England thrash Pakistan amid controversy

Sun, 29 Aug 12:00:00 2010

England thrashed Pakistan by an innings and 225 runs to secure a 3-1 series victory on day four of the fourth Test at Lord's with the match shrouded in controversy.

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The hosts inflicted Pakistan's heaviest ever Test match defeat as the tourists were bowled out for 147 after being skittled for just 74 in their first innings.

A sombre atmosphere met the players after the startling allegations of spot fixing levelled against members of the Pakistan side overnight, and the hosts wrapped up victory within the morning session.

Graeme Swann was again the star performer with the ball for England as the off spinner finished with figures of five for 62, and nine wickets in the match, but his celebrations were subdued.

The atmosphere at the Home of Cricket was mellowed due to the fourth day being shrouded in controversy, with Pakistan making their hotly-anticipated arrival just an hour before the start of play.

A media scrum met the tourists as they made their entrance, and Waqar Younis's side allowed themselves no time for a warm up before England seized the initiative as Swann bowled Azhar Ali in the fourth over of the day.

The beleaguered Kamran Akmal departed next over with a regulation edge through to wicket-keeper Matt Prior off the bowling of James Anderson, before Mohammad Aamer came to the crease.

The 18-year-old was at the forefront of the controversy which surfaced on Saturday evening after two highly scrutinised no balls earlier in the Test, and he capped a miserable 24 hours with a five-ball duck.

Swann had Wahab Riaz caught at short midwicket for another duck, before Saeed Ajmal was run-out attempting an absurd single as Stuart Broad continued his fine exploits with a superb direct hit.

The underfire Mohammad Asif was the final wicket to fall as Swann grabbed his ninth of the match in a rather mournful conclusion to the series.

The official presentation was conducted in the Lord's Long Room as it was deemed inappropriate for the ceremony to be held in the full glare of the media.

Inevitably, the repercussions of the controversy which blighted the end of the series will wrangle on, with the record-breaking eighth-wicket partnership between Stuart Broad and Jonathan Trott regrettably overshadowed.

Pakistan sports minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani has promised life bans for any Pakistan cricketers found guilty of match-fixing, while the two sides are set to embark on a five-match series of one-day internationals to follow two Twenty20 encounters.

The first Twenty20 international will be staged at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on September 5, with Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed having insisted that the tourists will fulfil their tour commitments.

Dan Quarrell / Eurosport

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