After having a control over the proceedings of the game until the second day, Pakistan made a mess of all the hard work as England completed a fine victory at Birmingham. England were dead perfect with the ball in the second innings as the Pakistani batsmen put on yet another display of sheer shambles. Needing to survive just 84 overs to draw the game, the visitors struggled as the England bowlers struck at frequent intervals.
England’s resurrection in the third test began from their second innings, when openers Alastair Cook and Alex Hales put on a confident century stand. The stand late on the third day, dented Pakistan’s hopes after the visitors managed to take a sizeable first innings lead. Post the game, Pakistan skipper Misbah Ul Haq admitted that the indiscipline of his bowlers hurt the team big time in the second innings.
“I think it was going well until the second day but the game changed on the third day,” said Misbah. “We lost a couple of wickets. I was unlucky to get out and Younis was caught down the leg side. We bowled a little indiscipline in the session England took it away from us. Full credit to England – the way they bowled. The ball was reversing and they bowled good areas, taking four of our main batsmen. We have to send some of our bowlers to learn reverse swing from England.”
Reiterating the need for his bowlers to work harder, Misbah added, “This is what we have (4 front line bowlers). We will obviously try to get someone ready for that. Our bowlers are just bowlers and need to contribute more, like that Sohail-Rahat partnership. Sami and Azhar showed character in the first innings. Good to see a youngster play like that in tough conditions.”
Man of the Match Moeen Ali was delighted with his efforts and lauded the entire unit. “Really pleased. I tried to play the situation and just reacted to the ball. Didn’t really think too much about it. They bowled really well. I didn’t mean to go out and play that well but it happened that way. I was pretty embarrassed after the Lord’s test. The breeze is really nice and helped me today. I am very lucky that I have 4 seamers behind me,” said Ali.