August 29, 2010

England win by an innings and 225 runs

England win series 3-1

Match Review

‘Bowl Tampering’ affects mood and questions result(s)

Following the News of the World allegations about an illegal betting scam and the possible involvement of Pakistani bowlers, the fourth test ended under a cloud that was darker than those that held up play on Thursday.

An extraordinary match that saw wickets tumbling and world record scoring under changeable weather conditions left everybody uncertain of what they’d really seen.

The England batsmen still failed to convince but, without a second innings, it’s not known whether it was the weather conditions and pitch that were accountable or if they were simply destroyed by a superlative performance from the young Amir.

The Pakistan batting appeared weak but England’s bowlers really were the difference throughout the series; notably Graeme Swann but Steven Finn, James Anderson and Stuart Broad all offered good results to give England hope for Australia.

Day Four

Quiet End to Dramatic Test… Pakistan 147 all out

A much subdued end to a dramatic test match saw Pakistan bowled out for 147 with Graeme Swann impressing for England again (5 for 62 and 9 for 74 in the match). In spite of the heroics of Trott and Broad on Friday, the result and an early finish were inevitable in a match that had everything that makes cricket good and bad.

Day Three

Is It All A Load Of ‘Balls’?… England 446 all out, Pakistan 74 all out & 41 for 4

Having been so smug about our predictions for the result of the Fourth Test, we are now a bit concerned, alongside all cricket fans, that it was always a forgone conclusion. The news of an arrest for alleged irregularities has taken the sheen off England’s performance in the field on Saturday and raises concerns over the result’s authenticity.

Allegedly, there has been ball tampering or should we call it bowl tampering? It is believed that certain balls were deliberately bowled as ‘no balls’ as part of a pre-arranged betting conspiracy

England added exactly 100 to their overnight score (not that anyone’s looking for patterns now!) before obliterating the Pakistan batsmen with 14 wickets for 115 runs. Unless the match is eventually removed from the record books, it would seem that England will be completing a 3-1 series win sometime on Sunday.

The world record 8th wicket stand between Trott and Broad will remain a match highlight and will hopefully not be tainted by any investigations.

Day Two

A Day of Two Halves… England 346 for 7

Our predictions from the Third Test all appeared to come true on an extraordinary day at Lords.

England collapsed to 47 for 5 from their overnight score with Mohammad Amir taking 4 England wickets for 0 from 8 balls in an incredible spell that threatened to humiliate the England batsmen more than usual. Kevin Pieterson, Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan all added 0 to the score, producing a row of ducks that wouldn’t look out of place at a fairground.

To the rescue (as predicted in our Third Test review) came Jonathan Trott who kept his wicket while all around were losing theirs.

Matt Prior joined Trott to help the sinking ship from becoming fully submerged but was dismissed after lunch (immediately followed by Graeme Swann for another duck and Amir’s 6th wicket of the day) with still only 102 on the board and 7 wickets down.

And there started an amazing recovery. Trott and Stuart Broad took the game to Pakistan ending the day on 149 and 125 not out respectively, adding 244 for a record 8th wicket partnership and leaving Pakistan to wonder “how?”.

England continue on Day Three with an unbelievable score, under the circumstances, and every hope of gaining victory but their batsmen have got to hope for a second innings opportunity to prove they have what it takes to make a fair fight for the Ashes else Ricky Ponting’s ‘prediction’ of another 5-0 whitewash won’t seem so absurd.

Amir ended the day with figures of 6 for 73, a worthy return for any frontline bowler but the early scorecard will be something to keep and show the grandchildren one day… at only 18 that day is a long way off so, be warned, he may well torment batsmen across the world for many years to come and gain a large collection of scorecards!

Day One

British Summer finally stops play… England 39 for 1

The glorious and unusual sunshine that has blessed the British shores this summer has finally turned to a more traditional rain and cold. In gloomy conditions, the teams attempted to put on some cricket before bad light and puddles ended any hopes for the day.

However, Pakistan made an early breakthrough with the ever more vulnerable looking Andrew Strauss falling for 13.

Alastair Cook will now have another opportunity tomorrow to assess our Third Test logic that he is under pressure with his captain at the opposite end, where, without Strauss, Cook scored a confident century.

Last updated: August 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm