Pakistan level NatWest series with spirited win at Lords




Pakistan Cricket

Pakistan Cricket

Umar Gul put up another phenomenal display of swing bowling under the lights as Pakistan beat England by 38 runs in the 4th ODI to level the series 2-2.

The controversies surrounding the series refused to die down as the England Cricket Board making legal threats following Ijaz Butt’s allegations against the English players throwing away the 3rd ODI at the Oval. The relationship between the teams didn’t get any better as the English batsman Jonathan Trott was involved in an altercation with the Pakistan rookie pace bowler Wahab Riaz prior to the match. But once Shahid Afridi and Andrew Strauss walked out to the centre for the toss, it was all business.

Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat. The openers got them off to a good start as they put on 62 for the first wicket. Greame Swann, as he has been doing all season long, bowled beautifully as the Pakistani batsmen failed to convert their good starts into a big score. Pakistan seemed to have wasted the start given by the openers until Abdul Razzaq provided some fireworks at the end smashing 42 runs of the last 2 overs including 5 consecutive boundaries to end the innings at a respectable 265/7.

When the Englishmen came out to bat, they got off to a flier as they scored 73 without the loss of a wicket at the end of the first powerplay. The Pakistan spinners were brought on to put a lid on the scoring as Ajmal dismissed Davies, and Afridi, who was playing his 300th ODI got rid of Trott soon after. Strauss, who was looking ominous after scoring his third consecutive half century, picked out Fawad Alam at backward point and Collingwood chopped Gul back on to the stumps as Pakistan began to take control. Ian Bell played patiently for his 27 before offering a catch to the man at extra cover and Michael Yardy was cleaned up by Akthar as England slumped to 197/6. There was no rescue act from Morgan this time around and Gul completed the formalities by rattling the stumps three more times.

Abdul Razzaq was awarded the man of the match for his late assault as Pakistan would look to carry this momentum into the deciding match on Wednesday and cap off, what has been quite a forgetful tour, with a victory.

By: Monish Menon

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