Fast bowlers Ollie Robinson and James Anderson took four wickets each as England cruised to a thrilling 74-run win over Pakistan in the first Test in Rawalpindi on Monday. Anderson took 4-36 and Robinson 4-50 to bowl Pakistan out for 268 on a quiet Rawalpindi Stadium pitch, the stadium floodlights flickering as daylight faded. Pakistan’s late pair of Naseem Shah (six) and Mohammad Ali (none) denied England for 35 minutes and 8.5 overs before spinner Jack Leach trapped Naseem leg-before, leaving the England players jubilant. The victory — giving England a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series — epitomized England’s newly adopted “buzzball” cricket, an attacking style taken from head coach Brendon McCullum’s nickname.
Skipper Ben Stokes was also active throughout the day, maintaining relentless pressure on the Pakistan batsmen with close-set fields and intelligent bowling changes.
He hailed the victory as “special”, with less than 10 minutes to seal their victory before bad light called.
“I think it’s probably up there with one of England’s best away wins,” Stokes said.
“We did something very special this week.”
England’s seventh victory in eight Tests under the new management of McCullum and Stokes installed in May this year.
It was achieved after giving Pakistan a carrot-like target of 343 runs to win in a possible 130 overs.
Pakistan had their chance for a while.
At tea, Pakistan were 257-5 — needing 86 runs to win in an intriguing final session.
England needed five wickets, and Robinson struck in the fourth over after the break, caught by Agha Salman leg-before for 30 runs.
In his next over, he took Azhar Ali for 40 to bring England closer to victory.
At the other end, Anderson removed Zahid Mahmood (one) and Haris Rauf (nil) in the same over, leaving four wickets for just seven runs.
Then the nail was bitten before the Lich could remove Naseem.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam later said, “We are disappointed as a team.
“At lunch we were confident we could win, but credit to England for their great effort.”
The two teams scored a total of 1,236 in their first innings — England 657 and Pakistan 579 — before the visitors lit up the Test on Sunday, declaring their second innings at 264-7.
Pakistan batted cautiously in the first session as they progressed from 80-2 to 169-3 overnight, losing opener Imam-ul-Haq to pacer Anderson for 48 runs.
Mohammad Rizwan was one of two wickets to fall for 46 runs in the second session, partnering Saud Shakeel for 76 runs in a 87-run stand for the fourth wicket.
In the fourth over after lunch, Rizwan was caught by Anderson and replaced by Keaton Jennings at short cover, Robinson took a brilliant catch to Shakeel.
England, in their first Test tour of Pakistan since 2005, have refused to tour Pakistan in the intervening years due to security concerns.
Second Test in Multan from 9 to 13 December and third Test from 17 to 21 December in Karachi.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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