Pakistan thrash England to take 1-0 lead in series

Hosts were bundled out for 242 in second innings, giving a meagre target of 64 runs at Lord's

Pakistan thrash England to take 1-0 lead in series PHOTO: Reuters

Pakistan defeated England by nine wickets in the first of two Tests at Lord's on Sunday. 

The visitors now lead the hosts 1-0 in the two-match series with the second match set to start on June 1 at Leeds.

Pakistan has comprehensively defeated England in the first Test match at Lord’s to take an unassailable lead in the two-Test series.

On the fourth day, Pakistan chased down England’s target of 64 runs for the loss of one wicket. Earlier the visiting bowlers had swiftly picked up the remaining English wickets to set up an easy win for Pakistan.

Despite starting the series as underdogs, Pakistan dominated the Test match right from the outset and at no point gave England the opportunity to get their noses in front.

Defeating the home side in the first Test of the English summer is an extraordinary achievement by the Pakistan side, bearing in mind the fact that this was the first time in 23 years that a team had managed to attain such a feat.

Joe Root would have expected his side to put on a good show with the bat after having won the toss but instead it was the Pakistan bowlers who pushed England on the back-foot by rolling the side over for 184 runs.

It was not just about Pakistan’s bowling as the batsmen also came good which ensured that their team got a substantial first innings lead.

Having conceded a 166-run lead, England had their backs against the wall in the second innings as well, losing six wickets for a total of just 110 runs. If it was not for Jos Buttler and Dominic Bess’ brilliant partnership; an innings defeat was firmly on the cards.

 It was fascinating to see how Pakistan tackled the conditions in better than their counterparts despite being the away side. The bowlers consistently bowled on the right channels, adopting a nagging line and length, while the batsmen were far more convincing with their batting technique and approach towards the game.  

Pakistan has a lot of positives to pick out of this match meanwhile England has a lot to think about in the upcoming few days.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed could not contain his happiness after the win and praised the entire team for the effort they put in to defeat England.

“The way my team is playing, I am proud of my team. They are young players and yet they rose up to the challenge. I am extremely proud of my team. All of the boys,” he said.

Talking about how this inexperienced side was able to rise up to the occasion, Sarfraz said: “This is an inexperienced side with 12 of our team haven’t played here.  We have worked really hard and have improved our bowling and fielding. We dropped a bit of catches against Ireland but we gave our best to ensure we improve.”

Sarfraz also provided an update on Babar Azam, who injured his forearm in the first innings, revealing that the 23-year-old would not be able to play any part in the second Test.

“Babar Azam will not be fit for the second Test match. That is a disappointment but that’s how it is,” he said.

Meanwhile, player of the match, Mohammad Abbas, who took four wickets in each innings, thanked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for allowing him travel to England well before the team.

“I am really happy with my performance. My first game at Lord’s, full-house; I just loved it here. I thank the PCB for allowing me to play with Leicester and acclimatise to the conditions. Coming here a few weeks before the team helped me a lot and I am really happy about that,” he said.

The second and final Test of the series will be a must win game for the English side, as they look to avoid a home defeat against Pakistan for the first time in 22 years.