England bow to Ajmal’s tricks

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 00:15 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Dubai: Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took a career-best seven wicket haul to destroy England’s much vaunted batting line-up on the opening day of the first Test here on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old, whose claims of a mystery delivery surrounded the lead-up to the three-Test series, had figures of 7-55 which wrecked England to 192 all out on a slow turning pitch at the Dubai Stadium.

In reply Pakistan finished on 42-0, with openers Mohammad Hafeez (22) and Taufiq Umar (18) unbeaten. They trail by 150 runs with all ten wickets intact.

Ajmal, whose previous best of 6-42 came against the West Indies at Guyana last year, bowled with variety, unleashing a straight delivery bowled with a round-arm action which kept low, seemingly his mystery one he named ‘teesra’ (the third one).

His superb bowling kept rival batsmen guessing and destroyed England’s hopes of a sound start, watched by a pawltry crowd of 1500.

Only wicket-keeper batsman Matt Prior batted with defiance, scoring a brilliant 70 not out for his 19th half-century. This was England’s lowest total in the last ten Tests since Australia bowled them out for 123 at Perth in 2010.