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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 August 2006, 21:51 GMT 22:51 UK
The Oval: 17-21 August, 2006
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England 173 & 298-4 v Pakistan 504

Pakistan forfeit match

Kevin Pietersen hit 96 to boost England's bid to wipe out Pakistan's big lead
Pietersen played a typically flamboyant innings

Pakistan have forfeited the fourth Test against England after play on day four was sensationally abandoned after a ball-tampering row.

The umpires ruled Pakistan were guilty of doctoring the match ball and awarded England five penalty runs and let them choose a replacement ball.

The day's play finished early when Pakistan stayed in their dressing room after tea in protest.

Although they did briefly return, they later had to forfeit the match.

The first sign of the trouble to come occurred after Umar Gul had trapped Alastair Cook lbw for 83 with a delivery that showed a great deal of reverse swing.

Soon afterwards, umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove called a halt to play so a set of used balls could be brought out to the middle.

Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq was visibly upset with the decision but instructed his team to continue playing.

However, the tourists opted to stay in the changing room once the tea break was over in a bid to register their unhappiness.

Despite talks, play was eventually called off for the day, leaving both sides in limbo.

Up until that point, the match was building into a classic tussle, with Pakistan still holding the initiative.

Danish Kaneria, Younis Khan and Faisal Iqbal celebrate Andrew Strauss' dismissal
The impressive Kaneria deserved more than one wicket

Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria posed all sorts of problems in the morning for left-handers Andrew Strauss and Cook, who should have been on his way after the fourth ball when he appeared to edge to silly-point.

Cook had another big slice of luck when Kaneria knocked out his leg-stump with a vicious leg-break only to see Doctrove rule he had over-stepped.

Strauss looked in good nick against the seamers as he reached 50 off 69 balls, but his struggles against Kaneria were reminiscent of how Shane Warne outfoxed him last year. It was a Warne-style ripper that eventually did for the England captain, although Doctrove should have seen that the ball had struck the pad outside the line of off-stump.

Cook's ordeal looked to be over when he pulled Mohammad Asif straight to Faisal Iqbal at square-leg, but the vociferous fielder dropped a sitter.

That marked a rapid decline in Pakistan's fielding.

Cook profited to bring his fifty up off 93 balls while, after a quiet start, Pietersen launched a flurry of attacking shots before lunch.

Alastair Cook
Cook had some huge slices of luck

Pietersen should have been on his way to the pavilion after making only 15, though, feathering a delivery from Kaneria straight into - and out of - Kamran Akmal's gloves.

As Pietersen flourished - his fifty coming up in a flash - Cook continued to look hesitant despite helping put on a century for the third wicket.

His charmed life was finally ended when he was caught on the toe by Gul's fine yorker.

Pakistan lost their momentum after the alleged ball-tampering incident, allowing Pietersen to take advantage with two massive sixes off Kaneria, over mid-wicket and straight down the ground.

Paul Collingwood provided a good foil at the other end as Pietersen looked set to emulate his feat against Australia in 2005 by reaching three figures.

But the Hampshire star fell short after a wild swish off Shahid Nazir.

The pressure was back on England, but Collingwood and Ian Bell played sensibly to take them to the tea break.

Then the drama really started - and no more play ensued.


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17 Aug 06 |  England
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