Pakistan vs England
Pakistan win by 71 runs
Pakistan become the first side since 1907 to win a Test match after being rolled over for under 100 in the first innings of the game as their bowlers completed their humiliation of England's batsman. It's misleading to say Pakistan thrashed England; it's more accurate to say Pakistan's bowlers thrashed England's batsmen, who simply had no answer to Ajmal and Rehman. England's four frontline bowlers all ended with series averages under 27 and have every justification for looking at this scoreline and giving quizzical looks to the batsmen. And then attacking them with big sticks.
Over 98: Rehman 0-1-W
252 WICKET! All over, and fittingly it's a marginal lbw decision to end the series. Panesar tries a slog-sweep, misses, and is given out by Steve Davis. Hawk-eye shows the ball clipping the outside of leg stump and Pakistan have sealed a 3-0 whitewash. England's batsmen utterly humiliated.
Over 97: Ajmal 0-2-1-2-0-2
251-9 - A back-cut brings Prior two runs before he eases Ajmal down the ground for a single. Panesar Scoop-swats through midwicket for a couple and then hammers the ball to mid-on where it's half-stopped but will still bring two runs. All hail the Scoop. And to a lesser extent the bloke wielding it. In all seriousness, it's great to see them back - both of them. England go past 250 as they continue to rack up the moral victories.
Over 96: Rehman 0-1-2-0-0-0
244-9 - Prior cuts to deep point for a single before the sheer power of Monty and the Scoop forces mid-off to let the ball through his legs and give Panesar another couple of runs.
Over 95: Ajmal 0-1-0-0-1-0
241-9 - Panesar defends to point and is called through for a quick single by Prior, who picks up a single to long-off from the penultimate ball of the over. Panesar blocks the last one.
Over 94: Rehman 0-1lb-0-0-0-1
239-9 - Prior goes for an elaborate reverse-sweep and gets a leg-bye off his backside. Ludicrously, the batsmen take a single after Panesar works the last ball of the over into the legside. Prior after a red-inker, it seems.
Over 93: Ajmal 0-0-0-0-0-W
237-9 WICKET! Nearly done. Anderson tries an optimistic cut shot against a ball spinning back at him from outside the rough. A healthy edge that goes fast to first slip, where Younis Khan holds on to a sharp chance. The size of the Pakistan celebrations tell you that this partnership was just beginning to make them a teensy bit nervous. Unnecessarily at that stage, you'd have to say. Another 50 runs, then maybe they should've been getting worried. They should be worried now, though: Monty's striding out to the middle with his Scoop.
Over 92: Rehman 0-1-1-0-0-1
237-8 - Misbah decides Rehman's had quite enough rest now, and brings his left-arm tweaker back on. Anderson's actually playing him as well as any of England's southpaws, although it should be said that the ball is hardly leaving Rehman's weary fingers with quite the same snap he managed earlier. Twice Anderson nurdles him away for singles, either side of Prior cutting a dangerously straight delivery to deep point.
Over 91: Umar Gul 1-1-1-1-0-0
234-8 - Prior happy to take a single from the first ball of the over, and Anderson shows why by calmly knocking the next ball into the legside off his hip for a single to get the England keeper back on strike. Gul bangs the ball in short, and Prior tries to pull but the ball comes right off the toe of the bat and dribbles past the bowler for a single. Anderson is once again able to hand strike straight back to Prior, who can't manage to pinch it back for the next over.
Over 90: Ajmal 0-2-0-2-1-0
230-8 - Ajmal back into the attack after that one-over dent to Rehman's figures. Prior carves through point for a couple and then scampers two more after working the ball into the legside. Anderson had to get his skates on but the full-length dive he produces was ultimately a bit unnecessary. Looked good, though. Prior helps himself to a single from ball five, to leave Anderson one ball to negotiate before DRINKS. Safely done.
Over 89: Umar Gul 0-3-0-1-0-0
225-8 - England will lose this Test by a double-figure margin. A positive for Strauss to take at the post-match presser there, as Anderson whips the ball quite nicely into the legside for three runs and Prior scampers a single after blocking to cover. England need 99 to win.
Over 88: Rehman 1-2-4-4b-0-0
221-8 - Rehman's had a nice long rest since tea after his first spell, which was only 37 overs, so I'm not quite sure why he looks so tired, the lazy so and so. A scampered single gets Prior back on strike, and he hammers successive deliveries through point for first two and then a boundary. Rehman fires the next ball down the legside and, with Akmal unable to gather, four more go on the total. England need another 103, or, put another way, 26 more sets of four byes.
Over 87: Umar Gul 0-2-1-0-1lb-0
210-8 - Strong competition for the coveted 'Most Village Piece of Cricket of the Series' award, but here's a late contender from Akmal. Prior dances down the track and has a big swoosh at a ball from Umar Gul. He misses. Akmal collects and tries to throw - overarm no less - down the stumps even though Prior had got back long before the keeper even collected the ball, so far back is he standing.
Over 86: Cheema 1-0-1-0-1-0
206-8 - Three singles, three dots. An over more pleasing to the eye on paper than in real life.
Over 85: Umar Gul 0-0-0-W-0-0
203-8 WICKET! I'm pleased Gul's getting some late reward here, even if his wickets aren't exactly due to classic pieces of bowling. He was so good earlier. Swann the latest to go, slicing the ball to point where it just about carries to Asad Shafiq who does pretty well in the end to get his hands under the ball as it dips late. Slight delay to check the no-ball, but there's a slither of Gul's boot behind the line and Swann has to go, taking Neil's double-figures dream with him.
Over 84: Cheema 1-0-0-0-0-0
203-7 - Cheema gets a rare chance for a bowl after the new ball is taken. Swann gets a single before Prior is given out lbw trying to work the ball into the legside. Cheema bowls from so wide on the crease that it's very hard for him to get a leg-before verdict, and Prior reviews instantly. Hawk-eye shows the ball sliding a good two inches down the legside, and that's a rare black mark against Steve Davis in this series. Prior survives, and Cheema is cruelly but rightly denied a rare moment in the spotlight.
"Actually," reports Neil, "Now I look, if you remove the ones where someone has mucked it up by scoring 100, it'll be the 5th time. It's even more exciting than the most runs scored without a leg bye and how many innings Jimmy Anderson played before he got a duck." Ah yes, we all look back with great fondness on those Jimmy-Anderson-never-getting-a-duck days. A golden age for the game.
Over 83: Umar Gul 0-3nb-W-4-1-1lb-0
202-7 WICKET! After Prior creams a no-ball through the covers for three runs, Gul decides to take the new ball. This proves to be a good idea, as Broad slaps the very next delivery straight up in the air and is caught by a back-pedalling Taufeeq Umar at mid-off. Not, admittedly, the classic new-ball dismissal, but - due to the incompetence of his team-mates (including Taufeeq as it happens) - Gul wasn't having much luck with the more orthodox new-ball wickets. The batsmen crossed, so Prior's on strike to slap the next ball through point for four to ensure England reach 200 for just the second time in the series and the first in four attempts here in Dubai.
Neil Rees is a man after my own heart. "It's about that time in the innings when I get excited about all players scoring double figures. (It's only happened 11 times.) Do you think Monty will let me down by scoring a ton?"
Over 82: Ajmal 0-0-4-0-1-4
191-6 - Broad's got the broom out against Ajmal, hammering a sweep shot between two deep fielders for four and then collecting a single with a top-edge that lands safely. Ajmal drags the last ball of the over down, and Prior cracks it up and over point for four more. Won't be dull while this pair are together. Swann won't be blocking, either.
- 3rd - 6th Feb 2012
- Dubai International Stadium
- S J Davis and S J A Taufel
england BATTING CARD
|Strauss||lbw b Rehman||26|
|Cook||c Khan b Ajmal||49|
|Trott||c Rehman b Ajmal||18|
|Bell||c Shafiq b Gul||10|
|Morgan||c Adnan Akmal b Gul||31|
|Broad||c Umar b Gul||18|
|Swann||c Shafiq b Gul||1|
|Anderson||c Khan b Ajmal||9|
|Panesar||lbw b Rehman||8|
|Extras||3nb, 4b, 8lb||15|
|Total||All out, 97.3 Overs||252|