Cricket

Pakistan staring down barrel

2010-08-28 19:53
Graeme Swann (File)
London - Pakistan collapsed spectacularly yet again this series as England closed in on an innings victory in the fourth and final Test at Lord's on Saturday.

Pakistan, following-on, were 41 for four in their second innings when rain forced an early close on the third day, having been made to follow-on after they were dismissed for just 74 first time around.

That left them still 331 runs adrift of England's first innings 446 as the home team eyed a victory that would give them a 3-1 win in their last series before begin the defence of the Ashes in Australia in November.

Pakistan's three lowest totals against England have all been made during this series.

They were skittled out for 80 in a 354-run first Test loss at Trent Bridge and dismissed for 72 in a nine-wicket second Test defeat at Edgbaston.

It appeared the damage at Lord's was done as much as anything by a world record eighth-wicket stand of 332 between Jonathan Trott (184) and Stuart Broad (169) which rescued England from the depths of 102 for seven.

Pakistan were playing their sixth Test in England in seven weeks, having previously drawn a two-match series against Australia 1-1, and there were signs that punishing schedule had finally caught up with them.

They lost seven wickets for 28 runs after tea on Saturday with off-spinner Graeme Swann taking four for 12 in six overs and fast bowler Steven Finn three for 13 in five.

Pakistan captain Salman Butt top-scored with 26 in an innings where only three batsmen made it into double figures.

Before tea, Broad followed up his maiden first-class century by bowling star batsman Mohammad Yousuf for nought with a superb outswinger.

England captain Andrew Strauss enforced the follow-on with Pakistan -- 372 behind on first innings -- soon in further trouble at nine for two.

Broad's memorable match continued when Imran Farhat mishooked a bouncer to Alastair Cook at mid-on.

Yasir Hameed was then lbw to a full-length James Anderson inswinger before Butt was lbw for 21 to Swann's arm ball.

And just before a downpour forced the players off the field, 41 for three became 41 for four when Yousuf (10) miscued a pull off Finn to Trott at deep square leg.

Earlier, Trott almost became the first player to score two Test double hundreds at Lord's, following his 226 against Bangladesh in May.

His innings of more than nine hours, featuring 19 boundaries, ended when he was caught behind off left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz.

Trott's methodical approach was just what England needed after the rest of the top-order were undone by superb swing bowling, mainly from Mohammad Aamer (six for 84) on Friday.

His partnership with Broad surpassed the previous eighth-wicket Test-best of 313 shared by Wasim Akram (257 not out) and Saqlain Mushtaq (79) for Pakistan against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura in 1996/97.

England resumed Saturday on 346 for seven with Trott 149 not out and Broad unbeaten on 125.

Broad went to 150 with a superb cover-driven boundary off Asif, having then faced 273 balls with a six and 14 fours.

But his magnificent six-and-a-half hour innings finished when he missed a sweep against off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and was given out lbw on referral.

Broad was just shy of the world record score by a Test No 9 of 173 made by New Zealand's Ian Smith against India in Auckland in 1990.

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