Stokes stumps Pakistan with bold declaration

Published December 5, 2022
ENGLAND batter Harry Brook positions himself for an unorthodox shot during the first Test against Pakistan at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Sunday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star
ENGLAND batter Harry Brook positions himself for an unorthodox shot during the first Test against Pakistan at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Sunday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star

RAWALPINDI: England have arrived in Pakistan with a clear aim — victory and nothing less regardless of the playing conditions.

The tourists’ aim became fully evident here on Sunday when Ben Stokes made an exceptionally bold decision of declaring their second innings, giving Pakistan a 343-run target to win on a very much placid track at the Pindi Cricket Stadium. The high-scoring game — having featured seven centuries in two innings so far — seemed heading for a drab draw until the tea break when England made the surprising call to halt their free-flowing run scoring.

The hosts in response ended the fourth day at 80-2, still 263 short of what could be a tricky chase on the final day. Opener Imam-ul-Haq (43) and middle-order batter Saud Shakeel (24) were at the crease when stumps were drawn with around 20 overs still to be bowled.

England practically demonstrated on Sunday they could take wickets even on flat pitches when their pacer Ollie Robinson bounced out opener Abdullah Shafique — the first-innings centurion — for six as the left-hander was caught by Harry Brook at deep square leg.

In the same over Robinson struck experienced batter Azhar Ali with fast rising delivery, forcing the right-handed veteran of 95 Tests to retire with an injured finger.

Then came the real boost for England when Stokes got the most important wicket of skipper Babar Azam (four), another first-innings centurion, by forcing an edge off a rising ball that was caught by wicket-keeper Ollie Pope. The dismissal made Pakistan slump to 25-2 and left the 14,000-plus spectators in shock.

“We are here for results, not for draw,” said England’s assistant coach Paul Collingwood after the day’s play.

Apparently not happy over the unresponsive pitch in Rawalpindi, he said: “We can force results on this track. Our side is capable of getting wickets [even] on flat pitches.”

Responding to a query about risky and early declaration, Colling­wood said his team were confident of victory and were not scared of losing.

Terming the match “well balanced”, he said, “We’re confident we can do it. If Pakistan knock off the runs, they deserve to win.”

Earlier on Sunday, England continued to smash runs in their typical ‘Bazball’ fashion as first-innings centurion Harry Brook continued with his blazing strokeplay when he sma­shed a 65-ball 87 laced with 11 four and three sixes and Joe Root 69-ball 73 featuring six fours steered the tourists to 264-7 declared off just 35.5 overs.

Opener Zack Crawley, another centurion in the first-innings, made a 48-ball 50.

For Pakistan, pacers Naseem Shah, Mohammad Ali and leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood picked up two wickets apiece.

In the morning, Pakistan resumed the innings at 499-7 and were eventually bowled out for 579. All-rounder Agha Salman smashed his second Test half-century (53).

Debutant off spinner Will Jacks took six wickets for 161 while left-arm spinner Jack Leach claimed two. Pacemen James Anderson and Robinson shared one wicket apiece.

Scoreboard

ENGLAND: (1st Innings) 657 (H. Brook 153, Z. Crawley 122, O. Pope 108, B. Duckett 107; Zahid Mahmood 4-235, Naseem Shah 3-140) PAKISTAN (1st Innings, overnight 499-7):

Abdullah Shafique c Pope b Jacks 114

Imam-ul-Haq c Robinson b Leach 121

Azhar Ali lbw b Leach 27

Babar Azam c Leach b Jacks 136

Saud Shakeel c Pope b Robinson 37

Mohammad Rizwan c Stokes b Anderson 29

Agha Salman c Crawley b Jacks 53

Naseem Shah c Leach b Jacks 15

Zahid Mahmood st Pope b Jacks 17

Haris Rauf c Root b Jacks 12

Mohammad Ali not out 0

EXTRAS (B-15, NB-3) 18

TOTAL (all out, 155.3 overs) 579

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-225 (Abdullah), 2-245 (Imam), 3-290 (Azhar), 4-413 (Saud), 5-473 (Babar), 6-475 (Rizwan), 7-497 (Naseem), 8-554 (Salman), 9-576 (Zahid)

BOWLING: Anderson 22-4-52-1, Robinson 21-2-72-1 (3nb), Leach 49-7-190-2, Jacks 40.3-5-161-6, Root 16-3-54-0, Stokes 7-0-35-0

ENGLAND (2nd Innings):

Z. Crawley c Rizwan b Ali 50

B. Duckett c Salman b Naseem 0

O. Pope c Naseem b Ali 15

J. Root c Haq b Zahid 73

H. Brook b Naseem 87

B. Stokes c Shakeel b Zahid 0

W. Jacks c Imam b Salman 24

L. Livingstone not out 7

EXTRAS (LB-3, NB-5) 8

TOTAL (for seven wickets decl, 35.5 overs) 264

DID NOT BAT: O. Robinson, J. Leach, J. Anderson

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-1 (Duckett), 2-36 (Pope), 3-96 (Crawley), 4-192 (Root), 5-192 (Stokes), 6-248 (Jacks), 7-264 (Brook)

BOWLING: Naseem 9.5-0-66-2 (1nb), Ali 10-0-64-2 (3nb), Zahid 11-1-84-2, Salman 5-0-47-1 (1nb)

PAKISTAN (2nd Innings):

Abdullah Shafique c Brook b Robinson 6

Imam-ul-Haq not out 43

Azhar Ali retired hurt 0

Babar Azam c Pope b Stokes 4

Saud Shakeel not out 24

EXTRAS (NB-3) 3

TOTAL (for two wickets, 20 overs) 80

STILL TO BAT: Mohammad Rizwan, Agha Salman, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Ali, Zahid Mahmood

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-20 (Abdullah), 2-25 (Babar)

BOWLING: Robinson 5-0-22-1 (3nb), Stokes 4-0-20-1, Anderson 2-1-4-0, Leach 5-1-19-0, Jacks 2-0-12-0, Root 2-0-3-0.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

IMF’s unease
Updated 24 May, 2024

IMF’s unease

It is clear that the next phase of economic stabilisation will be very tough for most of the population.
Belated recognition
24 May, 2024

Belated recognition

WITH Wednesday’s announcement by three European states that they intend to recognise Palestine as a state later...
App for GBV survivors
24 May, 2024

App for GBV survivors

GENDER-based violence is caught between two worlds: one sees it as a crime, the other as ‘convention’. The ...
Energy inflation
Updated 23 May, 2024

Energy inflation

The widening gap between the haves and have-nots is already tearing apart Pakistan’s social fabric.
Culture of violence
23 May, 2024

Culture of violence

WHILE political differences are part of the democratic process, there can be no justification for such disagreements...
Flooding threats
23 May, 2024

Flooding threats

WITH temperatures in GB and KP forecasted to be four to six degrees higher than normal this week, the threat of...