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Sarfaraz proud as Pakistan crush ‘experienced’ England

LONDON: Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said he felt both surprised and proud after his inexperienced side outplayed England during a dominant nine-wicket win in the first Test at Lord’s.

Victory, completed before lunch on the fourth day, put Pakistan 1-0 up in a two-match series ahead of the second Test at Headingley that starts on Friday.

Pakistan’s batsmen and bowlers applied themselves to the demands of playing an early season Test in English conditions far more effectively than the home side.

Man-of-the-match Mohammad Abbas led Pakistan’s attack with an overall return of eight for 64, while four Pakistan batsmen hit fifties in a competitive first-innings 363. “Yes, I am very surprised,” said Sarfraz.

“If you look at the England team they are very experienced but I am proud of my players.”

“Ireland gave us a tough time and that helped us prepare for this Test,” Sarfraz added.

“We thought that even if we lose we should learn.”

As for Pakistan’s batting, Sarfraz said: “The ball was moving, so no credit is enough for the batsmen.”

Meanwhile the modest Sarfraz, who led Pakistan to a brilliant victory over arch-rivals India in last year’s Champions Trophy one-day final across London at The Oval, played down his captaincy skills.

“I don’t have anything for self-analysis,” he said. “I shout and scream at my players — everything is right in front of you.”

Sarfraz instead praised coach Mickey Arthur, who took charge two years ago and promptly guided Pakistan to a 2-2 draw in a four-Test series in England, for “taking the players along with him” — something he had also tried to do as skipper.

Lucky charm

Soon after the victory, Sarfaraz was asked for a brief match analysis and the Pakistan skipper cradled his son with him.

He called the historic victory a proud moment for him and his family. “It is a very proud moment for me and my family. You know he [son Abdullah] is my lucky charm. So he’s always with me and I think it’s a great feeling for me,” Ahmed said.

The cutest moment was caught on camera seconds later when Sarfaraz junior grabbed the mic and mumbled, giving skipper and the interviewer a burst of laughter.




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