LONDON: As it was said by Pakistan’s double centurion, Younis Khan at the end of third day, “It would be great and a gift to the nation if we win on Sunday,” Pakistan did exactly that and won the fourth test match of the series by 10 wickets on their independence day to level the series 2-2. In reply of Pakistan’s 214 runs lead, England managed to put 253 runs on the board that accumulated a minimal target of 40 for Pakistan. Yasir Shah was the man for the hosts in the second inning, he got his team close to a well-deserved victory by take a five-for.
Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali comfortably took their team to a historic win as the crowd chanted ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, ‘Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan’ and sung ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ (the national song) in chorus. Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam remained not out on 30 and 12 respectively. Pakistan chased down the target of 40 runs in just 13.1 overs with Azhar Ali finishing off the job in style with a huge six.
Earlier in the day, England started off the fourth day of the final test at a shaky position of 88/4 with their top four batsmen back in the hut.
Gary Ballance and Jonny Bairstow had a handy partnership of 54 runs before Sohail Khan came into the act and removed the left handed batsman when he was on 17. England was down to 124/5.
Once again, it was the pair of Bairstow and Moeen Ali that looked threatening for Pakistan, when a win by an inning looked certain for the Men in Green, the duo kept them at bay.
Their 65 run partnership really frustrated Pakistan, Moeen Ali was looking pretty solid at 32 when he edged a straighter one from Yasir Shah to Sarfraz Ahmed. It was an opening the visitors were keen about.
On the other hand, Bairstow seemed flawless, he was joined by the most successful bowler of the series, Chris Woakes, however, he couldn’t harm Pakistan much this time as he was runout while attempting a cheeky single. He scored just 4 runs.
Jonny Bairstow lost his wicket on the very next ball, while playing an up-ish drive off Wahab Riaz that was grabbed smartly by Azhar Ali at short cover diving low to his left.
At that moment, England was 209/8, trailing by 5 runs. Victory seemed inevitable at that moment for Pakistan.
Stuart Broad had a brief stay at the crease with Steven Finn for a partnership of 12 runs. Broad attempted a reverse sweep off the leggie and played it straight to Younis Khan in the slip, it gave Yasir Shah his second five-wicket haul of the series.
England was in all sorts of trouble with a score of 221/9 when James Anderson along with Finn had a teasing partnership of 32 runs. Iftikhar Ahmed got his maiden test wicket by trapping James Anderson in front of the stumps at a score of 17 runs.
Yasir Shah remained Pakistan’s best bowler with 5 wickets to his name conceding 71 runs. Wahab Riaz got two, whereas, Sohail Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed took one wicket each.
Younis Khan remained the man of the match award for his fantastic knock of 218 runs. He also revealed the secret behind his big inning at The Oval, “I received a call before the game from Mohammad Azharuddin and he talked about my batting, stay in the crease – I trust other people and it worked for me.”
Earlier in the match, England put 328 runs in the first inning, where Moeen Ali played a brilliant knock for his 109 runs and Bairstow contributed useful 55.
Pakistan replied with a monstrous score of 542 runs. Younis Khan finally came back to form and struck a mesmerizing double-ton, on the other hand Asad Shafiq also scored a wonderful century, which accumulated a huge lead of 214 runs that England couldn’t respond well.
There were different man of the series for both the teams chosen by opposite team’s coach. Misbah Ul Haq was named as the player of the series for Pakistan by Trevor Bayliss, while, Mickey Arthur named Chris Woakes as the man of the series for England.