Yasir leads Pakistan to victory over England at Lord’s
LONDON – Pakistan foiled a gutsy England run chase to win a gripping first test by 75 runs at Lord’s on Sunday.
Having set the hosts a 283 victory target after their second innings was ended on 215 in the morning, Pakistan’s bowlers, led by leg spinner Yasir Shah, provided a masterclass to bowl England out for 207. Mohammad Amir, back from a five-year ban for spot-fixing, sealed victory when he clean bowled Jake Ball.
England had never chased down such a total at Lord’s and while Jonny Bairstow was at the crease they appeared to still have a chance but he was undone by Yasir when he was two short of his half century. The end was nigh after that as the final three wickets went down for 11 runs.
Pakistan’s players celebrated victory by doing press-ups in front of their jubilant supporters. “It is one of the top wins as captain and for Pakistan as a team,” captain Misbah-ul-Haq said. “I am very proud of the team and the way they came out and showed really good skills.
“Today, mentally everybody was strong, and were patient. Everyone bowled well, especially Yasir Shah.”
England began the chase confidently with Alastair Cook striking a boundary off his first ball, but the skipper was dispatched after he stabbed at Rahat Ali’s delivery and was caught by Sarfraz Ahmed.
“There’s a bitter taste in the dressing room,” conceded Cook. “Some of the shots (were risky) but it’s up to the individuals to change.
“I always thought we were two wickets behind where we wanted to be.”
Alex Hales soon followed his captain to the pavilion after top-edging Rahat to Mohammad Hafeez before Rahat removed dangerman Joe Root for nine after he played a careless pull shot and was caught in the deep by Yasir.
James Vince (42) and Gary Ballance (43) chipped away at Pakistan’s lead with valuable contributions but Vince got a thick edge driving Wahab Riaz and was caught at the second attempt by Younus Khan at second slip.
Ballance had just struck Yasir confidently to the boundary when he was bowled by a beauty, the ball jagging back from outside off stump after pitching in the rough.
Moeen Ali hardly helped England’s cause, dismissed for two when he charged at a Yasir delivery and was bowled to leave England on 139 for six.
Bairstow and Chris Woakes stemmed the flow of wickets and kept the scoreboard ticking during a tense afternoon but England eventually succumbed to Pakistan’s relentless attack.
Stuart Broad misjudged one from left-arm fast bowler Amir and was bowled for one. Shah took his 10th wicket in the match when Woakes was caught by Younus before Amir finished it off. “It’s really frustrating but we’ve lost before,” Cook added. “We can bounce back. Credit to Pakistan. We’re very confident we can beat them, but we have to get better.”
Earlier England quickly polished off Pakistan’s second innings with the visitors adding only one run to their overnight total of 214. Wicketkeeper Bairstow had faced criticism on Saturday, but he got rid of Yasir (30) with an athletic one-handed catch in the first over as Broad became the third English bowler to take 350 test wickets. Broad then had Amir caught behind. -Reuters