Pakistan celebrate their historic victory  © Twitter
Pakistan celebrate their historic victory © Twitter

Having set a target of 40 runs, Pakistan started off quite well as Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali took onto the English bowling comfortably. Alastair Cook tried variations and got Moeen Ali to bowl thinking he could generate the same magic as Yasir Shah did. Pakistan got into aggressive mode after Tea as Azhar Ali secured the win with a huge six over long on to Moeen Ali. Trailing Pakistan by 126 with only 6 wickets in hand, England had a very tough job ahead of them as they walked in to bat on Day Four at The Oval in the last Test of the 4 match Test series. England had lot of stake in this match as they would have won the series and also would have climbed onto become top team in Tests. But given the way this Test went by, England had very little to cherish about except for Mooen Ali’s century in the first innings. Full Cricket Scorecard, England vs Pakistan , 4th Test match

Pakistan bowlers scuffled a little initially on Day Four as they gave room to Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance to drive through covers to score some delightful boundaries. Being in a dominating position and leaking runs was something which Misbah-ul-Haq was going to tolerate. He quickly made his bowling changes and made Yasir Shah ball from one and Sohail Khan from the other end. This did put brakes on England’s scoring rate. ALSO READ:Moeen Ali: England’s unsung hero in Tests

Things looked going England’s way slowly but Sohail Khan got rid of Gary Ballance who looked stuck to the crease. Ballance did not do wonders at the crease as he could muster only 17 runs after playing almost 10 overs. Moeen Ali walked in after Ballance and has looked comfortable on the crease since his first ball. In all this Jonny Bairstow scored his 9th Test half-century showing a characteristic of a responsible innings from one end. ALSO READ:Pakistan on verge of making this Independence Day special for their well deserving fans

Moeen and Bairstow shifted their batting gears as they played some delightful strokes all around the park. Just when it looked like England would go in at lunch with Mooen and Bairstow at the crease, Yasir Shah changed the fortune. He got rid of Moeen who anticipated turn on a good-length delivery which moved a little. Sarfraz Ahmed had to do the formalities as rest was completed by Moeen who edged it. The relief which dawned in the Pakistani camp was enough to know the importance of Moeen’s wicket.

Chris Woakes and Jonny Bairstow looked very cautious post-lunch, but this didn’t last long as Wahab Riaz struck twice in 2 balls. He first got Chris Woakes run-out on his bowling after a terrible mix-up. A direct throw from Wahab at the non-strikers end ended Woakes clumsy stay at the crease. Even before Woakes would have settled down in the dressing room, Riaz got Jonny Bairstow walking towards the dug-out. Bairstow tried to drive a uppish delivery through covers, but the batsman checked his shot at the very last moment; but it was too late as the ball had already settled into the hands of Azhar Ali at short mid-wicket. ALSO READ:Is Pakistan’s next generation ready for the challenge?

This all seemed like a downfall for England as they just kept on tumbling hereafter. In a perfect idle situation where two new batsmen were at the crease Pakistani skipper got his magician Yasir Ahmed back into the attack. Stuart Broad and Steven Finn scored some singles which made sure that Pakistan had to come batting for second innings. Next to walk towards the dressing room was Stuart Broad as he poorly tried reverse sweeping Yasir, lofting the ball in the air while Younis Khan completed an easy catch at slip. This completed Yasir’s 5 wicket-haul after the first Test at Lords.

Just when Pakistan were letting things go their way, Wahab Riaz was banned from bowling as he would step on the pitch in his follow-through even after getting warned 2 times. Pakistan won’t be happy with the way they let James Anderson and Steven Finn as the duo scored 32 runs to increase their lead over Pakistan before Iftikhar Ahmed removed Anderson.

Initially England went on to score 328 in their first innings thanks to English Savior Moeen Ali who scored blistering knock of 108 wherein Sohail Khan got 5 for 68. Following England’s total, Pakistan got off a shabby start after loosing their opener Sami Aslam at the start of the innings on Day One’s end. Since the start of Day Two Pakistan never looked like a lower side as they kept on dominating every session thanks to centuries from Asad Shafiq and a magnificent double-hundred from Younis Khan. 

Due to such tremendous batting display, Pakistan mounted a huge total of 542 leading hosts by 214. England never looked at ease while following this target as they kept on loosing wickets at regular interval. Yasir Shah who had kind of a slack in his last two Test’s came in as a complete surprise as he got crucial wickets at quick successions making England stop at 88/4 at the end Day Four. Riding on this fortune England only had 6 wickets in hand and more 126 runs to achieve. This burden became too much for England as they succumbed to Yasir Shah’s spin and giving Pakistan a puny target of 40 runs.

This victory from Pakistan will be remembered for a long time to go as the visitors came in to level the 4 Test series having won the first Test but lost the subsequent 2 Tests. This series will also be remembered because Pakistan have won it on their 69th Independence Day and also for the fact that their veteran batsman Younis Khan is back on track of scoring runs.

Brief scores

England 328 & 253 (Jonny Bairstow 81, Joe Root 39; Yasir Shah 5-71) lost to Pakistan 542 & 42/0 (Azhar Ali 30*, Sami Aslam 12*; Joe Root 1 for 0 ) by 10 wickets