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Strauss and Trott complete victory

Investec Test Series

Zulqarnain Haider & Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss steers England towards the modest target set by Pakistan. The hosts won by nine wickets

England completed their sixth successive Test victory - and opened up a 2-0 npower series lead over Pakistan - with nine wickets to spare on the fourth afternoon at Edgbaston.

Only the early departure of Alastair Cook cast any temporary lingering doubt over the outcome in another dominant performance.

Cook’s dismissal left the hosts seven for one, in pursuit of 118. But captain Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott responded with unbeaten 53s in an unbroken century stand which eased England through the remainder of a sunny morning and then beyond their modest target.

Pakistan’s second innings finished on 296 all out, in only the second over today when number 11 Mohammad Asif was last out - pushing a simple catch to Kevin Pietersen at gully off Stuart Broad.

England’s pursuit then began unconvincingly on a surface where low bounce and turn for off-spinner Saeed Ajmal had become the main dangers.

Cook extended his run of poor form, stuck on the crease to Mohammad Aamer and bowled by one he would normally have played forward to.

There would have been more for England to worry about had wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, Pakistan’s batting hero yesterday, clung on to an outside edge behind the stumps when Strauss went after a short ball in Ajmal’s first over.

That would have been 17 for two - with both openers gone. But Pakistan, whose catching has been faulty all match, could not afford any such slips in an equation which allowed them no room for error.

Haider committed another, in near action replay but from a more defensive Strauss bat off Ajmal, when the England captain was 12 short of his 108-ball fifty.

Strauss needed another slice of luck five runs later, Asif failing to get more than a fingertip on a swirling catch running back at mid-off from the part-time off-spin of Shoaib Malik.

Trott’s chanceless half-century came up with a resounding cover-drive off Malik for his sixth four from the 100th ball he faced.

Mohammad Aamer & Alastair Cook

Mohammad Aamer breaks through Alastair Cook's defence to briefly set England back in their rush to victory at Edgbaston

Despite the fightback engineered by Haider’s battling 88, which at least forced England to make fourth-innings runs, the tourists had made many of their own problems.

They had only themselves to blame for collapsing to 72 after winning the toss, an already untenable position from which no one has recovered sufficiently to win a Test since the 19th century.

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