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Swann delighted with career-best haul

Investec Test Series

Graeme Swann & Steve Davis

Graeme Swann traps Umar Akmal in front, his fourth wicket in a superb spell either side of lunch as England closed in

Graeme Swann had plenty to smile about tonight after his international-best 6-60 limited England's frustration against Pakistan at Edgbaston.

Without their off-spinner's contribution, England would surely have suffered an even more chastening third day of the second npower Test thanks to the exploits of Zulqarnain Haider.

The Pakistan wicketkeeper, who had made a golden duck in his first Test innings on Friday, came within a DRS lifeline of a king pair after Swann was initially told he had his man lbw.

Instead, Haider shared stands of 52 with Mohammad Aamer and 115 with Saeed Ajmal as Pakistan turned 101 for six into 291 for nine - meaning England will need to make at least 113 tomorrow to complete a victory which had previously seemed an utter formality.

"I'm over the moon," said Swann, who was justifiably most pleased with his first wicket with a huge off-break which turned more than the width of the stumps from an unfeasible angle round the wicket to bowl Imran Farhat.

"That's the best ball I have ever bowled. It was a bit of a one-off. You are not going to pitch too many outside leg that hit off."

Swann followed up with another beauty to bowl Azhar Ali in his next over, but plenty of unexpected hard work lay ahead.

"I don't think it is any surprise, that was going to happen at some stage after we have bowled them out cheaply three times in the series so far," he added.

"It led to a few frustrations, the fact we got through the top order and it was the guys lower down who made us work."

Swann was happy to give due credit to Haider, however, adding: "He did really well considering he could have had a king pair if we didn't have a review system.

Zulqarnain Haider

Debutant wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider is resolute in defence having avoided a king pair when he reviewed an lbw verdict

"It would have been one of the most talked about debuts for the wrong reasons.

"All credit to him. He was annoying in the way he wouldn't get out and he was trying to wind us up with his running between the wickets and stuff like that.

"But that is all part of cricket and I take my hat off to him. He applied himself really well.

"After getting three or four early wickets you do hope you will be able to go through.

"But they applied themselves and put on two big partnerships, dead-batting the ball on a slow wicket and our standards dropped a little bit with a couple of dropped catches.

"But it's not a bad thing that we've had to work to get ourselves into this position. Frustrations arise from the fact that in this series we have taken wickets at regular intervals and very quickly and very easily almost."

Haider's performance came at a time when his father is in hospital after contracting hepatitis C and falling into a coma.

It is thought there has been an improvement in his condition and Haider, who has already announced he will donate half his match fee to a hospital after cancer claimed his mother's life 10 years ago, was able to concentrate admirably.

Imran Farhat

Imran Farhat wears a Stuart Broad bouncer, but was able to continue

His captain Salman Butt hopes he and the other lower-order batsmen have done enough to give Pakistan a chance at an unlikely victory tomorrow to level the series.

"He showed great ability under pressure and emotionally he's been under a lot of stress for quite a few days," Butt said.

"It is remarkable the way he has played and he's shown us all that if you are willing to stay there and take the pain you surely gain.

"I think cricket is such a game that you are never out of it until it ends.

"This is a total that teams can get out to and with the kind of bowling we have - the wicket has taken spin - we surely have a chance."

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