Leicestershire v Worcestershire, Grace Road, 4th day June 18, 2014

Mesmeric Ajmal does it again

Press Association

Worcestershire 237 (Kervezee 102) and 444 for 8 dec (Fell 124, Mitchell 120) beat Leicestershire 278 (Cobb 63, Morris 4-76) and 169 (Ajmal 6-19) by 234 runs

Saeed Ajmal took six wickets for 13 runs in a magical 36-ball spell to give Worcestershire a 234-run victory over Leicestershire on the final day of their LV= County Championship Division Two game at Grace Road.

The home batsmen had no answer to the mystery spin of the Pakistan star and crashed from 145 for 4 to 169 all out.

It was Worcestershire's fourth win of the season and Leicestershire's fourth successive home defeat. Worcestershire are now second in the table one point behind Hampshire, while Leicestershire have not won a Championship game since September 2012.

Even so the manner of their collapse in this game was extraordinary. Set a victory target of 404 they began the day on 20 without loss and took 19 runs off the first two overs from Jack Shantry and Charles Morris.

The first nine overs of the day produced 50 runs and a flurry of boundaries, and it began to look as though Leicestershire might make a decent fist of it.

But Angus Robson chopped a ball from Morris on to his stumps, Greg Smith and Ned Eckersley were both lbw to Shantry playing across the line and Josh Cobb was bowled by Joe Leach to leave Leicestershire at 98 for 4.

All that was left for them then was a battle for survival. A partnership of 47 runs between Dan Redfern and Niall O'Brien suggested they could stretch the game out - but then Ajmal took centre stage.

He had hardly been in the game for three and half days, claiming just one wicket for 46 runs in Leicestershire's first innings. But a fourth-day pitch that was at last offering some assistance, was right up his street.

He had taken a career best 7 for 19 against Essex earlier in the season and almost matched it again. In less than hour after lunch he picked up the last six wickets to leave Leicestershire in a spin.

O'Brien edged to slip, Redfern was bowled leg stump, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Richard Jones were both caught off bat and pad, Ben Raine top-edged a slog sweep and Charlie Shreck was trapped lbw.

Ajmal finished with 6 for 19 to take his wicket-haul for Worcestershire to 44 in seven Championship games. They will miss him when he joins up with Pakistan for a tour of Sri Lanka in August.

Steve Rhodes, Worcestershire director of cricket, said: "The plan is always to try and take a few wickets with our seam attack to provide a platform for Ajmal. In these sort of conditions he can be devastating.''

Ben Smith, Leicestershire's senior coach, said: "Ajmal's spell was brilliant and blew us away. But we would not have been in that position if we had taken a 150-run first innings lead as we should have done.''

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 23, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    He come into international cricket way too late!!! - If he would have come in when he was younger he would have broken records... Again miss managed by the PCB.

  • Dummy4 on June 23, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    He is a true legend no one can match him at this point of time

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    He should teach new comers his bowling tricks so that when he'll leave PCT there'll be plenty of Ajmal's ;

  • Dummy4 on June 19, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    Magician at work! Too bad for world cricket that he came on the International stage at the age of 30. What sets apart Ajmal from the rest of the folks is that even though he has been in International cricket for about 5 years now but even the top batsmen still find hard to counter his threat.

  • Android on June 19, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    The more steps Australia take to tackle Ajmal, the more surprises Ajmal give them back. If he is showing such results in English pitches, what would we expect from him on UAE... Great going!!! Unfortunately he is the only force with Misbah ul Haq who is binding the Pakistan team. Great job from World class bowler.

  • Android on June 19, 2014, 10:31 GMT

    In terms of impact made by a spinner in world cricket, he is would be right up there after Warne and Muralitharan. Wish he could have came early for Pakistan and register his name on the top of list. He still has few years and can complete 250 TEST and ODI wickets or more depending on time he plays.

  • Android on June 19, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    Love you ajmal you are the real magician. and what a bowling from you. Its bad luck of Pakistan that we find this talented man very late. But even he came late but with his effort and calmness and good bowling skills entered himself in big names of Cricket bowling. we wish u all the best and wish that u perform same always.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 21:21 GMT

    he is match winner player,

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 21:20 GMT

    he is match winner player,

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    a great by any rule of measurement.... ... wish he can do it in upcoming series as well... good luck to ajmal

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