The off-spinner would probably rate yesterday’s show better than the 5 for 43 he earned against England in Abu Dhabi last February which went in vain.
Ajmal’s first victim in Delhi was Suresh Raina who was trapped leg before off a well tossed up delivery which landed in line of middle stump, but the left-handed batsman played outside the line for the ball to hit his front pad.
Saeed Ajmal celebrates the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja yesterday. Pic/Pankaj Nangia
The next ball (in the 29th over) saw R Ashwin, trying to play on the leg side, but the ball hit the back pad and the tailender had to depart. Ravindra Jadeja avoided the hat-trick when the India score was 111, but the Saurashtra batsman eventually succumbed to Ajmal when he lofted one to long on where Umar Akmal took a comfortable catch. Ajmal celebrated his fifth wicket with great gusto.
The last four wickets all went to Ajmal as India slumped from 131/6 to 167 all out.
In Abu Dhabi, he got into the thick of the action after Shahid Afridi dismissed Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott. Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter and tailender Stuart Broad were dismissed by him early, but he only sent back skipper Alastair Cook (137) and Ravi Bopara (50) after their contributions were sizeable.
Pakistan ended up losing that game as well.