Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal destroyed England’s top-order with figures of 7-55. The last man out, James Anderson, was sent to the pavilion after being given LBW on Ajmal’s third delivery of his 25th over.34-year-old Ajmal, whose claims of a mystery delivery surrounded the lead-up to the three-Test series, came into his own after being introduced in the 19th over, leaving England, who decided to bat on a slow turning pitch, in an early spin.
Ajmal dismissed Andrew Strauss (19) with the last delivery of his first over and then had Ian Bell (nought) with the first ball of his next before trapping Kevin Pietersen (two) leg before three balls later.The early success of Pakistan, who chose Ajmal and left-armer Abdul Rehman as two spinners, would leave England rueing their decision to leave out the in-form Monty Panesar and play three seamers alongside off-spinner Graeme Swann.
Pakistan introduced spin as early as in the sixth over but it was Mohammad Hafeez and not Ajmal who came onto bowl and was instantly rewarded when England opener Alastair Cook edged his third delivery to Adnan after scoring three.Paceman Aizaz Cheema then had Jonathan Trott (17), caught behind by a diving Adnan off a leg-side edge to leave England at 31-2.Ajmal, who threatened to unveil a mystery delivery against England during the series, then bowled Strauss who went for a pull but missed the ball as well as his off-stump.
Bell was then caught and bowled off a straight delivery from Ajmal.Pietersen survived a confident appeal but Ajmal asked for the Decision Review System which forced umpire Billy Bowden to change his decision, much to the amazement of Pakistan team.
Pakistan: Misbahul Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Taufiq Umar, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman.
England: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson. – Thetribune