Monster and Mahmood lead England

Sajid Mahmood and Monty Panesar shared seven wickets as England surged to a series-clinching win against Pakistan at Headingley.

The visitors began the final day’s play in the Third Test needing 323 runs – what would have been a national record – to chase down their hosts and level the series, with both openers still at the crease. With Sri Lanka accomplishing their historic run-chase overnight, the tourists’ spirits were high as play began.

Salman Butt and Taufeeq Umar started solidly, picking boundaries off Matthew Hoggard as the home favourite over-pitched. It was the Yorkshireman who had the last laugh, however, as Butt snicked catching practice to Marcus Trescothick at slip and heralded the entrance of a fired-up Younis Khan.

Younis, fresh from his first-innings 192, started in positive vein against Harmison but soon found himself running out of partners – and he wasn’t blameless in the collapse. Umar, never comfortable against Panesar, bottomed a wild pull shot into his pads to provide Alastair Cook with a simple catch at silly point, before Younis aided the collapse. Pushing the ball to point and calling Mohammad Yousuf through for a single, Paul Collingwood’s arm meant that their liaison would end on 16 – 347 runs shy of the first-innings mark.

With Inzamam unable to bat until seven after his time off the field following Sunday’s comedy hit-wicket dismissal, Faisal Iqbal and Kamran Akmal were promoted to five and six respectively – but their stays were brief. Both fell caught Read, bowled Mahmood as the Lancashire seamer found pace and hostility in the over before lunch to reduce Pakistan to 80-5.

Younis and Inzamam were the visitors’ last chance, and added 32 before Panesar produced a magical delivery, pitching on middle and leg before flicking the top of off to all but end the vistors ‘ resistance. Mohammad Sami fell soon after, hesitating before taking a foolish single to Pietersen at cover with obvious results.

Mahmood, who finished with Test best figures of 4-22, had too much pace for Shahid Nazir and Umar Gul, who skied a hook to slip and nicked behind respectively. Fittingly, it was Panesar to finish the job, as the belligerent Inzamam trundled down the pitch, missed the ball and didn’t even bother turning around to watch Chris Read remove the bails.

Pakistan were all out for 155 as England sealed a 167-run win to clinch their first home series win against Pakistan since 1982 and make it ten series unbeaten at home. The final Test takes place at The Oval – but the series is over as a contest, England are back in their groove, and suddenly the Ashes is alive once again.

England 515
Kevin Pietersen 135, Ian Bell 119
Umar Gul 5-123, Danish Kaneria 2-111

Pakistan 538
Mohammad Yousuf 192, Younis Khan 173
Monty Panesar 3-127, Sajid Mahmood 2-108

England 345
Andrew Strauss 116, Marcus Trescothick 58
Shahid Nazir 3-32, Mohammad Sami 3-100

Pakistan 155
Younis Khan 41, Inzamam-ul-Haq 37
Sajid Mahmood 4-22, Monty Panesar 3-39

England won by 167 runs

Cricket Web Player of the Match
Andrew Strauss

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