Nervy Pakistan hang on for historic win over Australia
Pakistan secured their first Test win against Australia in 15 years as they nervously knocked off the 40 runs they required on the fourth morning at Headingley.
Pakistan’s breakthrough win had looked like a mere formality at the start of the day, when they resumed at 140 for three, but they conspired to lose four wickets in an unexpectedly tense finale.
Australia sensed the chance for a remarkable victory, after they had been bowled out for just 88 on the opening day.
But, in the end, Pakistan stumbled across the line, with Kamran Akmal’s 13 runs never more vital, to help secure a three-wicket win, a result which ensured the two-Test series finished all square.
As well as being a huge boost to Pakistani morale, this result will also encourage England, who are 11/4 to beat Australia in the Ashes, which begin in November.
Australia, meanwhile, are 1/2 to recover from their disappointing showing at Headingley by regaining the Ashes.
Umar Gul finally sealed the win with an uppish cover drive – which Australia skipper Ricky Ponting almost got a hand to – for a single that prompted jubilant celebrations among the Paksitani players.
It was also a dream start for new skipper Salman Butt who was hastily promoted to the role after Shahid Afridi’s shock resignation, and retirement from Test cricket, immediately after the 150-run defeat at Lord’s last week.
Next up for Pakistan is a Test series with England, who are the 4/1 favourites to win the World Cup. See the full 2011 World Cup market.