Cricket / Fifth test: Waqar rushes Pakistan to series victory: Smith's lonely act of defiance fails to prevent the tourists' pace attack from swinging the balance of power: Martin Johnson reports from The Oval

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England 207 and 174; Pakistan 380 and 5-0. Pakistan win by 10 wickets

IT WAS neither a surprise nor inappropriate that this series should end with Pakistan's wicketkeeper having to do no more than bend down to collect his commemorative stump. It had cartwheeled in his direction after a direct hit from Waqar Younis' inswinging yorker, and while it might be argued that it was a delivery wasted on Devon Malcolm, it is a weapon that has been wasting England's recognised batsmen all summer.

Waqar's 22nd wicket of the series in the fifth Test made it 2-1 to the hyper-talented tourists, and it eclipsed Imran Khan's previous record for Pakistan against England. Imran's 21 was equalled by Waqar's fast bowling partner, Wasim Akram, and therein lay the difference between the sides. England's batting was at least equal to, and possibly slightly better than the opposition's. Pakistan's bowling, on the other hand, was not so much in a different league, as from another planet.

England, who have now lost their last four series against Pakistan, arrived here level at 1-1, but were doomed from the moment they were bowled out for 207 on Thursday. A combination of Wasim's boomerang, and the Prime Minister's grim countenance as he looked on from one of the sponsored balconies, indicated a late swing to the opposition.

By way of variation, England's second innings trauma on Saturday was induced by Waqar swinging the new ball rather than the old one. One of the more novel aspects of this series is that the short straw position for an England batsman has been closer to No 6 than No 1.

It has invariably been around the 50-over mark that the ball has begun to swing for Pakistan - not just swing, which any half-way competent batsman can cope with, but late swing, which is altogether another matter, and late swing at high speed, which is as capable of removing a Bradman when he is 200 not out, as it is a Malcolm for 0.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, there are those who feel that this phenomenon has less to do with exceptional natural talent, as to some kind of dirty tricks' department operating from an underground bunker in Lahore. When Bob Massie took 16 English wickets at Lord's in 1972, with deliveries that almost did a U-turn, there were mutterings about doctoring the ball with lip salve.

When John Lever took 10 wickets in Delhi in 1976, he was accused of wearing vaseline-impregnated strips across his forehead, not for keeping the sweat out of his eyes, but for applying slippery substances to the ball. Whenever bowlers accomplish something out of the ordinary, eyebrows shoot skywards.

Yesterday, England's team manager, Micky Stewart, was invited to state categorically that he was entirely satisfied with Pakistan's methods this summer, and, not for the first time, he could not quite manage it. 'I have not said anything that implies I suspect anything improper,' he said. What he could have said, but did not, was: 'I am perfectly satisfied that nothing improper has gone on.'

However, while there are those who will infer that Stewart is really deeply suspicious, it is by no means unusual for the retiring team manager to speak at some length on a subject without actually saying anything at all. If this type of thing was an Olympic sport, we would have had one more gold medal. However, in fairness to Stewart, he has had enough bad experiences with the media to come out in a rash of nervous tics and quivers every time he spots a notebook.

He did not, though, do himself any more favours by stating that he was well aware of the technique employed by Wasim and Waqar. 'In which case' was the gist of an obvious follow-up question 'what is it?' Stewart answered: 'I wouldn't spread it around, because once we perfect it, if that were the idea. . .' and then, as it often does, Stewart's reply tailed off.

What should, for the time being, close this particular subject (and in Pakistan's favour to boot) is that the match balls are regularly inspected throughout a session, and again during intervals. I think we can make the assumption that our umpires are neither blind nor stupid, although it is something of an irony that some aspects of Pakistan's deportment this summer have suggested that they themselves think otherwise.

English batsmen do not, as it happens, play quality swing bowlers very well. The last time they faced one (let alone two) in a home series was in 1989 against Australia, when a single bowler wreaked so much havoc that graffiti artists confronted by slogans such as: 'Thatcher Out', invariably scrawled underneath them 'lbw Alderman.'

Our domestic game, with its breathless commuter-style programme and uneven, seamer-friendly pitches, is not conducive to producing bowlers with variety. This Pakistan side, with left-arm swing, right-arm swing, and teasing leg spin, possesses an attack capable of bowling out any side in the world in any conditions.

What ought to be further acknowledged is that Imran Khan may, after all, have been the decisive factor in this series. His speech on the World Cup winners' podium sounded so close to personal acceptance of a single-wicket trophy, that it undoubtedly had the effect of harmonising a collection of fragile temperaments under the less aloof captaincy of Javed Miandad. For all their volatility, this is as close a knit Pakistani side that has ever left home.

The series, in fact, would not have been lost by England had it not been for what, under the circumstances, was a remarkable ninth-wicket partnership in the second Test at Lord's. For England to lose a match to Wasim and Waqar with the bat was hardly something that could have been read in the pre-series tea leaves.

With the ball, however, they were always likely to prove far too formidable, and it was only in the peculiarly English environs of Headingley that Pakistan's not wholly convincing batting (in Aamir Sohail they have an opener who goes at it as though he is being attacked by a swarm of wasps at a picnic) failed to score enough runs.

Yesterday, the 380 they made in their first innings was almost enough not to require them to go in a second time. England resumed requiring a further 36 from their last five wickets to avoid an innings defeat, and managed to scrape together another 37.

For 40 minutes, Robin Smith (59 not out overnight) and Chris Lewis looked in no real bother at all, but it was at that point that Lewis (as unpredictable a batsman as he is a bowler) suddenly gave Mushtaq Ahmed the charge and was stumped by three yards.

It was a brainless piece of cricket, and with one end opened, Pakistan poured through. Derek Pringle, a less than inspired selection for this game, took his total of runs to two (which was two more than his total of wickets) and Neil Mallender and Philip Tufnell were whipped out in consecutive balls by Wasim.

The last hat-trick in a Test in this country was performed, by the South African, Geoff Griffin, as long ago as 1960, but with Malcolm taking guard (if indeed he bothers with one) it was odds-on Wasim becoming the first Pakistani in history to accomplish the feat.

Remarkably, Malcolm kept out the next four from Wasim, and another five from Waqar before the latter plucked out his leg stump. Smith was left stranded for an 84 as high on grit as it was on quality.

Gooch's claim that he never takes the field not thinking he can win was sufficiently stretched by Pakistan's victory target of two for him to throw the ball to Ramprakash, who (with a bouncer signalled wide, followed by a long hop) finished with the unusual analysis of 0.1-0-5-0. Next stop, the final three Texacos, in which England, largely by virtue of the fact that you are not required to get anyone out to win, lead 2-0.

FULL SCOREBOARD FROM THE OVAL (England won toss) ENGLAND - First Innings * G A Gooch c Mujtaba b Aqib. . . . . . . . 20 (49 min, 40 balls, 2 fours) A J Stewart c Ramiz b Wasim. . . . . . . . . 31 (65 min, 42 balls, 4 fours) M A Atherton c Latif b Waqar. . . . . . . . .60 (262 min, 190 balls, 5 fours) R A Smith b Mushtaq. . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 (149 min, 122 balls, 3 fours) D I Gower b Aqib. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 (63 min, 54 balls, 4 fours) M R Ramprakash lbw b Wasim. . . . . . . . . . 2 (6 min, 3 balls) C C Lewis lbw b Wasim. . . . . . . . . . . . .4 (12 min, 7 balls) D R Pringle b Wasim. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 (3 min, 3 balls) N A Mallender b Wasim. . . . . . . . . . . . .4 (10 min, 8 balls) P C R Tufnell not out. . . . . . . . . . . . .0 (13 min, 8 balls) D E Malcolm b Wasim. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 (7 min, 4 balls) Extras (b4 lb8 w1 nb10). . . . . . . . . . .23 Total (329 min, 78.1 overs). . . . . . . . .207 Fall: 1-39 (Gooch), 2-57 (Stewart), 3-138 (Smith), 4-182 (Gower), 5-190 (Ramprakash), 6-196 (Lewis), 7-199 (Pringle), 8-203 (Atherton), 9-205 (Mallender), 10-207 (Malcolm).

Bowling: Wasim 22.1-3-67-6 nb9 (First spell: 8-0- 40-1, second spell: 7-2-9-0, third spell: 7.1-1-18-5); Waqar 16-4-37-1 w1 (1-0-3-0, 6-2-19-0, 7-1-12-0, 2-1-3-1); Aqib 16-6-44-2 nb3 (9-4-17-1, 4-1-17-0, 3-1-10-1); Mushtaq 24-7-47-1 (one spell) (Morning session: 3-0-6-0, afternoon: 17-6-27-1, evening: 4-1-14-0).

PAKISTAN - First Innings (Overnight: 16 for 0) Aamir Sohail c Stewart b Malcolm. . . . . . .49 (126 min, 86 balls, 10 fours) Ramiz Raja b Malcolm. . . . . . . . . . . . .19 (92 min, 66 balls, 1 four) Shoaib Mohammad c and b Tufnell. . . . . . . 55 (200 min, 155 balls, 5 fours) * Javed Miandad c and b Lewis. . . . . . . . 59 (141 min, 101 balls, 9 fours) Salim Malik b Malcolm. . . . . . . . . . . . 40 (132 min, 94 balls, 5 fours) Asif Mujtaba run out (Smith). . . . . . . . .50 (196 min, 165 balls, 5 fours) Wasim Akram c Stewart b Malcolm. . . . . . . .7 (21 min, 9 balls, 1 four) Rashid Latif c Smith b Mallender. . . . . . .50 (114 min, 87 balls, 6 fours) Waqar Younis c Gooch b Malcolm. . . . . . . .6 (6 min, 3 balls, 1 four) Mushtaq Ahmed c Lewis b Mallender. . . . . . .9 (27 min, 22 balls, 2 fours) Aqib Javed not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 (12 min, 4 balls) Extras (b2 lb6 w4 nb24). . . . . . . . . . . 36 Total (542 min, 127.5 overs). . . . . . . .380 Fall: 1-64 (Ramiz), 2-86 (Sohail), 3-197 (Javed), 4-214 (Shoaib), 5-278 (Salim), 6-292 (Wasim), 7-332 (Mujtaba), 8-342 (Waqar), 9-359 (Mushtaq), 10-380 (Rashid).

Bowling: Mallender 28.5-6-93-2 nb12 (9-1-34-0 4-1-15-0 6-1-16-0 7-2-15-0 2.5-1-13-2); Malcolm 29-6-94-5 nb3 w2 (2-0-11-0 7-2-18-2 4-1-15-0 11-2-30-2 5-1- 20-1); Lewis 30-8-70-1 nb2 w1 (5-2-10-0 8-1-13-0 9-2-34-1 5-1-10-0 3-2-3-0); Tufnell 34-9-87-1 nb6 (8-2-26-0 3-1-11-0 17-6-24-1 3-0-10-0 1-0-7-0 2-0-9-0); Pringle 6-0-28-0 nb2 (3-0-21-0 3-0-7-0).

ENGLAND - Second Innings

*G A Gooch c Sohail b Waqar. . . . . . . . . 24 (87 min, 71 balls, 3 fours) A J Stewart lbw b Waqar. . . . . . . . . . . .8 (49 min, 25 balls, 2 fours) M A Atherton c Rashid b Waqar. . . . . . . . .4 (15 min, 9 balls, 1 four) R A Smith not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 (239 min, 179 balls, 8 fours) D I Gower b Waqar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 (7 min, 6 balls) M R Ramprakash c Mujtaba b Mushtaq. . . . . .17 (44 min, 39 balls, 3 fours) C C Lewis st Rashid b Mushtaq. . . . . . . . 14 (114 min, 82 balls, 1 four) D R Pringle b Wasim. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 (11 min, 10 balls) N A Mallender c Mushtaq b Wasim. . . . . . . .3 (17 min, 10 balls) P C R Tufnell b Wasim. . . . . . . . . . . . .0 (1 min, 1 ball) D E Malcolm b Waqar. . . . . . . . . . . . . .0 (16 min, 10 balls) Extras (b1, lb8, nb9). . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Total (307 min, 72 overs). . . . . . . . . .174

Fall: 1-29 (Stewart), 2-47 (Atherton), 3-55 (Gooch), 4-59 (Gower), 5-92 (Ramprakash), 6-153 (Lewis), 7-159 (Pringle), 8-173 (Mallender), 9-173 (Tufnell), 10-174 (Malcolm).

Bowling: Wasim 21-6-36-3 nb7 (5-1-10-0 6-1-9-0 10-4-17-3); Aqib 9-2-25-0 nb2 (6-1-19-0 3-1-6-0); Waqar 18-5-52-5 nb1 (8-0-31-4 4-1-13-0 3-3-0-0 3-1-8-1); Mushtaq 23-6-46-2 (17-5-34-1 1-0-1-0 5-1-11-1); Sohail 1-0-6-0 (one spell).

Progress: Day 3: 50: 70 min, 14.3 overs. Tea: 55 for 3 (Smith 7) 18.5 overs. 100: 154 min, 35.2 overs. Close: 137 for 5 (Smith 59, Lewis 8) 51 overs. Day 4: 150: 252 mins, 60.1 overs. Innings closed: 12.33pm. Smith 50: 130 mins, 101 balls, 5 fours.

PAKISTAN - Second Innings Aamir Sohail not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 (2 min, 1 ball, 1 four) Ramiz Raja not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 (2 min, 0 ball) Extras (w1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Total (for 0, 2 min, 0.1 overs). . . . . . . .5

Bowling: Ramprakash 0.1-0-5-0 w1.

Umpires: H D Bird and D R Shepherd.

Pakistan won by 10 wickets at 12.45pm.

Man of the match: Wasim Akram.

Adjudicator: Asif Iqbal.

Men of the series: England: G A Gooch (adjudicator Intikhab Alam). Pakistan (joint award): Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram (adjudicator M J Stewart).

First Test (Edgbaton): Match drawn.

Second Test (Lord's): Pakistan won by two wickets.

Third Test (Old Trafford): Match drawn.

Fourth Test (Headingley): England won by six wickets.

(Photograph omitted)

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