The Pakistani national cricket team won a test match against Australia for the first time in 15 years after defeating the Aussies on Saturday in Leeds, England. The match was held in England, as all international matches involving Pakistan have been held outside the country since the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March of 2009.
18-year-old bowler Mohammad Aamer was named Man of the Match for Pakistan. He bowled a total of 38 overs, bagging a total of 7 wickets in the process. Shane Watson was Man of the Match for the Aussies, with a total of 16 overs bowled and 6 wickets taken.
The match began, and effectively ended, on Wednesday July 21st when Australia won the toss and elected to bat first. They put up a miserable 88 runs on 10 wickets that was ultimately too weak an opening effort from which to recover. And it was their lowest test match total since they were held to 76 runs by the West Indies at Perth in 1984.
Pakistan came back with a spirited 258 runs on 10 overs to put the Aussies further in the hole. Australia followed that up with a 349 run effort, but even with that total the deficit was looking too great.
On the final day, Pakistan needed 180 runs to win the match. They started out slowly, however, scoring only 40 runs on 4 wickets. But their bats ultimately woke up, and they finished off the 180 run total with 3 wickets to spare, thus ending a run of 13 straight test defeats by Australia, which is still a record for one country versus another.
This was Salman Buttâ€™s first match as captain of the Pakistan test match team, after Shahid Afridi quit as skipper last week. For Australia captain Ricky Ponting, with his 66 run total he became only the second batsman, after Indiaâ€™s Sachin Tendulkar, to score 12,000 test runs.
After a very trying season that began with internal team turmoil during their last test match in Australia, followed by a heartbreaking loss to England in the Twenty20 World Cup, this was a very satisfying rebound for the Pakistani team. They next have a four-test series against England starting on July 29 in the U.K. Australia have two test matches upcoming in India in October before attempting to rebound in the vaunted â€œAshesâ€ with England in a five-test campaign that starts in November.