Tuesday, January 31, 2023

England pull exciting 74-run win over Pakistan in first Test

England pull exciting 74-run win over Pakistan in first Test

RAWALPINDI (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.

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 579 (Babar Azam 136, Imam-ul-Haq 121, Abdullah Shafique 114; W. Jacks 6-161)

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 Mahmood                       73

H. Brook b Naseem                                 87

B. Stokes c Shakeel b Mahmood            0

W. Jacks c Haq b Salman                       24

L. Livingstone not out                              7

Extras (lb3, nb5)                                     8

Total (for seven wkts dec, 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 (nb1), Ali 10-0-64-2 (nb3), Mahmood 11-1-84-2, Agha 5-0-47-1 (nb1)

Pakistan 2nd innings

Abdullah Shafique c Brook b Robinson      6

Imam-ul-Haq c Pope b Anderson               48

Azhar Ali c Root b Robinson                      40

Babar Azam c Pope b Stokes                     4

Saud Shakeel c sub (Jennings) b Robinson 76

Mohammad Rizwan c Pope b Anderson     46

Agha Salman lbw b Robinson                    30

Naseem Shah lbw b Leach                         6

Zahid Mahmood c Pope b Anderson          1

Haris Rauf lbw b Anderson                         0 

Mohammad Ali not out                                0

Extras (lb3, nb8)                                        11

Total (all out; 96.3 overs)                           268

Fall of wickets: 1-20 (Shafique), 2-25 (Babar Azam), 3-89 (Haq), 4-176 (Rizwan), 5-198 (Shakeel), 6-259 (Salman), 7-260 (Azhar), 8-264 (Mahmood), 9-264 (Rauf)

Bowling: Robinson 22-6-50-4 (nb5), Stokes 20-4-69-1 (nb3), Anderson 24-12-36-4, Leach 18.3-6-56-1, Jacks 6-0-38-0, Root 6-0-16-0

Note: Azhar Ali retired hurt with the score on 20-1 and resumed his innings on 176-4

Result: England win by 74 runs

Toss: England

Umpires: Joel Wilson (WIS) and Ahsan Raza (PAK)

TV umpire: Marias Erasmus (RSA)

Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)