By S Ahmed (NVONews.Com)
All the talks of angles and lines went against England in Abu Dhabiâ€™s Sheikh Zayed stadium as they were beaten comprehensively by 72 runs in the second and last Test match on Saturday. Pakistan had won the first Test by ten wickets at Dubai in this three Test match series.
The number one Test team needed 143 runs in the fourth innings to win the match and equal the series against Pakistan but England batsmen were bamboozled by Pakistani spinners.
This time they could not raise the question of angles of Saeed Ajmal alone as Abdur Rahman took six wickets in the last innings of the match while Ajmal took three. On the whole, both of them took fifteen wickets to give Pakistan an unassailable lead of 2-0.
There was a lot of hue and cry over Saeed Ajmalâ€™s action when he bowled the doosra. In that match Ajmal took ten wickets but more than his wicket taking abilities, it was his angle of bowling elbow was in the news. Bob Willis questioned the action, which was fittingly replied by many former cricketers.
Now the England team would be dubbed as chokers against the spinners. Though the first three days went in favour of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann who shared twelve wickets in Pakistanâ€™s two innings.
When Pakistan got out for a meager 257 runs after opting to bat, it seemed that their decision backfired. Pakistan last four batsmen were sent back without disturbing the scorers much as they all score naught. So, from seven for 243 runs, it ended at all out for 257 runs. Skipper Misbahul Haq scored 84 runs and Asad Shafiq contributed 58 runs. For England, Stuart Broad took four wickets while Graeme Swann took three.
As England got 70 runs lead by scoring 327 runs, the apprehension deepened. Alistair Cook his century by just six runs as he was trapped before the wicket by Saeed Ajmal. Jonathan Trott made solid 74 runs.
Pakistan repeated, rather worsened their first innings performance in the second innings getting bowled out on 214. Only Azhar Ali who scored 68 runs could score a half century. Asad Shafiq too made solid 43.
Thus England got a target of 145 runs win and equal the series. But that was not to be. They started cautiously but they were just helpless against Abdur Rehman. Only two England batsmen got into the double figure. Each three of them made 1 and 0.
It would be interesting to see if Pakistan is able to get a whitewash as the third and final Test starts on February 3.