Anderson bamboozles Pakistan
James Anderson crowned a thoroughly impressive victory for England at Trent Bridge by collecting a 10-wicket haul in a Test for the first time.
In a utopia of a match for fast bowlers, Anderson has stood out as the most destructive of the six on show, and earned all he deserved with five wickets on the fourth morning as Pakistan were bundled out for 80 by 12.46pm.
Though he can point to several match-winning performances for England, a 10-wicket haul had somehow eluded him in 29 previous home Test matches.
That was rewritten emphatically with 11-71, the second best analysis by a bowler in Nottingham since Alec Bedser.
In fact, swing bowling was about the only department in which Pakistan held a candle to England in this match. And their deficiencies were rammed home brutally today.
Resuming on 15 for three this morning, the tourists lost four middle-order wickets for 10 runs until some late-order gloss prevented a worse humiliation.
Only Shoaib Malik came close to dealing with Anderson’s ability to swing the Dukes ball in both directions.
In addition, it should be mentioned that England missed not a single chance in this innings, including four sharp catches to the slip cordon this morning alone.
Two takes by Paul Collingwood, one above his head and the other very quick by his toes, were nothing short of sublime.
Imran Farhat and Mohammad Aamer actually showed gusto in fighting through the first seven overs, with a couple of jabs falling short of a packed slip cordon.
Their resistance ended with the score on 31 when Farhat, having survived a nick through a vacant fourth slip, prodded Anderson’s inswinger from around the wicket to second slip Andrew Strauss.
In came a right-hander, Umar Akmal, but that did not deter Anderson. Umar’s chastening induction to English conditions continued when he was struck plumb in front by a booming indipper. The batsman’s futile review backed up umpire Asoka de Silva’s affirmative decision.
Aamer’s admirable 44-ball stay as nightwatchman ended when he prodded Steven Finn into the gully.
Kamran Akmal was soon ruing his brother’s impudence when he was also given out lbw to Finn, to a ball probably going down leg side and over the top. With no reviews left for Pakistan, Kamran had to troop off for a duck to complete a torrid match.
At 41 for seven, Pakistan were in danger of plumbing the worst depths of their batting history.
England simply reserved their finest work in the field when the tail started to fight.
Umar Gul had hit two fours, and threatened to reprise his first-innings heroics, before his full-blooded drive was superbly held by Collingwood high above his head.
It was appropriate that Anderson’s 10th victim was no bunny, but Malik, batting unfathomably low at number seven and fresh from a couple of assured back-foot shots.
Yet Malik could do nothing with a peach of an outswinger from Anderson that squared him up and travelled low to Collingwood, who plucked a low chance from just above the turf.
Danish Kaneria, whose place in the Pakistan side looks in danger after a lacklustre show with the ball, at least secured himself the accolade of the highest score by hooking Finn for six and four over his shoulder.
He was to go no further than 16, however, as Anderson administered the last rites by tempting Mohammad Asif to edge to a juggling Graeme Swann, earning him innings figures of 6-17.
Pakistan’s final total was seven fewer than the 87 managed by Abdul Hafeez Kardar’s maiden tourists at Lord’s in 1954. If Salman Butt is to prevent further ignominies this summer, they need to summon batting resolve from somewhere.