Can Pakistan make it 2-2 against England at Lords ?
Pakistan clinched a close 4 wicket win over England at The Oval to make the series 1-2 in favour of England with one match remaining next week at Lords. England started 146 runs ahead and their final batting pair lasted merely 4 balls and added only 1 run as Mohammad Aamer ended with 5 for 52 for Pakistan which is his career best figure. Surely, the young pacer Aamer along with Wahab Riaz augurs well for the future of Pakistan cricket.
James Anderson of England delivered a blow in the first over but Salman Butt , the captain of Pakistan and Mohammad Yousuf, the most experienced batsman of Pakistan ( aged 33) set Pakistan on course for a famous victory. Anderson removed Mohammed Yousuf, the veteran Pakistan batsman and Graeme Swann took his third wicket to create a minor turmoil in the end for Pakistan. But, for a change Pakistan held on their nerves !
Mohammed Aamer, the young Pakistan hope joined forces with Umar Akmal to score the remaining 16 runs for Pakistan and England were left to think about the collapse of wickets on Friday afternoon, with Pakistan earning the opportunity to tie the series at Lord’s beginning on Thursday.
It was the first time that Pakistan defeated England since they last won against England in 2005 at Lahore and an impressive response from defeats by 354 runs and nine wickets respectively in the first two matches of the series against England.For England it was a rude jolt reminding them of the effort they need put in before the Ashes begin. This loss to Pakistan has ended the 6 match winning streak of England. The last time England lost in Tests was by an innings and 74 runs against South Africa in Johannesburg.
Andrew Strauss, the captain of England and the whole England team would have had valid causes for being optimistic against Pakistan given the late evidence of vulnerability of Pakistan chasing small targets against teams such as Australia and Sri Lanka.In July 2009 Pakistan were shot out for 117 requiring merely 168 to beat Sri Lanka and in January 2010 requiring just 176 runs against Australia Pakistan managed to lose yet again !
But hopes of England’s final wicket pair adding a potentially crucial 20 or so runs were swiftly ended by the impressive 18-year-old left-arm fast bowler Mohammed Aamer, who collected his second 5 wicket haul and increased his wicket tally to 45 in only his 13th Test for Pakistan.
The future looks bright for Pakistan with talented players like Mohammed Aamer, Umar Akmal , Azhar Ali emerging along with latest sensation Wahab Riaz. Can Salman Butt inspire Pakistan to a win in the next match at Lords. Congratulations to Pakistan team on this fine victory against England. Will Pakistan be able to level the series 2-2 with England or will it be England 3-1 Pakistan? Let’s hear your views friends …