England cruise to victory in second Test
Birmingham: Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott steered England to a nine-wicket victory against Pakistan after lunch on the fourth day of the second Test on Monday to go 2-0 up in the four-match series.
England, set 118 to win at Edgbaston, cruised to their target as Strauss, dropped three times, and Trott both finished on 53 not out after the early dismissal of the out-of-form Alastair Cook.
Pakistan must now win the final two Tests at The Oval (starting Aug. 18) and Lord`s to draw the series.
Strauss added 111 for the second wicket with Trott as they weathered Pakistan`s early onslaught that claimed Cook`s wicket.
Trott was untroubled and grew in confidence the longer he remained but Strauss was dropped twice (on 10 and 38) by debutant wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider from off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, and then again on 43 by mid-off Mohammad Asif off Shoaib Malik.
The pitch showed signs of low bounce from the faster bowlers Mohammed Amir and Asif, while there was slow turn for off-spinner Ajmal, but generally the sunshine that later disappeared allowed for reasonable batting conditions.
Pakistan achieved the early breakthrough they desired when Amir bowled Cook with the fourth ball of his second over and his first delivery to the left-hander.
Cook went neither forward nor back and his stumps were flattened by a ball that skidded through his non-existent defence to give Pakistan early optimism. Cook has not reached 30 in his last seven test innings.
His form is giving England a problem as he is the captain in-waiting after leading the side in Bangladesh this year when Strauss was rested. His place may be vulnerable prior to the Ashes that starts in November, especially with Ian Bell to return from injury.
Pakistan, 291 for nine overnight, added five runs to their total and faced 11 balls after the start of play. Stuart Broad had last man Asif caught by Kevin Pietersen at gully. Off-spinner Graeme Swann finished with career best figures of six for 65.