Some interesting figures from the second test played between England and Pakistan, played at Edgbaston (Birmingham).
Md Aamer defied England for 117 balls during his 2 hour long vigil at the middle along with Haider. He scored only 16 runs and the pair added 52 runs in 36.2 overs, to add to England’s frustration of their inability to repeat the skittle.
The record 8th wicket partnership on English soil for Pakistan between Ajmal and Haider.
Nelson’s Eye was all that was needed for the English team to win after Cook’s dismissal, and that is what England precisely did. Strauss and Trott scored the 111 runs to bring up the unassailable 2-0 series lead, and the winning run came courtesy bye off an Ajmal doosra that jumped quite a bit
The total, 72, was Pakistan’s lowest against England. It was a touch worse than the previous lowest total of 80 at Trent Bridge around a week ago.
This is the 20th time Graemme Swann took a wicket in the first over of an innings, when he bowled Imran Farhat, as Pakistan slipped to 44/2 in the second innings.
Pakistan dropped 9 catches in the two innings combined. And, England won the match by 9 wickets. So, if Pakistan had taken all the catches, Pakistan would’ve won the match. The last catch dropped was when Strauss was on 28 in the second innings, when Haider dropped him off Ajmal, and England’s score was hovering around 60...meaning, Pakistan may have won by 60 odd runs... "if only..."
Graemme Swann was awarded the man of the Match for his 6 wicket haul in the second innings, which included, what I feel, the ball of the century to bowl Imran Farhat with a ball pitching outside the leg stump, but turning enough to beat Farhat’s defence and knock the top of the off stump.
England now have won 5 consecutive tests on a trot, and will be looking to add two more to them in the series. After that, they will love to carry the momentum for the Ashes down under.
Also, Saeed Ajmal, Pakistani off spinner picked up 5 wickets in the first innings,
English batting star, Kevin Pietersen, had 3 reprieves in his innings of 80, which suggested that he is yet to hit top form. Had it been some other fielding team, KP innings might’ve been ordinary.
Haider was two hits away from being the 4th man in the history of test cricket to score both a duck and a century on debut. He had scored 88 before looping a ball to a floating mid off.
Ajmal scored his maiden test fifty in the second innings of the test match. His aggressive celebrations couldn’t last long, as he was out immediately on 50, as his counterpart, Swann, finally sneaked off his bat through to the waiting hands of Collingwood at slips.
Zulqarnain haider, the debutant ‘keeper for Pakistan would’ve been out for a King’s Pair, had it not been for the UDRS. He was adjudged lbw to a low-kept big turning Swann delivery, but the decision was overturned after the technology revealed that the ball had missed the leg stump by just about a cm. No Pakistan has ever been out on a King’s Pair in test cricket.
Stuart Broad has been fined half his match fee for slinging a dead ball at the Pakistani debutant, Zulqurnain Haider. It is a level two offence to throw a dead ball in an offensive manner at a player, umpire or referee. Broad's mannerism was below par, even by his own standards. He looked very theatrical during one caught behind appeal. The distance between the bat and the ball was atleast 6 inches, and Broad was celebrating without appealing. Sir Ian Botham voiced his stern views on Broad’s behaviour on Day-3.
The English spinner Graemme Swann bowled no more than 0 overs in the first innings. Not like he was ignored, but the pacemen were causing enough trouble to the Pak batsmen, who were bowled out for just 72 in a shade less than 40 overs.
Interesting, right? Mathematics! The game was much more than that, though!