Pakistan beat England at Lord's - Overwhelmingly Clinical: Pakistan Zindabad
Yes I am going to give my age away. Having watched and followed Pakistan cricket for more than four decades now, it is impossible to compare their latest Test win at Lord’s, with anything in the past. The fourth-innings run chase has really been its weakest point, regardless of the runs required or the opposition. Even the great Pakistan sides from the bygone era were inclined to make a mess of things, even when eventually they did cross the finish line.
1st Test At Lord's
England v Pakistan
Pakistan won by 9 wickets
The calmness displayed by the two left-handers, Imam-ul-Haq and Haris Sohail, with very little experience of five-day cricket to lean on, was dare I say, so alien to Pakistan supporters. The word clinical is being thrown about a lot but that in fact sits very well with this emphatic 9-wicket win by the tourists. A new chapter has begun in the history of Pakistan cricket as far as the fourth-innings run-chase is concerned.
The prospect of England setting Pakistan a tantalizing fourth-innings target say between150 to 180 runs, was quickly laid to rest. The seam bowlers with an overnight rest and a touch favourable muggy conditions to bowl in, were on the money from the word go and claimed the last four English wickets in no time, with not even quarter of the seats occupied at Lord’s yet.
Mohammad Abbas, rightly named Player of the Match, was quick to bring the names of Glenn McGrath and Mohammad Asif, in his post-match interview. Very rightly so, for he is quite similar in his wicket-to-wicket method to the other two from the past. His success through probing line and length throughout his outstanding match figures of 8 for 64 off 31 overs, in the opening Test of the 2018 summer, has brought the pitches used for Pakistan domestic cricket in the spotlight. For better or worse, it seems the bowlers are playing a more dominant role at that level of cricket in the country. Abbas, who hails from Sialkot, has been a real find in the last year or so and one also hopes he does not require, Wasim Akram as interpreter, when talking to the media, on his next tour of England. It is a sad reflection on the country’s education system that only a small minority is given an opportunity to polish and groom their skills for international stage.
Pakistan’s fifth Test victory at Lord’s today, took one’s thought to its first one, back in August 1982, achieved amid great excitement, with rain threatening any minute. Mohsin Khan and his stand-in opening partner, Javed Miandad, doing the business for Pakistan to claim its first Test win on an England soil after 28 years. Having survived through nail-biting final moments of the day, one was entitled to celebrate it with an orange slush in a corner shop in Rawalpindi Cantonement.
© Cricket World 2018