Amir becomes most successful 18-year-old bowler

Eight months short of his next birthday, Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir is already test cricket’s most successful 18-year-old bowler.

By (AP)

Published: Fri 27 Aug 2010, 8:55 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:20 AM

Amir produced a devastating display of late swing in the opening session of day two of the final test at Lord’s on Friday to force another batting collapse by England and put his team in a strong position for the win it needs to draw the four-test series.

Unlucky on day one when opener Alastair Cook successfully appealed an lbw decision to the third umpire, Amir removed Cook with the third ball of the day and got rid of Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan in a spell of four wickets for no runs in eight balls.

Amir’s haul took him to 49 career wickets as England slumped from an overnight 39-1 to 47-5, leaving the left-arm paceman with figures of 4-29 at lunch.

It was only the fifth time in test cricket that a team’s No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 batsmen had all been dismissed in the same innings without scoring — and the first time it has ever happened to England.

It could have been even worse for the home side, and better for Amir, when Matthew Prior drove to gully for an apparent catch by Umar Amin.

But the substitute fielder acknowledged that he was unsure whether the ball had touched the ground before reaching his hands. With the umpires and third official Steve Davis unable to resolve the issue conclusively, Prior, in at seven and yet to score, survived.

England settled as the clouds thinned after midday and the sun dried the moisture from the air, but Amir’s 28 wickets in six tests in England — on a tour that included two matches against Australia — continues his record of dangerous performances in all conditions so far in his 13-month test career.

He took 6-112 on his debut in Sri Lanka, managed seven wickets in three matches in New Zealand and took a second-innings 5-79 to gut Australia’s middle order in Melbourne in December.

Amir has one wicket more than compatriot Waqar Younis managed before his 19th birthday 20 years ago.

England may not come across the sort of swinging deliveries sent down by Amir when the team gets to Australia later this year, but the collapse backed up Australia captain Ricky Ponting’s assertion — and England captain Andrew Strauss’ admission — that something is amiss with the side.

Cook, Collingwood and Morgan all fell to good deliveries, but Pietersen went to an almost ludicrously loose shot when he edged to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal.

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