England crush Pakistan to take series lead – highlights & report

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Pint-sized TMS: England take victory as Geoffrey gets his wallet out

England produced a fine bowling performance to dismiss Pakistan for 201 and seal a 141-run win in the third Test at Edgbaston.

Five bowlers claimed two wickets apiece as England wrapped up victory with 13.1 overs remaining to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.

Pakistan, set 343 to win after England declared on 445-6, were undermined by a collapse of four wickets for one run.

Although opener Sami Aslam hit 70, five players failed to reach double figures.

The final Test at The Oval starts on Thursday.

The scale of England’s victory was all the more impressive given they conceded a first-innings deficit of 103, only the sixth time in history they have won a Test after trailing by 100 or more.

Indeed, it is a measure of their powers of recovery that, having lost the first Test inside four days, they head to The Oval knowing they can go top of the Test rankings if they win 3-1 and results in the Sri Lanka-Australia and West Indies-India series go their way.

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Moeen Ali removes Sohail Khan to complete England win

The collapse that cost Pakistan

Pakistan’s defeat, which ended their hopes of becoming the number one side in the world this summer, stemmed from a stunning afternoon collapse on a surface that remained reliable deep into the fifth day.

Roared on by a raucous crowd in excess of 10,000 on a gloriously sunny day, England effectively settled the contest by reducing the tourists from 124-3 to 125-7 in the space of 23 balls:

  • 124-4: Misbah ct Bairstow b Finn 10 – regulation catch behind as Finn finds movement away off a good length to find the outside edge.
  • 125-5: Shafiq lbw Woakes 0 – Shafiq, playing around a straight one, fails to overturn an lbw verdict on review.
  • 125-6: Sarfraz ct Root b Woakes 0 – a flat-footed Sarfraz edges low to second slip, where Joe Root takes a smart catch.
  • 125-7: Aslam b Finn 70 – a rare error from the left-hander, who shoulders arms to have his off stump pegged back by a jubilant Finn.

James Anderson returned after tea to have Yasir Shah taken at fourth slip and Mohammad Amir drove Stuart Broad low to point.

The damage that England had inflicted before tea was such that a last-wicket stand of 50 between Sohail Khan and Rahat Ali was no more than an inconvenience.

Sohail drilled a return catch to man of the match Moeen to fall for 36 off 37 balls and spark joyous scenes among the England players.

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Steven Finn bowls Sami Aslam as Pakistan collapse

Finally, Finn ends his drought

Finn was a central figure in England’s victory, removing arguably the two most prized Pakistan batsmen to reward an improved performance in what has been a trying summer.

The wicket of Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was his first in 71.3 overs, a sequence dating back to the third Sri Lanka Test at Lord’s in June.

Having gone wicketless at Lord’s, been dropped at Old Trafford and bowled almost 28 overs without success and seen a catch put down in the first innings at Edgbaston, Finn’s roar of celebration reflected his obvious relief.

In finding late swing back in from round the wicket to bowl the obdurate Aslam, Finn – who finished with 2-38 – could even have secured his place in the team for the series finale.

Former England spinner Graeme Swann told BBC Test Match Special: “The standout performance for today is Steven Finn – he was brilliant. Those wickets changed the course of the game and opened the floodgates.”

England later named an unchanged squad of 13 for The Oval, also containing Adil Rashid and Jake Ball, with James Vince cleared to play after a scan on a finger injury sustained attempting to take a catch in the slip cordon revealed no fracture.

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Stuart Broad has Mohammad Hafeez caught at fine-leg

Pakistan fail to follow Aslam’s example

If Finn’s return to something resembling his best form was the feelgood theme of the innings for England, Pakistan will leave Birmingham knowing they have uncovered an opener of considerable class.

Aslam, the 20-year-old playing only his third Test, followed up his first-innings 82 with an equally composed 70, spanning 167 balls and containing 11 fours.

Watchful around off stump, tidy off his pads and willing to drive down the ground, he helped add 73 for the second wicket with Azhar Ali after Mohammad Hafeez pulled Stuart Broad to fine-leg.

By adding 31 in four overs this morning as Moeen finished unbeaten on 86, England had left themselves a minimum of 84 overs in which to bowl Pakistan out, an equation which had been reduced to nine wickets in 62 overs by lunch.

However, Moeen had a driving Azhar well held by Alastair Cook at second slip and James Anderson drew an edge from Younus Khan after the interval, exposing Pakistan’s fragile middle order to Finn and Chris Woakes.

Michael Vaughan tweet<!–

‘That is an unbelievable win’ – what they said

Ex-England spinner Graeme Swann on TMS: “England pulled it off. That is an unbelievable Test victory. To come back and win this game is incredible.

“From the moment the second half of this game started, England have absolutely dominated.”

England captain Alastair Cook: “It was great character from the guys to come back and bowl like we did. We batted well in the third innings – to wipe out that deficit on that third evening was massive.”

England all-rounder Moeen Ali: “We were behind the eight-ball a little bit, but fought back brilliantly. As a team we were fantastic.”

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq: “We weren’t having any sort of problems before lunch, but that spell from Anderson and Finn broke the backbone of our team.”

The stats you may have missed

  • This was only the fourth time England have won a Test when needing nine or more wickets in the final two sessions
  • Chris Woakes has taken 23 wickets in the series, equalling the record for England against Pakistan, held by James Anderson
  • Finn bowled 71.3 overs and conceded 228 runs between the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne and Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq
  • At 20 years and 235 days, Sami Aslam became the youngest Pakistan opener to make two half-centuries in the same Test

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