3rd Test: Pakistan beat England by 4 wickets

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/pak-win.jpg' class='caption'> Pakistan overcame a late batting collapse to beat England by four wickets in the third Test and cut the hosts' lead to 2-1 in the four-match series.

Updated: August 21, 2010 14:06 IST
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Pakistan overcame a late batting collapse to beat England by four wickets in the third Test on Saturday and cut the hosts' lead to 2-1 in the four-match series.

Set 148 to win after Mohammad Amir claimed career-best figures of 5-52 to help dismiss England for 222, Pakistan reached 148-6 at The Oval. Amir finished 4 not out in 25 balls and Umar Akmal was 16 in 36 after nervously surviving a late England assault.

The winning runs came when Akmal glanced offpsinner Graeme Swann to fine leg. It followed the loss of four wickets for 29 runs. Captain Salman Butt earlier led from the front with 48 from 64 balls. Swann claimed 3-50.

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Victory for Pakistan ended England's six-Test winning streak and keeps the series alive ahead of the Lord's Test from Thursday. The hosts won at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston, both of which also ended on the fourth day.

England looked to be down and out at lunch with Pakistan on 115-3 but England went on the attack after the interval. James Anderson's spell after the break was 1-8 in nine overs, with five maidens. Pakistan went 28 balls without a run at one stage.

Opener Imran Farhat hit 33 and Mohammed Yousuf scored 33 after Yasir Hameed made a golden duck as England struggled initially on a flat batting pitch and with conditions seemingly too dry for conventional swing, until the ball reverse swung later on.

England added only one more run to its overnight second-innings total of 221-9 before Broad was caught by Mohammad Asif at mid-on to a mis-hit pull shot in the first over of the day from Amir.

Amir became the youngest player at 18 years, 129 days to take five wickets in a Test innings in England. His previous best Test figures were 5-79 against Australia at Melbourne in December 2009.

Pakistan stumbled early when Hameed pushed at a ball from Anderson on off stump and was caught at the second attempt by Swann at second slip.

Despite the loss of Hameed, Pakistan got off to a flying start, reaching 50 from 52 balls after employing aggressive tactics. Farhat and Butt added 52 for the second wicket off 65 balls.

The stroke-play was peculiar on occasions, Farhat charging Steven Finn only to deflect an inside edge past the wicketkeeper for four. Farhat was rewarded for his boldness, hitting six boundaries.

Farhat's innings was ended when he missed a sweep shot to Swann and was trapped lbw. He referred the decision but the third umpire confirmed he was out.

Butt looked solid, hitting six boundaries, including two off one over from Broad through cover point and another whipped from off stump through midwicket, such was the placid nature of the pitch.

Butt departed after nicking a sharply turning off-break from Swann to be caught by Paul Collingwood at slip and leave Pakistan on 103-3.

Yousuf and Azhar Ali looked to steering Pakistan home before Ali was run out for 5 and Anderson uprooted Yousuf's off stump with a perfect out-swinging yorker. It was 132-6 when Kamran Akmal played no stroke to a ball from Swann and was given out lbw.

Kamran's brother, Umar Akmal, and Amir kept their cool under pressure to steer Pakistan home.

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