tests to football or basketball, their matches regularly bring this kind of tension. Even in limited overs matches we get it more. Just yesterday there was an incredible finish to a match where all three results were on the table as Bangladesh's tail got a shocking tenth-wicket victory.

But those forms were designed to ensure that the results were close. You get an equal number of possessions as the opposition, and the game is made shorter to bring the teams closer together.

The thing about a close Test is that it happens so rare. And this one was all over the shop. It started as the fastest innings we had ever seen in the game. And then Pakistan looked like they would pass it. And that would follow with the home team looking like they might actually win deep into the last day.

Once there is a Test chase anywhere near squeaky bum, you can't go about your day right. You are now invested in this chaos. Because there is simply no way of telling when it will come again.

On day one of this Test it looked about as likely that we'd see a close result as that we'd see a Test match on Mars next year. Though perhaps now Elon will announce that soon - before deleting the tweet.

At nine wickets down this already exciting day went into another level. Haris Rauf's brief stay looked like this might end with a bang, but instead the Pakistan tail fought on.

Naseem Shah has an inside-out forward defence. Like he is trying to defend everything from a position of weakness. Moving from leg to off with his windscreen wiper blade.

And of course that should have been the end of him when he edged the ball behind. Instead the make-shift keeper Ollie Pope - who had taken a fantastic catch a few overs earlier -  now didn't even go for one. While Joe Root did a middle-aged dad wedding shuffle. And so Naseem survived.

While all this happened, we got to learn about the clock. Which was of course fairly redundant, as all it seemed to do was remind people that time was not the issue here, that light was. And yet again and again we saw this old thing.

It was never meant to have a close-up. With an air conditioner behind it, the render on the wall chipping and it strapped onto the wall in what looked like a haphazard way, it suddenly it had its time in the setting sun. It gave us great moments, like Nasser Hussain reading out the close of play times like it was numberwang, and David Gower disagreeing with his fellow commentators about what time the sun would actually set.

While all this happens, we start to get some beautiful fielding shapes. There is such desperation in last session fields. Everyone is in a catching position, so much so that you run out of space. The moment in a cricket match when people just stand near the batter and hope for the best.

The shapes were beautiful, even without the shadows. A field with four men around the bat like a spinner was bowling, but also a few cordon was magnificent. Another one of my favourites made the cut, the rarely-seen duelling leg slips. How often would teams try something like this not at the end of the game, as the light is fading? Or the double short legs. One of which is on his knees before the ball is bowled, and as the batter comes forward, his hands are already on the pitch.

And really, one way or another, we are all like this, virtually off the edge of our seats.

But we still get touch of farce, when it's drinks. A game having dying moments is interrupted by a break, schedule by time, in a match that will end with light. Cricket has no common sense, and that is part of its charm.

But at drinks, Mohammad Ali heads off at drinks to visit the toilet. It is a wonderful moment of time-wasting.

England are in a dark mood. Ofcourse, Stuart Broad has pulled this trick in a Test before. England are probably the best at the game at time waisting, now have to wait for Mohammad Ali to shake and tuck. What a magnificent sport this is. That millions are cheering on Ali's wee on one side, and on the other, hoping Marius Erasmus drags him out midstream. How can you not fall head over heals about a sport that relies so heavily on a shaky lock of a toilet cubicle?

But there is no time to romance; the sun is dropping. And that Pakistan light, which never seems to be that bright in the first place, is even more muted. England know about winning in the dark here, but also that they won't be able to do that today.

And this match that was a film noir earlier is now more like an Eisenstein montage. You see desperation, cricket, clock, technology, sunset, new ball, gloves, clusters and towers. The tension rises almost every time the cameras find a new painting to show. Even Nasser Hussain is scolding Bazid Khan off mic for not concentrating.

When the new ball is taken, Stokes wastes it, Robinson bounces it, but Jack Leach slides it. Naseem Shah is out LBW.

We now have a Schrödinger's Match. Pakistan are simultaneously dead and alive. They have lost the match, but are reviewing it.

Both sides watch on as the sun fades even more. England will have lost a wicket and light if this ball is missing. If it is hitting, Pakistan will be one nil down. The Hawkeye seems to take forever to load, like a scene in an action thriller where the world's fate comes down uploading to a USB from a baddie's computer.

But quickly we see one red, two reds and then finally three reds for Pakistan.

The LBW is out, the game is over. The sun has set on Pakistan's chance to get a draw.

If there is any light left, it shines on England.