Pakistan beat England by 4 wkts in nervous chase

Zeecric Bureau

London: Riding on the good batting display from veteran Mohammad Yousuf and young skipper Salman Butt, Pakistan ended their drought of victory against England beating the English side by 4 wickets in a tense run chase at Oval.

Pakistan looked all set to seal an easy victory at lunch with Mohammad Yousuf and Azhar Ali batting with intent but a freakish misunderstanding during running between the wickets saw Azhar Ali well short of the crease.

With the English crowd at Oval behind them, English bowling duo of spinner Graeme Swann and pacer James Anderson tested the skills of vulnerable Pakistan middle-order and created some nervous moments with timely wickets. But with Umar Akmal getting support of Mohammad Amir, Pakistan chased the tricky target of 148 runs.

Victory for Pakistan ended England’s six-test winning streak and keeps the series alive ahead of the Lord’s test from Thursday. The hosts won at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston, both of which ended within four days.

Earlier, England resumed on 221 for nine on Saturday morning, added only one run in their final total.

Sturat Broad fell for six, poking the final ball of the opening over from Amir, who finished with his best test figures of five for 52.

Amir became the youngest player at 18 years, 129 days to take five wickets in a test innings in England. His previous best test figures were 5-79 against Australia at Melbourne in December 2009.

Pakistan started their run chase in the worst possible fashion with James Anderson dismissing Pakistan opener Yasir Hameed on duck in the opening over.

After Hameed’s dismissal, opener Imran Farhat led the way with an aggressive 33 including six fours from 39 deliveries.

Mohammad Yousuf, who returned to Test side after a bizarre retirement due to internal board politics, celebrated his return to International cricket with a fifty in first innings and a calm 33 to steer Pakistan to victory.

England lead the four-match series 2-0 with the final test scheduled for Lord`s next week.

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