Pakistan humiliate England to take series

Left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman takes career best 6-25 to help Pakistan humble England by 72 runs.

Afp January 28, 2012

ABU DHABI: Left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman took a career best 6-25 to help Pakistan humble England by 72 runs in the second Test here on Saturday, to give them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

The 31-year-old twice took two wickets in successive overs to dent England's chase after they were set a 145-run target on a weary fourth day Abu Dhabi Stadium pitch, bowling them out for 72 - their lowest against Pakistan in all Tests.

Rehman's effort overshadowed Monty Panesar's 6-62, in his first Test for 30 months, which finished Pakistan's second innings at 214 in the morning.

This is England's first series defeat after being unbeaten in their previous nine since their loss to the West Indies in early 2009 - a sequence which saw them rise to world number one in the Test rankings in August last year.

Pakistan won the first Test in Dubai by ten wickets. The third Test will also be played in Dubai from February 3.

Rehman was ably assisted by off-spinners Saeed Ajmal (3-22) and Mohammad Hafeez (1-11) in a match which saw spinners dominate from the first day.

England lost their top four batsmen in the space of just 37 balls after an extra cautious start on a difficult pitch.

England captain Andrew Strauss topscored with 32 before he became one of Rehman's victims during his maiden five-wicket haul.

In the penultimate over before tea, Rehman trapped Kevin Pietersen (one) and two balls later bowled Eoin Morgan (nought) to raise hopes of an unlikely win for Pakistan.

Sensing they could only upset their rivals through early wickets, Pakistan opened the bowling with off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez who responded well by catching Alastair Cook (seven) off his own bowling after England had edged cautiously to 21 by the 15th over.

Bell, promoted to number three after Jonathan Trott was unwell, was all at sea against master spinner Saeed Ajmal and his tentative push went through his legs to hit the stumps. He made only three.

Pietersen, who has been woefully out of form making just 16 runs in the series, managed one more before Rehman trapped him and in the same over had the equally out of form Morgan bowled to dent England's hopes of a victory.

Rehman then accounted for Trott (one) and Stuart Broad (nought) in the same over to leave England 7-68.

Ajmal dismissed Graeme Swann (nought) and Matt Prior (18) to complete his 100 Test wickets in his 19th match before Anderson was caught off Rehman to give Pakistan a sensational win.

England's previous lowest against Pakistan was 130 - made on two occasions at The Oval in 1954 and Lahore in 1987.

Earlier, Pakistan lost their last six wickets with the addition of 89 runs after resuming at 125-4, with all hopes pinned on Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq.

Panesar took three of those wickets to finish with his eighth five-wicket haul in Tests.

Azhar Ali (68) and Asad Shafiq (43) added 88 for the fifth wicket before Panesar struck.

But England's decision to take the second new ball as soon as it was due paid rich dividends as Anderson removed the dangerman Ali with a sharp rising delivery which caught the edge and was caught behind by Prior.

Ali hit eight boundaries during his 195-ball knock.

Broad then had Adnan Akmal (13) caught by Strauss in the slips off an ambitious drive in the next over as Pakistan wilted.

Rehman (10) and Ajmal (17) added an invaluable 36 for the eighth wicket before Panesar wrapped up the innings by taking the last two wickets.

Players have ability to change a match's situation: PCB Chairman

Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Zaka Ashraf lauded the cricket team on performing well against England.

Talking to a private television channel, he said Pakistani players frustrated the England team with great skill, specially the spin bowlers including Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal, exhibited tremendous performances in the second test match.

Replying to a question, he added that the team should continue to maintain discipline and follow the captain’s instructions. Ashraf said that all Pakistani players have the ability to change a match’s situation against any team.

Ashraf showed confidence in Misbah’s captaincy and said that he has the abilities required in a captain and also requested the nation to pray for the team's success in future matches.

Speaking about the impending decision of hiring a permanent coach, Ashraf said that the matter would be decided in the PCB committee.

Won series with unity, hard work and team spirit: Zaheer Abbas

Reflecting upon Pakistan’s triumph over England in the second test match, former test cricketer Zaheer Abass said that Pakistan won the series with unity, hard work and team spirit.

Talking to Pakistan Television, he lauded the team for winning the test series against a world class test cricket team.

Abbas said that Pakistani spinners played a decisive role in the second test match, particularly Ajmal and Rehman, who changed the situation of the match, adding that the team’s overall performance was very good.

“The spin bowlers destroyed England’s batting line up and Pakistan adopted a good strategy against England in the current test series,” he added.


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ANON | 9 years ago | Reply

Congratulations to the whole nation as well as our team. Now they should aim for whitewash and nothing else.Go Green!

roomi | 9 years ago | Reply

For those who dont know much about Test cricket- Younis Khan may have failed in this Test but he is the only Pakistani batsman to have a Test batting average above 50. (very few batsmen in the world have that) He scored a double hundered only a few matches back. He is a great cricketer and complete team man and an excellent fielder and a very important member of thsi side.

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