Mohammad Amir, reformed Pakistan fast bowler, lands ‘perfect 10’ in England | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Mohammad Amir, reformed Pakistan fast bowler, lands ‘perfect 10’ in England

Mohammad Amir, on a strong comeback after a five-year playing ban and six months in jail for spot-fixing, had teammates sing paeans after bowling Essex to victory over Yorkshire in the English County game.

cricket Updated: Aug 08, 2017 19:07 IST
Devarchit Varma
Mohammad Amir finished with the figures of 10/72 in just his second County Championship match for Essex.
Mohammad Amir finished with the figures of 10/72 in just his second County Championship match for Essex. (Getty Images)

Mohammad Amir, Pakistan fast bowler, is on the rise again. Regarded as the world’s biggest pace bowling talent, the left-arm bowler’s world collapsed around him after he was slapped a five-year ban for spot-fixing, and imprisoned for six month for spot-fixing during the 2010 Test tour of England.

Allowed back into international cricket, Amir is back doing what he does best, sending batsmen to their doom with his pace, swing and control. And Amir, considered the heir apparent of Wasim Akram left his teammates singing praise, literally, after a sensational spell.

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Playing for Essex in the English County championship, he produced a career-best haul of 10 for 72 to sweep aside Yorkshire in just two days, sealing an eight-wicket victory at the latter’s backyard during the Scarborough Festival. Essex wrapped up the game on Monday.

Yorkshire were without three England players --- national team skipper Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance – but Amir demolished the batting line-up of last year’s runners-up. He captured 5/18 to skittle out Yorkshire for 113 in the first innings and added 5/54 to dismiss them for 150 in the second innings.

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Amir, 25, left his teammates thrilled to bits after his bowling made light of the absence of Alastair Cook, also on England duty against South Africa. And it was no wonder Amir’s Essex teammates paid tribute with a song.

😂😂😂

A post shared by Ravi Bopara (@ravibopara) on

Amir had come in only as a replacement for injured Kiwi bowler Neil Wagner and was playing only in his second match. The brilliant show is another big step in gaining acceptance in a country where he alienated fans and players after being found guilty for spot-fixing for deliberately bowling no-balls during the Lord’s Test in 2010.

Amir was cleared to return in September, 2015 and made his Pakistan comeback in January last year. Ahead of Pakistan’s tour of England, Alastair Cook had anticipated a hostile reception for Amir.

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“I’m sure there will be a reaction and that is right,” he said, ahead of the Test at the home of cricket.

But the tide is slowly turning, and the young bowler is winning fans with his brilliant bowling. His Test comeback, after five years, was at Lord’s and Pakistan clinched a 75-run victory with Amir tasting modest success, claiming three wickets.

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Where it all started again

Amir claimed 6 for 44 against West Indies on the Caribbean tour last year — his only five-for since return to international cricket — but the decline of West Indies perhaps took some sheen off his showing.

At the 2016 Asia Cup, on an uncharacteristic Sher-e-Bangla pitch in Dhaka, Amir was gifted a green top, but Indian bowlers skittled out Pakistan for 83.

Amir still responded brilliantly. He got Rohit Sharma with the second ball of the innings and Ajinkya Rahane with the fourth. Virat Kohli then guided India to victory.

However, Amir grabbed the big chance against India in the ICC Champions Trophy final, after Pakistan had lost in the group stages.

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Mohammad Amir made it count after the Pakistan batsmen piled up 338/4, capturing three for 16 to dismantle India’s run chase. In a sensational spell, Amir removed Rohit Sharma (0), Shikhar Dhawan (21) and skipper Virat Kohli (5), reducing India to 33/3, from where the holders never recovered.

Amir admires Virat Kohli, and the mutual admiration only gained after the clash.

Amir stayed back to play County Cricket — not returning to Pakistan even for a few days to join in the celebrations for winning the ICC Champions Trophy.

Amir has benefitted in the English County from seamer-friendly pitches and fielding that is far better than Pakistan’s.

Amir’s career-best haul --- it is his first 10-wicket match haul ever – can only add speed to his international aspirations. The bowler was the youngest to 50 Test wickets, and after 28 Tests, stands six short of 100.