Mohammad Abbas leads Pakistan boys to victory at Lord’s
LONDON: Pakistan team lived up to its reputation of surprising the world as they upset a more experienced England by nine wickets to clinch the Lord’s Test and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series on a sunny Sunday.
If someone had predicted that Pakistan’s young and inexperienced Test team will make a short shrift of England inside three days he would have been mocked off but here this young Pakistan team had shown the world that if they play to their potential nothing is beyond them.
Pakistan did lose Azhar Ali in the chase but Haris Sohail batted with aggression for 39 not out and Imam-ul-Haq made 18 as Pakistan crossed the target in just 12.4 overs.
The victory is the second for Sarfraz Ahmed as skipper after he lost both the Tests against Sri Lanka in UAE in his debut series as captain and a reward for the way he led a young team.
Pakistan outplayed a more formidable and experienced England side for which they deserved all the credit. England too to their disadvantage took the Pakistan team lightly.
Mohammad Abbas, playing only his seventh Test and had two weeks ago taken nine wickets in Pakistan’s fighting win over debutant Ireland, led the pack with another four wicket burst for 41 runs — eight wickets in the match to be deservedly declared man of the match.
Mohammad Amir, who was much criticised for his lack of wickets, finished with 4-36 as Pakistan’s bowling put England into submission in both the innings.
After bundling out England for 184 in the first innings with superb bowling and as good fielding, Pakistan batsmen negated a world class England attack to take a decisive 179-run lead.
Pakistan had only lost once after taking a lead in access of 160 runs but few expected it will come on the fourth morning.
Jos Butler and debutant Dominic Bess had delayed Pakistan’s victory which could have come on the third afternoon.
But any fears of England upsetting the applecart were removed as Pakistan took just 18 balls to get the remaining four wickets on the fourth morning with the addition of only seven runs.
Hasan Ali started the proceedings and Butler took a single to get to the other end and Abbas produced a beauty to catch Butler on the half prod and got him leg-before off just the eighth ball of the day.
A disappointed Butler challenged Paul Rieffel’s decision but to no avail as it was an umpire’s call. Pakistan took the second new ball after 80.2 overs and with the fourth ball off the new cherry Amir had Mark Woods caught behind.
Pakistan players were super excited, they needed just two more wickets and for that they did not need to wait. Abbas produced another superb delivery to get Stuart Broad caught behind.
Broad never looked like staying, someone who had scored a big hundred against Pakistan at this same venue in 2010 had looked a rabbit against this Pakistan attack. Amir didn’t take long to end resistance from Bess, cleaning him with another superb delivery for 57.
Pakistan have now achieved fifth win at Lord’s repeating their wins in 1982, 1992, 1996 and 2016. Lord’s is so kind to Pakistan, so now they move to not so favourite Leeds where the second Test starts on Friday.
England 1st Inns 184 (A Cook 70; Mohammad Abbas 4-23, Hasan Ali 4-51)
Pakistan 1st Inns 363 (Babar Azam 68, Asad Shafiq 59, Shadab Khan 52, Azhar Ali 50; B Stokes 3-73)
England 2nd Inns 242 (J Root 68, J Buttler 67, D Bess 57: Mohammad Amir 4-36, Mohammad Abbas 4-41)
Pakistan 2nd Inns 66-1
Result: Pakistan won by nine wickets
Series: Pakistan lead two-match series 1-0