Well done Pakistan for showing some fight and winning a rather closely contested match. The credit has to go to all Pakistan's bowlers as they bowled exceptionally well as a unit. Yes, their batting again faltered under pressure, but they just about held their nerve to cross the finishing line. England's problem was clearly the batting and I have stressed it before that more than the bowling, the batting is a worry.
Pakistan's bowling was superb on the third day as they came back from nowhere to take seven wickets for just 28 runs. It was a monumental collapse from England, but let me tell you, there is no shame in getting out to highly skilled bowling by the young kid Ameer and the off spinner Ajmal.
Ameer is an exceptional talent as he can swing it both ways with the new ball and with the older ball, he can go around the wicket and get reverse swing. It is always difficult to play a left armer because the ball comes from a different angle and when a team has a bowler like Ameer, who can swing it both ways at good pace, it is even more difficult. Ajmal too was a difficult proposition to face for the batsmen, as he can bowl the doosra and the pitch at Oval was helping the spinners. I have my doubts over his doosra, but that is another matter altogether.
England's batting is no doubt a concern, though Cook did get a timely hundred. Focus would be again on KP, though he looked better at the crease in the second innings. Yes, it can also be said that he did get a fine delivery from Ajmal, but the problem with him seems to be a case of over complicating things with his technique. He just needs to play a few shots and the runs would flow from his bat.
Among England's bowlers, Broad was again disappointing. I don't know why he continues to bowl half way down the pitch. He isn't the next Jeff Thomson, or Holding to do that. I surely think that England should look at opening the bowling with Finn as he bowls better lengths. As far as Anderson was concerned, I liked the way he bowled after lunch. Yes, he did bowl it a touch wide of off stump, but the yorker he bowled to Yousuf was a gem, as it swung late and it reminded me of the yorker he bowled to Yousuf in the world cup. I have been saying it for a while that Anderson should try yorkers with the old ball and he finally tried it and got the desired result. Anderson now has taken over 100 wickets in the last couple of years and has shown that he can get reverse swing with the old ball too, though it won't stop people from having a go at him. Of course, I don't think I have to talk too much about Swann as nowadays, one expects consistency from England's number one bowler.
I would like to touch a bit on Pakistan's batting as well. I liked the positive approach they came out with in the second innings, though for some reason, they again started to lose wickets in the end. When Pakistan are playing, one always expects hara-kiri from them and that is what exactly happened. The misunderstanding between Yousuf and Azhar was just crazy and it cost them a wicket. If Yousuf is playing, it always looks like a run out is on the cards. Akmal and the impressive Ameer though, held their nerve to help Pakistan to a fine victory.
Going into the last test, England have a lot of soul searching to do as the batting isn't firing, Broad continues to test the middle of the pitch and finally, Strauss's captaincy has been so defensive that now I feel even Sanga was better at SSC!