Pakistan crush England to level series
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah takes 5-71 to help tourists win final test by 10 wickets
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah took five wickets to help Pakistan crush England by 10 wickets in the final cricket test at The Oval on Sunday and level a fluctuating series 2-2.
The touring side bowled England out for 253 in their second innings, Shah completing figures of 5-71, before Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam eased them to a simple target of 40 in 13.1 overs to complete an emphatic win.
“It was special, keeping in mind it was Independence Day, it was something special to draw the series here after being 2-1 down, losing the second test badly and losing the third,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq told the BBC.
“But the way the team fought back, I’m a really happy captain.”
England had resumed on 88 for four and Gary Ballance soon fell for 17 but Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali shared a sixth-wicket partnership of 65 to give the hosts hope of saving the match.
Shortly before lunch, however, Shah deceived Moeen with a quicker delivery and the left-hander, on 32, nicked another catch to a gleeful Sarfraz.
Chris Woakes was run out following a mix-up with Bairstow, who drove the next delivery from Wahab Riaz straight to extra cover, his departure for 81 ending any realistic chance of England saving the match.
Stuart Broad reverse swept Shah straight to Younus Khan at slip and after Steven Finn and James Anderson shared a defiant last-wicket partnership of 32, Anderson was trapped lbw by part-time off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed for 17.
Azhar smashed Moeen for a huge six to take Pakistan to 42-0 and clinch victory, punching the air in delight before leaving the field with Aslam to warm applause from the sun-baked crowd.
“You expect to win your home series, but Pakistan showed their class – we knew Younus was going to get us eventually as you don’t average 50 in more than 100 tests if you’re not a class player,” said England captain Alastair Cook, referring to the innings of 218 by Younus Khan which set up Pakistan’s victory.
Pakistan won the first test at Lord’s and England were victorious in Manchester and Birmingham.