June 16, 2001

Review of Pakistan v England 2001 test series

Pakistan won the second Test match of the two-test series at Old Trafford by a convincing margin of 108 runs and levelled the series 1-1. Earlier, England won the Lord's Test by an innings and 9 runs inside three days. The victory at Old Trafford kept Pakistan's record intact of not having lost a series in England since 1982. In fact, they had won all the test series played between 1982 till the 2001 rubber. England's resurgence in international cricket, after a poor run for past several years, is being hailed. Their consistent creditable performance, as shown in the last five series, can be attributed to a methodical display of discipline and professionalism. Indeed, the English team is performing well with renewed vigour and determination and expected to do well in the forthcoming Ashes series.

Here is a brief review of current 2-test series:

Lord's Test
Pakistan packed their squad with all three quick bowlers. The demon fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, who bowled the quickest delivery of recent times at 97.7 mph against Australia in the NatWest Series match, was also included despite fitness problems. Waqar Younis won the toss and put England into bat. The decision did not succeed as English batsmen prevailed over the Pakistan bowling to score 391. Graham Thorpe scored 80 and Nasser Hussain contributed 64. He was injured by a sharp rising delivery from Shoaib Akhtar. With Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq failing to deliver, Pakistan followed on after being dismissed for 203. Only Younis Khan played a resolute knock of 58. Darren Gough claimed 5 for 61 and Andrew Caddick 4 for 52, with 15 wickets falling on the third day. Pakistan performed worse in the second innings, being dismissed cheaply for 181. Abdur Razzaq (55) was the lone resistance against a lethal England attack of Gough, Caddick, and Cork. The Man-of-the-Match Andrew Caddick claimed 4 for 54 whereas Gough and Cork took 3 for 40 and 3 for 41, respectively.

Old Trafford Test
England looked well set for another victory chasing a target of 370 when they were 85 for none at the close of play on the fourth day. They moved on to 201 for 2 by tea on the final day. It was only after tea that the match turned around completely. First Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and Abdur Razzaq bowled hostile spells and then Saqlain Mushtaq completely exploited the situation, as 8 wickets tumbled with the addition of only 60 runs. In the end England lost fairly and squarely by 108 runs. Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and posted an imposing 403, mainly built around a magnificent 114 by Inzamam-ul-Haq. Rashid Latif and Younis Khan also came good with 71 and 65. Gough, Caddick and Hoggard claimed three wickets each. In reply, England was going great guns when Graham Thorpe and Michael Vaughan combined for the third wicket partnership producing a record 267 runs. A smart throw on his follow through by veteran Wasim Akram ended Thrope's innings at 138, with Vaughan (120) also following soon. Pakistan came back strongly and forced England to concede a 46-run crucial first innings lead. Pakistan started disastrously in the second innings. Saeed Anwar was the notable failure. Inzamam, Younis and Youhana joined hands to first restore and then consolidate an innings, which looked in trouble at 63 for 3. The innings took a more formidable shape when Rashid Latif (21) and Wasim Akram (36) scored quick runs to give visitors a total of 323. Once again Gough, Caddick and Hoggard shared three wickets each. Inzamam was declared the Man-of-the-Match and also the Player-of-the-Series for Pakistan. Graham Thorpe was the Player-of-the-Series for the home side.