News24

England lose two wickets

2012-02-06 10:28

Dubai - Pakistan pressed for its first ever clean sweep against England by restricting the top-ranked team to 89-2 at lunch on the fourth day of the third and final Test Monday.

Despite some shoddy fielding, Pakistan's spin bowlers removed Andrew Strauss (26) and Jonathan Trott (18) with England still requiring 235 runs to avoid defeat and a series whitewash.

Alastair Cook was batting on 41 with Kevin Pietersen 1 not out at the break.

Pakistan had a scratchy morning in the field after England resumed at the overnight score of 36-0.

Cook, who was dropped on 4 Sunday evening, had another life on 28 when Umar Gul misjudged a top-edged sweep in the deep that went for a boundary.

Pakistan wasted its last DRS referral when offspinner Saeed Ajmal thought he had Cook lbw on 37, but the television replays clearly showed that the ball pitched outside the line of leg-stump, much disappointment of Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

Strauss and Cook resumed England's pursuit of a tough 324-run target with some confidence before Gul found the outside edge of the England skipper's bat, but wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal dropped a regulation catch.

Strauss was out soon after when he was trapped lbw by Rehman off a delivery that spun back sharply from the rough.

Even the DRS referral couldn't help Strauss and he began the long walk after replays showed the ball would have hit the top of middle stump.

Trott then top edged a sweep to Rehman in the deep that gave Ajmal his 21st wicket of the series.

England must come close to its best ever fourth innings total to deny Pakistan a 3-0 series win. England chased down 332 in 1929 to beat archrival Australia by three wickets at Melbourne.


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