England v Pakistan, 3rd npower Test, The Oval, 4th day August 21, 2010

Juggled catches and Amir's youthful landmark

  shares 20

Omen of the day
A target of 148 would be a formality for most teams. Not for Pakistan, who have already been bowled out for 80 and 72 in the series to date, and who shed seven wickets in pursuit of 180 against Australia at Headingley last month. So when Yasir Hameed, whose belligerent 36 had been invaluable in the first innings, was snaffled at slip for a first-ball duck, the visiting dressing-room had every reason to worry. The moment, however, was so nearly lost. Graeme Swann at second slip has been under the weather in this match, but he reacted with impressive sharpness after fumbling his initial take off James Anderson. As with Andrew Strauss at Trent Bridge, the chance was plummeting to earth before he stooped forward to rescue it.

Buttress of the day
Since assuming the captaincy in chaotic circumstances at Lord's back in July, Salman Butt has led from the front in every way except the most obvious. His calm demeanour has not been able to mask a tally of 16 runs in the first four innings against England, and though he exceeded that in his first-innings 17, he was still under immense pressure as he walked out to replace Hameed in that first over of the innings. Credit where it is due, then, for a forceful and vital performance. Though he fell short of a deserved fifty, Butt's battling approach drew the early sting of England's previously formidable seam attack, before two volleys of strokeplay - 10 runs in an over off Steven Finn and 12 off Stuart Broad - accounted for a sixth of the target there and then.

Delivery of the day
Though Butt fell with 45 still required, while Mohammad Yousuf was in situ, everything was under control for Pakistan. England's tactic of bowling wide to make him chase the game failed to take into account both his immense temperament and his deft eye for an opportunity, as he ignored all offerings from the seamers while dabbing the slightest width from Graeme Swann through third man for four. But then, out of the blue, Anderson re-evaluated his tactics and produced a thunderbolt to transform the closing stages of the contest. A pearling outswinging yorker uprooted Yousuf's off stump, and suddenly Pakistan's cakewalk was reduced to a scrounge for crumbs.

Incisor of the day
With their pacemen off the mark until Anderson's late onslaught, England's only option was to rely on the wiles of Swann, and with his habitual sense of purpose he did his best not to disappoint. In his fourth over, he pinned Imran Farhat lbw for 33, then he did for Butt via a low nick to slip, before handing Kamran Akmal his third duck in four innings courtesy of a no-stroke lbw. In between whiles, he skilfully deflected a shy from point onto the stumps to run out Azhar Ali. Had he been given as little as 30 more runs to play with, he might well have had the wherewithal to tighten the noose even further. But England made their own bed by losing their last seven wickets for 28. Not even Swann could overcome that sort of meltdown.

Landmark of the day
Mohammad Amir did the bulk of his damage in a blistering hour after tea on the third day, but in the space of four balls on the fourth and final morning he showed that a good night's sleep hadn't interrupted his rhythm one jot. A single to Steven Finn was as good as it got for England, as Amir banged in a short ball to the belligerent Stuart Broad, who swished a looping catch to Mohammad Asif. The dismissal completed a richly deserved five-for for Amir, and a notable one as well. Only three teenagers have taken a five-wicket haul in a Test in England, and at 18 years and 130 days, he is the youngest of the lot.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rockon16 on August 23, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    wow cant believe amir is in top 20 bowling rankings in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! mashallah ........we did so well in oval test we will win the lords test & draw the series .. inshallah

  • irfanwasim on August 23, 2010, 1:53 GMT

    It doesnt matter if we we fail in one league match Inshaallah we will win the final in srilanka you can see it by your jealous eyes in few days. In Asia cup also we lost the league match and defeated srilanka in finals.

  • AhmadSaleem on August 22, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    Well Irfanwasim just enjoy your team`s disastrous performance in Srilanka and kindly send a club team of bombay there so that they might beat Newzealand. I m sure those clubs would have better batsmen than Raina, Sharma, Karthik, Kohli, Tiwary and Jadeja. Not to mention your pathetic bowling

  • irfanwasim on August 22, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    I am surprised to see the comments made by pakistani fans for the small win. I think its quite natural you win once in a blue moon and dont compare with india. our club teams of bombay can beat pakistan. Anyway you had a very disasterous tour makings runs like 72, 80, 85. This win came by fluke because of first days condition. Pakistan is not capable to beat even zimbabwe. Shame to all.

  • on August 22, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    @ ahmadii: WOW!!! more evidence of Pakistani whining. The pitch was flat? thanks for that info.. I don't think any of the batsman really realized that, with scores of 233 and 222, I don't think the English realized that either. On your critique of Yousuf in small chases, I take it that in the games you mentioned, he wasn't the only batsman in the team. He was bowled by a great delivery, really, you are going to criticize players for getting out to great balls? How long have you watched this game? Azhar Ali committed suicide, it was his call. (please don't continue.)

  • ahmadii on August 22, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    A great victory ! Congrats to all. One thing I want to analyze here.We had lost matches collapsing on 117(chasing 168),218(chasing 251 vs NZ),139(chasing 176 vs Aus) in all the last three series.In all these matches we had the services of Yousaf.Here he scored 56, remember this is a flat track and 33 when he was required to stay for a victory after being involved in getting run precious Azhar out.With this 89 runs in the match, he has proved his inclusion justified.I wish he would have played in the previous test(s).Would he had not been in the team and any other Batsman ( Amin for that matter) would also have scored runs here.His persistent failures in the modest run chases is the witness of his selfish game and I bet he can be replaced by any batsman.Moreover, who can forget that Pakistan won against Aus by chasing 180 ( comfortably as 7th wicket fell at scores were levelled) wshich he failed to do at Sydney and many other occasions.( To be continued )

  • PAK-92 on August 21, 2010, 23:49 GMT

    Well done Pakistan on a much deserved victory against England. Amir was sublime in the 2nd innings and deserved the man of the match. It was a great performance allround by Pakistan. The next test series will be in the UAE against South Africa and its worth reminding we will be one great bowler short. Asif is not allowed in UAE and Gul could still be injured. So i think the PCB should call the 7 foot left-arm fast, Mohammad Irfan in the team as he looks like a great talent. He has had a great first-class career so far and with his height, he would be a great asset and attack against any team in the world. Asif is a line and length bowler that can take wickets but there is no one in pakistan that can replace him in that resect. so pakistan need to play their trump card which is Mohammad Irfan. Also the batting line up needs a change. Farhat and Hameed need to go inplace of Fawad Alam and Younis Khan. Good luck Pakistan at Lords where you can draw the series!

  • Cricket_my_Heartbeat on August 21, 2010, 20:18 GMT

    Well done Pakistan! and many congrants to Amir on achieving this landmark. Pak batting line collapsed once again but a good test match it was to watch.

  • on August 21, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    @ MaarifSohail: Thank you for that brief introduction to the wonderful, all-weather Pakistani ungrateful whine... whine when you win, whine when you lose. Always the same... Umar played a very good 35, ran himself out, but in the end played a good innings, plus in the second he guided Pakistan home from a precarious position. Kamran held ALL his chances... very few wicket keepers, good or bad, have this kind of unblemished Test match. You suggest 11 bowlers after Pakistan's best batting performance all summer... like I said, thank you.

  • PAK-92 on August 21, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Well done Pakistan on a much deserved victory against England. Amir was sublime in the 2nd innings and deserved the man of the match. It was a great performance allround by Pakistan. The next test series will be in the UAE against South Africa and its worth reminding we will be one great bowler short. Asif is not allowed in UAE and Gul could still be injured. So i think the PCB should call the 7 foot left-arm fast, Mohammad Irfan in the team as he looks like a great talent. He has had a great first-class career so far and with his height, he would be a great asset and attack against any team in the world. Asif is a line and length bowler that can take wickets but there is no one in pakistan that can replace him in that resect. so pakistan need to play their trump card which is Mohammad Irfan. Also the batting line up needs a change. Farhat and Hameed need to go inplace of Fawad Alam and Younis Khan. Good luck Pakistan at Lords where you can draw the series!

  • rockon16 on August 23, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    wow cant believe amir is in top 20 bowling rankings in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! mashallah ........we did so well in oval test we will win the lords test & draw the series .. inshallah

  • irfanwasim on August 23, 2010, 1:53 GMT

    It doesnt matter if we we fail in one league match Inshaallah we will win the final in srilanka you can see it by your jealous eyes in few days. In Asia cup also we lost the league match and defeated srilanka in finals.

  • AhmadSaleem on August 22, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    Well Irfanwasim just enjoy your team`s disastrous performance in Srilanka and kindly send a club team of bombay there so that they might beat Newzealand. I m sure those clubs would have better batsmen than Raina, Sharma, Karthik, Kohli, Tiwary and Jadeja. Not to mention your pathetic bowling

  • irfanwasim on August 22, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    I am surprised to see the comments made by pakistani fans for the small win. I think its quite natural you win once in a blue moon and dont compare with india. our club teams of bombay can beat pakistan. Anyway you had a very disasterous tour makings runs like 72, 80, 85. This win came by fluke because of first days condition. Pakistan is not capable to beat even zimbabwe. Shame to all.

  • on August 22, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    @ ahmadii: WOW!!! more evidence of Pakistani whining. The pitch was flat? thanks for that info.. I don't think any of the batsman really realized that, with scores of 233 and 222, I don't think the English realized that either. On your critique of Yousuf in small chases, I take it that in the games you mentioned, he wasn't the only batsman in the team. He was bowled by a great delivery, really, you are going to criticize players for getting out to great balls? How long have you watched this game? Azhar Ali committed suicide, it was his call. (please don't continue.)

  • ahmadii on August 22, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    A great victory ! Congrats to all. One thing I want to analyze here.We had lost matches collapsing on 117(chasing 168),218(chasing 251 vs NZ),139(chasing 176 vs Aus) in all the last three series.In all these matches we had the services of Yousaf.Here he scored 56, remember this is a flat track and 33 when he was required to stay for a victory after being involved in getting run precious Azhar out.With this 89 runs in the match, he has proved his inclusion justified.I wish he would have played in the previous test(s).Would he had not been in the team and any other Batsman ( Amin for that matter) would also have scored runs here.His persistent failures in the modest run chases is the witness of his selfish game and I bet he can be replaced by any batsman.Moreover, who can forget that Pakistan won against Aus by chasing 180 ( comfortably as 7th wicket fell at scores were levelled) wshich he failed to do at Sydney and many other occasions.( To be continued )

  • PAK-92 on August 21, 2010, 23:49 GMT

    Well done Pakistan on a much deserved victory against England. Amir was sublime in the 2nd innings and deserved the man of the match. It was a great performance allround by Pakistan. The next test series will be in the UAE against South Africa and its worth reminding we will be one great bowler short. Asif is not allowed in UAE and Gul could still be injured. So i think the PCB should call the 7 foot left-arm fast, Mohammad Irfan in the team as he looks like a great talent. He has had a great first-class career so far and with his height, he would be a great asset and attack against any team in the world. Asif is a line and length bowler that can take wickets but there is no one in pakistan that can replace him in that resect. so pakistan need to play their trump card which is Mohammad Irfan. Also the batting line up needs a change. Farhat and Hameed need to go inplace of Fawad Alam and Younis Khan. Good luck Pakistan at Lords where you can draw the series!

  • Cricket_my_Heartbeat on August 21, 2010, 20:18 GMT

    Well done Pakistan! and many congrants to Amir on achieving this landmark. Pak batting line collapsed once again but a good test match it was to watch.

  • on August 21, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    @ MaarifSohail: Thank you for that brief introduction to the wonderful, all-weather Pakistani ungrateful whine... whine when you win, whine when you lose. Always the same... Umar played a very good 35, ran himself out, but in the end played a good innings, plus in the second he guided Pakistan home from a precarious position. Kamran held ALL his chances... very few wicket keepers, good or bad, have this kind of unblemished Test match. You suggest 11 bowlers after Pakistan's best batting performance all summer... like I said, thank you.

  • PAK-92 on August 21, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Well done Pakistan on a much deserved victory against England. Amir was sublime in the 2nd innings and deserved the man of the match. It was a great performance allround by Pakistan. The next test series will be in the UAE against South Africa and its worth reminding we will be one great bowler short. Asif is not allowed in UAE and Gul could still be injured. So i think the PCB should call the 7 foot left-arm fast, Mohammad Irfan in the team as he looks like a great talent. He has had a great first-class career so far and with his height, he would be a great asset and attack against any team in the world. Asif is a line and length bowler that can take wickets but there is no one in pakistan that can replace him in that resect. so pakistan need to play their trump card which is Mohammad Irfan. Also the batting line up needs a change. Farhat and Hameed need to go inplace of Fawad Alam and Younis Khan. Good luck Pakistan at Lords where you can draw the series!

  • sharprider on August 21, 2010, 17:44 GMT

    Well done, Pakistan in terms of overall performance and that too against all odds. This fact is not highlighted in the article as richly as it deserves to be, and understandibly so, because it is a DEFEAT for ENGLAND (and a very comprehensive one at that, especially given their routing of Pakistan in the first two Tests) at one of their own prestigious ground, THE OVAL. It was never going to be ana easy win, for all intents and purposes, since Pakistan had to bat last and with the deteriorating pitch as well as a target to achieve, it is always difficult for any team, more so for an underdog team like Pakistan, to make it comfortably in the end. Anyway, the fact is now evident that England could be defeated at home.

  • on August 21, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    Long Live Pakistan and cricket. Well done the boys they must be appreciated for the job well done, the credit goes to Mohammed Yousuf for his patient inings, he not only played as a anchor man but also always advise and guide the yougeters, when ever any loose short from them they came to them and give piece of advise that it is not time to play big short, time to be patient and tke singles and in doubles when ever there are chances. Salman also played captain ining hope you will continue his batting performance. I thing Mohammed Yousef not fasting, this is not good, If he belived in GOD he should fasting, Allah will give him courage to play his game and also continue fasting. One again Good Luck to whole Pakistan Team for the job well done, and hope the spirit of wing the same continue in the las match which will be played onThr.

  • plmx on August 21, 2010, 16:37 GMT

    Brilliant Match! Well played Pakistan.

  • on August 21, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    Salman Butt said the future is safe, it actually looks very bright. It takes extraordinary character to bounce back from two successive double digit scores, that too in very very foreign conditions, with the ball swinging, seaming, bouncing and sometimes coming at good pace, basically every thing our batsmen are not accustomed to. Azhar Ali has not been managed well, has been told to play dead at no.3, Umar Amin has great ability and Umar Akmal showed real character here. All that not to mention 18 year old Aamer and inexperienced Wahab. They did it before against Australia after a humiliating defeat and change of captaincy. Miandad, Inzamam and yousuf averaged in the 20's after first tour of England, so to criticize these guys is not fair. They will have their critics but they did what seemingly better Pakistani teams have not done for a long time, beat Australia and what 05 couldn't do, win a test in England. No critic can take that away from them, the Rhesus monkey admin can though.

  • MaarifSohail on August 21, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    Why not play all 11 bowlers..I am tired of watching the Akmal brothers playing for the bookies....lets set a new trend, play all eleven bowlers, one of which can also keep the wickets....

  • boris6491 on August 21, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistan for the unprecedented victory. It could certainly have been easier rather than a limp at the end... However, particularly when considering Pakistan, a win is a win and this has been well deserved. They have certainly been the better team for the most part of this contest. Here's to an impressive follow up at Lord's which will, hopefully, host another enthralling test match.

  • on August 21, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    WOW... an INDIAN teenage seamer took a five wicket haul in England.. must have been from a Lahori family.

  • popcorn on August 21, 2010, 15:21 GMT

    I am delighted that Pakistan has punctured the bloated egos of the Pommies. The bitterness in Michael Atherton's voice was so obvious - I thought he would break out in tears! He told Andrew Stauss that this defeat was a jolt to the system,and that this is not the first timeEngland have had a batting collapse this summer.Sour grapes,Athers?l

  • cricket_fan_1980 on August 21, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    This victory speaks highly of the character and passion of the current Pakistani squad. Salman Butt has led admirably, and to win a test match against Australia and England, definitely two very solid test teams currently, in English conditions, within a month or so, with so much trouble back home and such little experience in the side, is very very commendable. Yousuf is a very important part of this team. I think Younis should be back at number 3, Farhat should sit out and Yasir and Butt should open. Azher should stay, as should Umar Akmal, and Zulqarnain Haider should be back for keeping duties.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 21, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    Oh the drama! lol Good advert for test cricket. Oh how beautiful it is when good bowlers get a chance to express themselves. Amir, the youngest ever to take a 5-for in Eng is quite an achievement, cudos to Pak, giving the world a chance to see such a good bowler so soon. Steyn + Amir= test cricket.

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  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 21, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    Oh the drama! lol Good advert for test cricket. Oh how beautiful it is when good bowlers get a chance to express themselves. Amir, the youngest ever to take a 5-for in Eng is quite an achievement, cudos to Pak, giving the world a chance to see such a good bowler so soon. Steyn + Amir= test cricket.

  • cricket_fan_1980 on August 21, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    This victory speaks highly of the character and passion of the current Pakistani squad. Salman Butt has led admirably, and to win a test match against Australia and England, definitely two very solid test teams currently, in English conditions, within a month or so, with so much trouble back home and such little experience in the side, is very very commendable. Yousuf is a very important part of this team. I think Younis should be back at number 3, Farhat should sit out and Yasir and Butt should open. Azher should stay, as should Umar Akmal, and Zulqarnain Haider should be back for keeping duties.

  • popcorn on August 21, 2010, 15:21 GMT

    I am delighted that Pakistan has punctured the bloated egos of the Pommies. The bitterness in Michael Atherton's voice was so obvious - I thought he would break out in tears! He told Andrew Stauss that this defeat was a jolt to the system,and that this is not the first timeEngland have had a batting collapse this summer.Sour grapes,Athers?l

  • on August 21, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    WOW... an INDIAN teenage seamer took a five wicket haul in England.. must have been from a Lahori family.

  • boris6491 on August 21, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistan for the unprecedented victory. It could certainly have been easier rather than a limp at the end... However, particularly when considering Pakistan, a win is a win and this has been well deserved. They have certainly been the better team for the most part of this contest. Here's to an impressive follow up at Lord's which will, hopefully, host another enthralling test match.

  • MaarifSohail on August 21, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    Why not play all 11 bowlers..I am tired of watching the Akmal brothers playing for the bookies....lets set a new trend, play all eleven bowlers, one of which can also keep the wickets....

  • on August 21, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    Salman Butt said the future is safe, it actually looks very bright. It takes extraordinary character to bounce back from two successive double digit scores, that too in very very foreign conditions, with the ball swinging, seaming, bouncing and sometimes coming at good pace, basically every thing our batsmen are not accustomed to. Azhar Ali has not been managed well, has been told to play dead at no.3, Umar Amin has great ability and Umar Akmal showed real character here. All that not to mention 18 year old Aamer and inexperienced Wahab. They did it before against Australia after a humiliating defeat and change of captaincy. Miandad, Inzamam and yousuf averaged in the 20's after first tour of England, so to criticize these guys is not fair. They will have their critics but they did what seemingly better Pakistani teams have not done for a long time, beat Australia and what 05 couldn't do, win a test in England. No critic can take that away from them, the Rhesus monkey admin can though.

  • plmx on August 21, 2010, 16:37 GMT

    Brilliant Match! Well played Pakistan.

  • on August 21, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    Long Live Pakistan and cricket. Well done the boys they must be appreciated for the job well done, the credit goes to Mohammed Yousuf for his patient inings, he not only played as a anchor man but also always advise and guide the yougeters, when ever any loose short from them they came to them and give piece of advise that it is not time to play big short, time to be patient and tke singles and in doubles when ever there are chances. Salman also played captain ining hope you will continue his batting performance. I thing Mohammed Yousef not fasting, this is not good, If he belived in GOD he should fasting, Allah will give him courage to play his game and also continue fasting. One again Good Luck to whole Pakistan Team for the job well done, and hope the spirit of wing the same continue in the las match which will be played onThr.

  • sharprider on August 21, 2010, 17:44 GMT

    Well done, Pakistan in terms of overall performance and that too against all odds. This fact is not highlighted in the article as richly as it deserves to be, and understandibly so, because it is a DEFEAT for ENGLAND (and a very comprehensive one at that, especially given their routing of Pakistan in the first two Tests) at one of their own prestigious ground, THE OVAL. It was never going to be ana easy win, for all intents and purposes, since Pakistan had to bat last and with the deteriorating pitch as well as a target to achieve, it is always difficult for any team, more so for an underdog team like Pakistan, to make it comfortably in the end. Anyway, the fact is now evident that England could be defeated at home.