4th Test – Pakistan Bounce Back in Style to Thrash England by 10 Wickets, Level Series

August 16 14:45 2016

engNew Delhi, Tuesday, August 16 – By the time Pakistan landed on England soil, they saw up and down during the Test matches. They expected a fresh start at Kennington Oval in London after facing defeat at the hands of the host in the third Test by 141 runs. Such a big margin victory was adequate to boost confidence of English cricketers. However, it was problem for the travellers as the 4th Test series turned decisive. It was a do or die situation for Pakistan.

Nothing else except a terrific performance was required by them to save the Test and they did so. Pakistan were thrashed in a row both at Old Trafford in Manchester and Edgbaston in Birmingham by the home squad. They wanted to play stupendously well as like the 1st Test where they registered a memorable win on England by 75 runs. Good show came to their rescue once again that boosted the chance to end series by equalizing it.

The fourth Test started from August 11. Misbah-ul-Haq led the squad, which had Asad Shafiq, Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed. They were picked to give each other support while performing in foreign conditions. Losing was certainly not an option for Pakistan. At the same time, those to sit on bench were Mohammad Hafeez, Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Rahat Ali and Imran Khan.

On the other hand, Alastair Cook went with Alex Hales, James Vince, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root,  Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, James Anderson and Chris Woakes. The players in extras were Adil Rashid and Jake Ball. Cook won the toss and invited Pakistan to bowl first. They accumulated 328 runs in first innings. First jolt was received early since Alex Hales was sent back to the dressing room early by M Amir at a score of 6 (4 x 1). Yasir Shah did not delay to come under the ball and take a wonderful catch. Alastair Cook lost his wicket to S Khan when playing at an individual total of 35 runs, which comprised four 4s.

Joe Root was dismissed in the next over by Riaz. His knock of 26 runs came in 39 balls and consisted of five boundaries. James Vince was dismissed in Riaz’s another over when he opened his account by getting a single. Gary Ballance also succumbed to Riaz at a score of 8, with a boundary. Jonny Bairstow played a knock of 55 runs in 93 balls, together with seven boundaries. M Amir got the wicket of England’s wicket-keeper batsman. However, Moeen Ali was holding the fort and making things stable from one end. Chris Woakes gave him support to some extent by scoring 45 runs in 57 balls, together with eight 4s. S Khan made him go back at a time when he was just five runs away from getting a fifty.

Stuart Broad was lbw in S Khan’s over and couldn’t add anything in the team’s total score. Steven Finn also lost his wicket to Khan at a score of 8. Khan’s wonderful bowling continued until Ali, the centurion, wasn’t dismissed. Ali scored 108 runs in 152 balls, with the help of 13 boundaries and two sixes.  James Anderson was not out at 6 runs, (4 x 1). With 30 extras, England totalled 328 runs. Perhaps, Cook kept in mind the poor show of the rivals through bat in the previous matches and innings and expected them to be in the dressing room soon. But this time, he was wrong. What was considered Pakistan’s weakness turned their strengths. Pakistan fans were eager to see their squad bounce back and save series. The keenness was such after Pakistan housing the potential to be on the victorious side.

Even though desired lead went into the pockets of England post victories in the second and third Test matches, Pakistan made everyone see the change. Despite losing Sami Aslam at a score of 3, the visitors managed to gain pace steadily and put forward some amazing play. Yasir Shah was dismissed by Finn at a score of 26 (4 x 3). Azhar Ali, the opening batsman, was out by M Ali at a score of 49 in 113 balls but he made sure to send the ball towards the fences whenever possible. Nine boundaries from him made England fielders do some often running on the field. Best was yet to be out by Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan. On one hand, Shafiq played a knock of 109 runs in 179 balls, with 12 4s and two sixes, before Finn earned his wicket, while on the other hand, Younis Khan scored 218 runs in 308 balls, with 31 4s and four sixes. Anderson had to wait for long to get his wicket.

Misbah-ul-Haq , Iftikhar Ahmed and Sarfraz Ahmed were  dismissed by Woakes at 15 runs (4 x 3), 4 runs (4 x 1) and 44 runs (4 x 7), respectively.  Wahab Riaz was stumped by Bairstow in M Ali’s over. He scored 4 runs in 32 balls. After Younis’ dismissal, Sohail Khan was out by Finn at 2 runs. Mohammad Amir was not out at 39 runs. This tail-ender batsman struck five 4s and a six in his innings. With 29 extras, 542 runs were accumulated by Pakistan, surprising the rivals. Here is to mention that England were confident about registering one more win in the series to thrash rivals 3-1 in the lately concluded tournament but Pakistan changed the entire statistics by ending England’s 2nd innings at  a score of 253.

Except Joe Root, who scored 39 runs, Jonny Bairstow, who pocketed 81 runs, and Moeen Ali, who earned 32 runs, everybody else was dismissed at unimpressive total. James Vince was out for a duck, Chris Woakes at 4 runs, Stuart Broad at 5 runs, Cook at 7 runs, Alex Hales at 12 runs and James Anderson and Ballance at 17 runs. Steven Finn was not out at 16 runs.  The English team, which was doing well in the longest format, gave their opponents a lot of room to mark a comeback. As a matter of fact, Pakistan did everything possible to stop England from gaining foothold. Batting, which hasn’t impressive earlier, was improved that made Pakistan players taste success. Aslam was not out at 12 runs and Azhar Ali at 30 runs to make Pakistan level Test series 2-2. Younis Khan won the ‘Man of the Match’ award, while Misbah-ul-Haq and Chris Woakes were declared ‘Players of the Series’. The tourists heaved a sigh of relief after the win in last Test. They hope to continue superb show in the One Day International matches as well. The ODI series is to begin from August 24.

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