England vs Pakistan, Edgbaston: Strauss and Trott take England to easy win
Salman Butt suffered his second defeat in three matches as a captain as Pakistan lost to England by 9 wickets in what turned out to be a one-sided affair on the fourth day at Edgbaston.
All the efforts by Zulqarnain Haider the previous day only eventually delayed the inevitable as Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott scored half centuries each to guide their team to an easy victory in the afternoon session. Haider dropped a couple of catches. Though they were both difficult ones, they needed to stick for Pakistan to have any chance of a final comeback.
However, it was not as if Pakistan did not bowl well. 18-year old Mohammad Aamer bowled fast and with precision to test the batsmen, with the ball whizzing past the bats on more than a couple of occasions. Saeed Ajmal was introduced not long into the England innings, and he did produce an edge immediately, but Haider could not hold on to the difficult chance.
With England at 76 for 1, Strauss was dropped by Haider again, but this one was tough to hold on to as well.
Both Strauss and Trott played sensibly to negotiate the uneven bounce and heavy spin. They rotated the strike and were in no hurry to knock off the runs.
Earlier, after an opening over that produced five runs, Mohammad Asif fended one to gully that was accepted by Pieterson. When England came out to bat, Aamer in the third over shattered the stumps of a tentative Alastair Cook whose poor run with the bat continued. He could have taken more wickets, and so could have the other bowlers including Ajmal, but it was just not Pakistan’s day as Strauss and Trott gradually took the game away to safety. Both the batsmen remained unbeaten on 53 at the end of the game.
If they could have scored more in the first innings and held on to their chances while in the field while England batted first, things could have been a lot more different for Pakistan. Zulqarnain Haider’s knock may not have been in vain. There were some positives for Pakistan to take out of the game, but again, they do not know how to win. After winning against Australia a few weeks ago, the men in green were expected to do much better.
The hosts, on the other hand, end their Test season at home with a perfect record of four out of four, with two Tests remaining. They have clearly shown that they have a good chance of retaining the Ashes.