By Jake Goodwill
- Pakistan’s brilliant performances levelled the series at 2-2.
- Younus Khan’s double hundred and Asad Shafiq’s century but Pakistan out of sight of England.
- England’s top order fails to score enough runs again.
LORD’S, ENGLAND – Pakistan rally to level the Test Series 2-2 and England may well rue their missed chances, ahead of the start of the One Day Internationals
Alastair Cook (c) 5/10 – A dip in performance from the captain was timed poorly for England. However Cook was excellent throughout the series and cannot be expected to carry England, along with Joe Root, every match. Cook will be very disappointed not to have won the series.
Alex Hales 4/10 – The Nottinghamshire opener had a shocking match. Hales was given out dubiously in the first innings but his reaction resulted in him have part of his match fee taken in fines. He then proceeded to drop a simple catch in the gully and be dismissed cheaply in the second innings. Serious question marks surround Hales going forward as he averages just over 27 after 11 matches.
Joe Root 6/10 – Root looked good in both innings but failed to make a score of significance. A big score from Root could have changed the makeup of the match.
James Vince 4/10 – Vince had a poor match only scoring one run in two innings including an awful dismissal when he chipped the ball to short extra-cover off Yasir. He desperately needed a score to retain his place after some poor dismissals in the series and a lack of runs. It would be surprise if he makes the starting team for the next series in Bangladesh in October.
Gary Ballance 5/10 – The Zimbabwean born batsman had two opportunities to save England and re-establish himself at international level. He failed on both occasions. Another player with questions surrounding his future.
Jonny Bairstow (wk) 7/10 – Bairstow played excellently in both innings, as he has done all summer, but failed to make a hundred scoring 55 and 81. In a game that required England to dig in he will be disappointed not to have capitalised on his promising positions. Nevertheless he was England’s standout batsman in the match alongside Moeen Ali.
Moeen Ali 8/10 – Ali score a quality and, more importantly, desperately needed hundred in the first innings. He looked good in the second innings and his ability to play spin suggests he could be an alternative to the struggling middle order. This would allow Adil Rashid to play which England need as Ali is not good enough to be a front line Test Match spinner.
Chris Woakes 7/10 – He was once against the pick of the England bowlers in Pakistan’s first innings taking three wickets. Woakes also contributed with the bat scoring 45 in England’s first innings. He was deservedly selected as player of the series.
Stuart Broad 5/10 – Broad was unimpressive with ball and bat. A disappointing series for Broad who has been so good for so long.
Steven Finn 6/10 – The Middlesex bowler was England’s second best in Pakistan’s first innings picking up three wickets. Finn’s rhythm still is not quite at his best but he is slowly getting there. A hamstring injury in Pakistan’s brief second innings will be a setback to the progress he was making.
James Anderson 5/10 – Anderson has also struggled to dominate in this series as he normally does. A quiet test for Lancashire seamer.
Azhar Ali 7/10 – Azhar continued his good form from the last test scoring 49 and an unbeaten 30 to see Pakistan to victory. A good performance.
Sami Aslam 6/10 – He struggled to follow up on his great first test in England but undoubtedly is someone with a bright future.
Asad Shafiq 8/10 – Shafiq has been threatening all series down at number six and capitalised on his chance up the order with a high quality 100. He scored at a good tempo and has proven to Pakistan he is a long term option at number three.
Younus Khan 9/10 – The 38 year-old was under pressure after a poor series with questions about his retirement looming. Younus answered those question emphatically with a stunning double 100. His mental resilience shone through and his decision to be more still at the crease paid dividends. Younus’ treatment of Moeen Ali was particularly impressive.
Misbah-ul-Haq (c) 6/10 – A quiet game for the captain with the bat. Misbah has been criticised for been too defensive in the field but ultimately his tactics paid off at the Oval.
Iftikhar Ahmed 5/10 – Iftikhar played an atrocious shot on debut in his first innings which he will be gutted about. He will remember the Test for getting the final wicket in England’s second innings which effectively resigned England to defeat.
Sarfraz Ahmed (wk) 7/10 – The wicketkeeper batted nicely scoring 44 and was once again very good behind the gloves especially to Yasir Shah.
Wahab Riaz 8/10 – The return of Wahab was a real boost for Pakistan. An excellent spell ripped through England’s middle order in the first innings. In the second innings the brilliant run out of Woakes and dismissal of Bairstow in successive balls crushed England’s resistance.
Yasir Shah 8/10 – It seems simple. When Yasir bowls well Pakistan seem to win. An excellent second innings performance where he took 5-71 ensured victory for Pakistan. His subtle variations in pace were the undoing of a number of England batsman.
Mohammad Amir 6/10 – Amir did not bowl as well as he had previously in the series but he was still a threat and Misbah’s go to seamer. Overall a successful return to Test Match cricket.
Sohail Khan 7/10 – Sohail took five wickets in the first innings getting rid of England’s lower order effectively. He does not always look fluid but seems to get the job done taking 13 wickets in his two matches against England this summer.