Pakistan overcome jitters to win the third Test
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 21st August 2010
It was at the Oval in 2006 that one of the major controversies erupted in international cricket. After the unwanted controversy the Pakistani side slipped to mediocrity from which they never really recovered. This was one chance for them to rectify their issues and they did it but not before facing some unwanted jitters on the way. The English side made the Pakistani side work really hard for their runs and finally when the visitors crossed the winning line the celebrations were understandable.
The last pair of England did not last long as Aamer claimed his fifth wicket of the innings in the fourth ball of the day. England had scored 222 thus gaining a lead of 147.
Pakistan were set a target of 148 with nearly two full days left.
Farhat got off in an aggressive manner as he collected a boundary in the first over but Anderson snared Hameed for a first ball duck in the same over. Farhat did not let that affect him as he was blazing away with some refreshingly positive cricket. Salman Butt who is having a horrid of a time in England showed glimpses of his elegant strokeplay with some well-timed strokes that reminded many of the former Pakistani great Saeed Anwar. With the seamer proving to be ineffective Strauss turned to his spinner Swann. Some order was restored and Farhat began to get suffocated. He responded to the tight bowling with an ill-advised sweep and was caught plumb before4 the stumps. A review also failed to exonerate him as he was given the marching orders to the pavilion.
Butt was joined at the crease by Yousuf and the chase was given some calmness and class. The target got closer and closer and just when the English shoulders were drooping Swann kept the hosts afloat with a the wicket of Butt. That was the inspiration that the hosts needed and the pressure on Pakistan began to tell. Anderson and Swann strung together some scoreless and that pressure told on Azhar Ali who went for a non-existent single and was run-out. Yousuf's classy innings was brought to an end with brilliant yorker from Anderson and that brought the partisan crowd to their feet.
The buzz in the crowd increased with each passing delivery and it was evident from the decibel of the 'boos', 'aahs' and the chanting with each passing delivery. Once Kamran padded up to Swann the cruel memories of failed run chases in Galle 2009 and Sydney 2010 came back flooding. Umar Akmal and Mohammad Aamer kept their heads during the madness as they first negotiated the testing spell from Anderson and Swann. After the drinks interval
the youngsters opened up as they scored the needed runs.