England beat Pakistan by 74 runs to win first Test in Rawalpindi

Published December 5, 2022
England’s players celebrates after their victory at the end of the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi on December 5, 2022. — AFP
England’s players celebrates after their victory at the end of the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi on December 5, 2022. — AFP
Saud Shakeel plays a shot during the first Test between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Monday. — Reuters
Saud Shakeel plays a shot during the first Test between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Monday. — Reuters
Saud Shakeel (L) and teammate Mohammad Rizwan walk back to the pavilion during a break on the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi on December 5. — AFP
Saud Shakeel (L) and teammate Mohammad Rizwan walk back to the pavilion during a break on the fifth and final day of the first cricket Test match between Pakistan and England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, in Rawalpindi on December 5. — AFP

Fast bowlers Ollie Robinson and James Anderson took four wickets apiece as England pulled off an exciting 74-run win over Pakistan Monday in the first Test in Rawalpindi.

Anderson took 4-36 and Robinson 4-50 on a placid Rawalpindi Stadium pitch to dismiss Pakistan for 268, with the stadium floodlights glowing as daylight faded.

Pakistan's last pair of Naseem Shah (six) and Mohammad Ali (nought) defied England for 35 minutes and 8.5 overs before spinner Jack Leach trapped Naseem leg-before, leaving England players ecstatic.

The win — giving England a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series — embellished England's newly adopted “Bazball” cricket, an aggressive style taken from the nickname of head coach Brendon McCullum.

Skipper Ben Stokes was also active throughout the day, keeping unrelenting pressure on the Pakistan batters with close-set fields and intelligent bowling changes.

The win is England's seventh in eight Tests under the new management of McCullum and Stokes, installed in May this year.

It was achieved after dangling the carrot-like target of 343 runs for Pakistan to win in a possible 130 overs.

For a while, they had their chance.

At tea, Pakistan were 257-5 — needing 86 runs to win in an intriguing last session.

England needed five wickets, and Robinson struck in the fourth over after the break, trapping Agha Salman leg-before for 30.

In his next over he claimed Azhar Ali for 40 to bring England close to victory.

At the other end, Anderson removed Zahid Mahmood (one) and Haris Rauf (nought) in the same over as four wickets fell for just seven runs.

A total of 1,236 runs were scored by the two teams in their first innings — England 657 and Pakistan 579 — before the visitors set the Test alight by declaring their second innings at 264-7 on Sunday.

Pakistan batted with caution in the first session as they progressed from an overnight total of 80-2 to 169-3, losing opener Imam-ul-Haq for 48 to pacer Anderson.

Mohammad Rizwan was one of two wickets to fall in the second session for 46, putting a fighting 87-run stand for the fourth wicket with Saud Shakeel, who scored 76.

In the fourth over after lunch, Anderson had Rizwan caught behind while Robinson dismissed Shakeel to an excellent catch by substitute Keaton Jennings at short cover.

England are on their first Test tour of Pakistan since 2005, having declined to visit in the interim years on security grounds.

The second Test is in Multan from December 9 to 13, and the third in Karachi from December 17 to 21.

Opinion

Editorial

Spirit of ’74
26 Feb, 2024

Spirit of ’74

FOR three days in 1974, starting Feb 22, Lahore witnessed an epochal meeting of 38 Muslim nations as it hosted the...
Silence strategy
Updated 26 Feb, 2024

Silence strategy

Attempts at internet censorship only serve to tarnish Pakistan’s image globally and betray the democratic principles the country purports to uphold.
Nepra’s reluctance
26 Feb, 2024

Nepra’s reluctance

WHAT is the point in having a regulator that does not punish the entities it oversees for misconduct and...
Pipeline progress
25 Feb, 2024

Pipeline progress

THE outgoing caretaker government has decided to move forward with the much-delayed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline...
Engaging the Taliban
25 Feb, 2024

Engaging the Taliban

DEALING with the Taliban — Afghanistan’s de facto rulers — continues to present a diplomatic dilemma for the...
Burden or opportunity?
Updated 25 Feb, 2024

Burden or opportunity?

Maryam Nawaz is embarking on a journey of challenges and opportunities.