Pakistan have defeated England by ten wickets, a victory achieved in three days. This was a comprehensive defeat for the world’s number one ranked team at the hands of a thoroughly professional – bet no one has ever said that about a Pakistan cricket side before – team, which if you didn’t know had been rocked by a spotfixing scandal which resulted in three star players serving prison sentences.
To be honest, you would never have guessed that there had been any such problem by the manner in which they steamrollered England, who didn’t seem to have grasped that being number one means that everyone wants to have ago at you.
The first innings was the Saeed Ajmal show, the off spinner showing that you don’t have to be Abdul Qadir to destroy a batting line up.
Predictably, there was someone on hand to cast doubt on his amazing preformance – five LBWs in his seven wicket haul at a cost of 55 runs.
Bob Willis – the former England captain who destroyed the career of fast bowler Norman Cowans – said the famed ‘dosra’ amounted to chucking.
He made his comments on Sky – and thankfully not on the cricket field, remember all those comments about bad umpiring that accompanied Abdul Qadir’s nine wicket haul for 56 in the first test at Lahore in 1987, or accusations of ball tampering when Waqar and Wasim used Sarfraz Nawaz’s sandshoe ball with devastating results.
The spot fixing saga was unique, because for the first time Pakistani players were in the wrong, which gave their detractors – all of whom would swear that they are not racist – free rein.
England’s bowlers, especially James Anderson and Stuart Broad, clawed back their position late on the second day, however, Akmal – replacing his brother, the light fingered Kamran as wicketkeeper – posted 61 which probably swung the game decisively in Pakistan’s favour.
With seven wickets down for 87 in their second innings, England were finished. Fans of Kevin Pieterson will have to wait another day to see him shine, for England’s most gifted batsman managed a meagre two runs in both innings.
England’s postmortem – once some stop complaining about Ajmal’s bowling technique – will focus on poor shot selection, a lack of preparation, the truth is though Pakistan led by Misbah ul Haq, who is a calm, seemingly natural leader, have signalled they are back, and they have done so by trouncing the best team in the world.
Wonder what England’s response will be at Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
TEMPLATE NEWS 2011