England have defeated Pakistan in the second test at Edgbaston with a comfortable nine wicket lead, despite some spirited batting yesterday from the visitors, acting as a stark contrast to their earlier performance.
When play started this morning Pakistan, with one wicket remaining, had built up a lead of 112 runs over England, thanks in no small part to an impressive 88 runs from wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider. His performance gave hope to a Pakistan side which has shown itself to possess a good bowling attack, but serious concerns over its batting after the side was bowled out for a mere 72 runs in the first innings.
Pakistan's final wicket was removed in the second over of today's play after Mohammad Asif knocked a ball from Stuart Broad straight to Kevin Pietersen at gully. With Pakistan all out for 72 and 296 and England having scored 251 in their first innings, England needed just 118 runs to win, but against Pakistan's bowlers even reaching such a seemingly low target could be easier said than done.
England's second innings got off to a shaky start when an out-of-form Alastair Cook was dismissed after scoring just four runs in six balls, taking England to 7/1.
However Andrew Strauss and number three batsman Jonathan Trott kept cool, piling up the runs despite a couple of scares which saw Strauss dropped by the previous day's hero Haider. Pakistan will no doubt be concerned about the poor performance of their fielders, who also dropped numerous catches from Pietersen and Trott in the first innings, costing them the game as both players went on to add large figures to an otherwise unimpressive England batting performance.
Both Trott and Strauss finished the game with half-centuries to their name and took England to 2-0 up in the current series.
England's Graeme Swann was declared man of the match after taking six wickets in the second innings.
The third test will begin on 18 August at Lord's and is likely to feature Mohammad Yousuf to strengthen Pakistan's batting. Yousuf was dramatically recalled to the side and flown in to Britain last Thursday, but was excluded from the second test as he was still recovering from the journey from Pakistan.
The final scores were:
Pakistan: 72 and 296
England: 251 and 118/1