Test Match Day 4: England enjoy comprehensive 330 run victory
James Anderson, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali all took three wickets as England squared this four-match Investec Test Series at 1-1 with a commanding 330-run victory with a day to spare at Emirates Old Trafford.
Anderson took 3-41, Woakes also 3-41 and Moeen 3-88 as Pakistan were bowled out for 234 inside 71 overs after being set a notional 565 to win.
It was a comprehensive victory for Alastair Cook’s side who have dominated the game right from the start and fought back in brilliant fashion from their defeat at Lord’s last week.
The win meant England’s great unbeaten run at Emirates Old Trafford continues. They have not lost in a Test Match here since a 2001 defeat to Pakistan and have won 8 of the 10 Tests played since.
Alastair Cook and Joe Root produced nine overs of batting mayhem when England resumed their second innings this morning on 98-1, the pair adding 75 runs in 9 overs before Cook called a halt at 173-1 to set Pakistan a Test record target of 565 runs to win. Cook finished unbeaten on 76 and Root 71, the pair adding 105 for the second wicket from 85 balls.
History was firmly against the tourists achieving such a score, even with a total of 177 overs available for batting in nearly two days.
The highest successful run chase in Test history is West Indies 418-7 v Australia at Antigua in 2003 while Pakistan’s highest is 382-3 against Sri Lanka last year in Pallekele. The record for Emirates Old Trafford is far lower – 294-4 by England against New Zealand in 2008.
Mohammad Hafeez and Shan Masood then faced some high quality bowling from James Anderson and Stuart Broad-as England supporters have come to expect.
Hafeez was struck painfully under his arm attempting to leave an Anderson delivery, while Masood struggled against seaming deliveries from both bowlers and it came as no surprise when he edged his third delivery from Anderson to Cook at first slip for 1 with the score on 7.
Anderson then struck again when he trapped Azhar Ali lbw for 8 to make the score 25-2 and his spell this morning of 7 overs, 2-13 was as good a piece of fast bowling as you could wish to see with England’s leading wicket taker constantly beating the batsmen outside off stump.
Pakistan reached lunch on 47-2 although Younis Khan had a moment of fortune when Cook dropped a straightforward chance at first slip off Ben Stokes.
In fact it turned out to be a bad day for Stokes who limped off midway through an over soon after lunch clutching his right calf and took no further part, with Lancashire’s Rob Jones acting as substitute fielder. Moeen Ali completed the over, with Hafeez hitting the off spinner’s first delivery for six.
But it was Moeen who claimed the next two wickets to push Pakistan closer to defeat.
Hafeez, after making 42 in a reasonably attacking manner, pushed forward defensively to a ball that bounced more than he expected to give an easy bat/pad catch to Gary Ballance at short leg after adding 58 runs with Younis.
Younis had made a skittish 28, jumping at the point of playing nearly every shot, but deceived by the flight he got underneath a drive off Moeen that flew high to long-on where Alex Hales took a well-judged catch. It was hardly the sort of shot you would associate with a team battling to save a Test with Pakistan now 102-4.
Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq showed more resilience, although the pair seemed keen to attack Moeen in particular, and they looked reasonably comfortable in adding 43 runs in 14 overs as tea approached.
All that changed when Misbah, who looked untroubled in making 35, inside edged a fairly wide attempted yorker from Woakes onto his stumps just before the interval to leave his side teetering on 145-5.
Two wickets in six balls straight after tea hastened the end. Sarfraz Ahmed edged the third ball after tea from Woakes down the leg side to Johnny Bairstow for 7, and Anderson trapped Shafiq lbw for 39.
Yasir Shah was lbw to Moeen for 10 to make the score 190-8, Root chipped in with a wicket with his second delivery when Wahab Riaz top edged a sweep to Cook at short fine leg having made 19 and Woakes ended the game when Mohammad Amir drove him to Broad at mid-off for 29.
It was an outstanding performance and victory by England and the series now moves on to Edgbaston, starting on August 3rd.
Joe Root received the Man of the Match award following his career-best 254.
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Photo © Simon Pendrigh