This was the second Test of Pakistan’s five-match series in England, played between June 18 and 21. The two teams renewed their battle at Lord’s after the first Test at Edgbaston resulted in a rain-affected draw.
Graham Gooch elected to bat first and immediately blunted the much-vaunted Pakistan attack, which comprised of the swing twins Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Gooch was involved in a solid 123-run opening partnership with Alec Stewart, before he was cleaned up by Akram for a fluent 69. Stewart contributed 74 – the highest score in the innings – and was fourth out at 197.
However, no batsman thereafter made more than 30 as Younis proceeded to rattle the middle order. Younis finished with 5/91 – his eighth five-wicket haul in his 16th Test – as England were bowled out for 255, losing all their wickets for only 132 and the last six for 42. Pakistan motored to 31/0 before play ended on the first day.
Aamer Sohail led Pakistan’s charge with an attractive knock of 73, and he put on 80 for the second wicket with Asif Mujtaba (59). Persistent rain meant that the second day ended early, with the score reading 123/1 at stumps. On day three, Pakistan looked set for a big lead at 228/3 with Mujtaba and Saleem Malik at the crease, the two already having added 85.
Alec Stewart top-scored in both innings for England (source – skysports.com)
However, Devon Malcolm struck twice in three balls, removing Mujtaba and then Inzamam ul-Haq for a duck. He later accounted for Malik (55) too and the visitors were suddenly 235/6. The tail could not do much as Pakistan were bowled out for 293, the eventual lead of 38 being much less than what they had hoped for until Malcolm’s burst.
Malcolm took 4/70, while Phil DeFreitas chipped in with 3/58. England ended the day at 52/1 – ahead by 14 – with Stewart unbeaten on 21. The fourth day would turn out to be one of the most dramatic ever seen at Lord’s. England, on resumption, were done in by both pace and spin. Except for Stewart, no one scored more than 15 as the home team crashed to 175 all out – losing their last four for just one run.
Akram picked 4/66 while Younis added two more to his tally. But it was the leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed (3/32) who hastened England’s collapse, as he got rid of Greame Hick, Robin Smith and Allan Lamb in the space of 22 balls to have England at 137/5, a position from which they could not recover. Stewart carried his bat for a fine 69, thus ending as the top-scorer again.
Pakistan’s target was only 138 with plenty of time to go. However, England were right back in the contest courtesy a high-quality fast bowling spell from Chris Lewis, who had Rameez Raja caught at slip and then had Mujtaba and skipper Javed Miandad caught behind – all for ducks – to reduce Pakistan to 18/3 in front of a Sunday crowd of 26,000 who had gathered to watch the proceedings.
Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis thwarted England with the bat this time (source – thecricketblog.com)
The rot steadily deepened as the debutant leg-spinner Ian Salisbury removed Malik to make it 41/4. Inzamam was then needlessly run out while Sohail, who made 39, was bowled by Salisbury. Pakistan were now on the mat at 68/6. Gooch had a problem though – DeFreitas and Botham were both down with injuries and none of them could bowl in the second innings.
Salisbury continued to bowl his heart out, scalping Moin Khan to make it 81/7 which later became 95/8 when Malcolm removed Ahmed. While England looked good to remove the last two men, it must not be forgotten that they were playing short of two bowlers. Pakistan had Akram and Younis at the crease – the two fast bowlers who would go on to torment the hosts as the series progressed.
The two Ws decided to frustrate England as a batting pair this time as they calmly inched toward the modest target. With England’s three-man attack getting tired by the over, they were well aware that the target was within reach. When the last over of the day began, the scores were level before Akram drove Salisbury through the covers for a boundary to ensure a memorable win.
The Pakistanis rejoice after beating England at Lord’s (source – gettyimages)
England had tried their best, but it was Pakistan’s time to celebrate as the team rushed on to the ground to congratulate their two unlikely batting heroes. Akram made 45* from 64 balls, while Younis provided valuable company with 20* from 33 balls as Pakistan reached 141/8 to win the Test by two wickets, thereby taking a 1-0 series lead.
Perhaps the result would have ended in England’s favour had two of their prime bowlers been fit to bowl in the second innings. Nonetheless, it was a brave effort from England, especially from Lewis and Salisbury, both of whom took three wickets apiece. England levelled the series in the fourth Test to set up a decider at the Oval, where Pakistan crushed them by ten wickets to win the series 2-1.
Akram took 21 wickets in the series and Younis 22. The series was marred by Pakistan’s complaining of the umpiring standards, often rightfully, while England throughout suspected Pakistan’s swing twins of tampering with the ball – whereas in actuality they were simply done in by two of the best exponents of swing bowling ever seen.