Pakistan, we salute you!

July 18,2016

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Misbah and Co show the world how good they are with an emphatic 75-run triumph at Lord’s

KARACHI: Moments after marching to a historic Test triumph, Pakistan’s players dropped on the Lord’s turf and celebrated the feat with a series of pushups.

The message to England was clear and simple: This is one Pakistan team that is going to be a bit too tough for the hosts to handle.

From the wily Yasir Shah to workhorse Rahat Ali, Misbah and his boys exhibited the sort of killer instinct that a team so desperately needs at the Test level.

And they were rewarded for their aggressive approach with a 75-run victory, their first at Lord’s in 20 years. The win gives them a 1-0 lead in the four-Test series.

The scenes of joy were in stark contrast to what happened six summers ago when three of Pakistan’s top players were caught red-handed for spot-fixing during a Test at Lord’s. Pakistan were hammered by England in that match but far more damaging was the fact that the spot-fixing trio were later found guilty. They were banned and even sent to prison.

Mohammad Amir, a member of the disgraced trio, was back at Lord’s and the young pacer fittingly took the final England wicket — shattering the stumps of number 11 Jake Ball with a swinging delivery.

Seven years after lifting the World T20 crown at Lord’s, Pakistan’s players and their fans erupted with joy following a result that will go down in the annals of their Test history as an unforgettable victory.

One of the biggest architects of the victory was leggie Yasir Shah. In his first Test outside Asia, Yasir finished with a ten-wicket haul to deservedly claim the man-of-the-match award. Yasir followed his first innings figures of 6-72 with an impressive haul of 4-69 to make sure that Pakistan kept England at bay.

England were looking to turn the tables on Pakistan after taking the visitors’ last two wickets for just one run but Pakistan’s potent bowling arsenal made sure that a target of 283 was big enough.

Buoyed up by an impressive display from Rahat Ali (3-47), Pakistan took wickets at regular intervals and it was only at one point in time when a defiant Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes put on a stand of 56 for the seventh wicket in almost 32 overs when the tourists were made to wait. But once Yasir outfoxed Bairstow (48), there was no stopping Pakistan.

Amir, who has had an unexpectedly quite game, rattled Stuart Broad’s stumps before Yasir ended Waokes’ resistance to spark jubilation on the field. Amir returned in his next over to finish off Ball as well as England.

Agencies add: Yasir Shah grabbed two wickets in quick succession as Pakistan moved closer to victory at tea. England were 155 for six needing a further 128 runs to reach their victory target of 283.

Bairstow (28*) and all-rounder Chris Woakes (5*) — who had already taken 11 wickets in this match — were still at the crease but with just the tail to come.

The most England had ever made before to win in the fourth innings of a Lord’s Test was 282 for three against New Zealand in 2004.

England were making steady progress at 135 for four when leg-spinner Shah, who took six for 72 in the first innings, struck again.

A ball after Gary Ballance had pulled him for four, Shah bowled the recalled left-hander behind his legs for 43 with a delivery that spun out of the rough.

Moeen Ali (two) then charged down the pitch in an attempt to drive Shah, only to be bowled between bat and pad by a well-flighted delivery.

Shah had taken two wickets for two runs in six balls and England were 139 for six.

Earlier, ‘s Rahat removed England’s top three batsmen in a breathless pre-lunch session that saw the hosts score 90 runs in 22 overs.

England captain Alastair Cook launched the chase with a four off the very first ball of the innings when he cut a loose Mohammad Amir delivery to the boundary.

All the pre-match focus had been on Amir, making his return to Test cricket at the scene of his 2010 spot-fixing crime.

But it was fellow left-arm quick Rahat who stunned England.

His back-off-a-length ball had left-hander Cook (8) edging through to wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

Cook’s opening partner Alex Hales made a brisk 16 before carelessly chasing a wide ball from Rahat outside off stump, with Mohammad Hafeez holding a good catch at first slip.

Joe Root, England’s new number three, struck two superb cover-driven fours off Rahat — one of the back foot and the other the front.

But the star batsman fell into a hooking trap on nine when he paddled a Rahat short ball to Shah, set back at deep square leg.

James Vince too got off the mark with a cover-driven four off Rahat.

Vince was on nine when his edged drive off Rahat flew to Younis Khan only for the second slip to drop both the initial low catch and the rebound.

Vince struck nine fours, mainly through the offside, on his way to a Test-best 41 not out at lunch without looking assured.

It seemed he might give a catch in the slips at any moment and he did so again early in the second session.

Vince added just one run to his lunch score when, not moving his feet, he edged a booming drive of a Wahab Riaz delivery that moved away to second slip Younis, who this time clung on at the second attempt.

Earlier, Pakistan added just one run to their overnight 214 for eight. Woakes led England off the field after taking five for 32 for a match haul of 11 for 102.

Score Board

Pakistan won toss

Pakistan 1st innings 339 all-out (Misbah-ul-Haq 114, Asad Shafiq 73; C Woakes 6-70)

England 1st innings 272 all-out (A Cook 81; Yasir 6-72)

Pakistan 2nd innings 215 all-out (Asad Shafiq 49; C Woakes 5-31)

England 2nd innings

*A N Cook c Sarfraz b Rahat 8

A D Hales c Hafeez b Rahat 16

J E Root c Yasir b Rahat 9

J M Vince c Younis b Wahab 42

G S Ballance b Yasir 43

†J M Bairstow b Yasir 48

M M Ali b Yasir 2

C R Woakes c Younis b Yasir 23

S C J Broad b Amir 1

S T Finn not out 4

J T Ball b Amir 3

Extras (b 1, lb 5, w 1, nb 1) 8

Total (all out; 75.5 overs) 207

Fall: 1-19, 2-32, 3-47, 4-96, 5-135, 6-139, 7-195, 8-196, 9-204, 10-207

Bowling: Amir 17.5-4-39-2; Rahat 14-0-47-3 (1w); Yasir 31-9-69-4; Wahab 13-1-46-1 (1nb)

Reselt: Pakistan won by 75 runs

Series: Pakistan lead the 4-match series by 1-0

Test debut: J T Ball (England)

Man of the Match: Yasir Shah (Pakistan)

Umpires: H D P K Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and J S Wilson (West Indies). TV umpire: R J Tucker (Australia). Match referee: R B Richardson (West Indies)


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