Only Pakistan can lose in such a manner.
When everyone was criticising Alistair Cook’s decision to bat for a mere four overs on the fifth morning before declaring the innings and predictions of draw were loud and clear , Pakistan defied that with clumsy and poor batting to fold at 152, losing by a big xx-run margin.
They lost six wickets in the space of 79 runs in the second session — last nine off just xxx runs to show how vulnerable they are under pressure. A last wicket stand of over fifty between Sohail Khan (36) and Rahat Ali (15) prolonged the inevitable but Moeen had Khan caught behind to finish off the match.
England wiped off the last three wickets inside xx overs after tea, registering a come-form-behind win after conceding a 103-run lead in the first innings — first time at Edgbaston that a team won after a deficit in 114-year history of the venue. The remarkable win gave England a 2-1 lead after losing the first Test at Lord’s by 74 runs but winning the second at Old Trafford by 330 runs.
Pakistan dominated the Test for the first four day now move to Oval for the fourth Test- starting on Thursday — in a hope to level the series.
Chris Woakes (2-35) led the way while Stuart Broad (2-24), James Anderson (2-31), Steven Finn (2-29) and Moeen Ali (2-49) all chipped in with useful contributions on a pitch which had no assistance for bowlers.
Woakes, who had 16 wickets in his first eight Test, have 23 in three Tests against Pakistan.
In the morning many had believed Cook’s decision was ill-logical and proved that he is a defensive captain, perhaps not willing to go 1-2 in deficit with a brave declaration on overnight score.
Moeen Ali hit two sixes and a boundary off Yasir Shah’s over but from the other end Jonny Bairstow fell leg-before to Sohail Ali after adding four to his overnight score of 82.
Although Pakistan once again started shakily when Mohammad Hafeez did not roll his wrist as he pulled uppishly off James Anderson to deep fine-lg where Chris Woakes took an easy catch.
But Azhar Ali (38) and Sami Aslam (70) batted well to take Pakistan to 69-1 at lunch, needing to bat 62 overs for a draw or score 274 runs. Both proved beyond Pakistan’s reach once wicket fell like nine pins.
Pakistan lost six wickets in the post lunch session for a mere 46 runs, wicket number four to seven off just 23 for a single.
Azhar batted well but played one shot too many off a dangerous looking Moeen and was caught off a misjudged drive for 38. Younis Khan was once again shaky and its hard to fathom why such an experienced batsman is a shadow of himslef imn this series. After surviving a few anxious moments he departed by edging Anderson to Bairstow for just 4, anoher poor tally of 122 in six outings.
Misbah too looked tentative and was trying to waste time with some delaying tactics but he too couldn’t last long, edging Steven Finn for tall bloke’s first wicket of the series in four innings.
Pakistan’s innings paled further when Asad Shafiq was trapped leg-before for his second duck of the match — his first pair in an otherwise successful Test career. Woakes struck again in his next to have Sarfraz Ahmed caught behind for nought.
After tea England dismissed Yasir Shah and Amir in quick succession but ran into the last pair.
Pakistan’s biggest let downs are Younis and Hafeez.
Hafeez’s sixth innings in this series with just 102 runs, a mere 20.09 average outside Asia.
If you go by coach Mickey Arthur’s bluntly honest words on Shan Masood and then Sohail then Hafeez has played his last Test in this series and it is a possibility that Pakistan would try Iftikhar Ahmed in the final Test, may be as opener.
Why not? Give a player a chance if you have selected him for the tour.