Its a top win as captain and for the Pakistan team: Misbah-ul-Haq

Yasir Shah Pakistan Misbah-ul-Haq
Pakistan’s Yasir Shah (R) celebrates taking the wicket of England’s Chris Woakes for 23 runs. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan beat England by 75 runs in the first Test of the four-match series at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. After managing a slender first innings lead they scored well in the second to give England a total of 283 to chase for the victory. Yasir Shah was brilliant in both the innings and so was Chris Woakes. Both the bowlers finished with 10-wicket match hauls.

Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq’s hundred in the first inning and Asad Shafiq’s sensible knocks in both the innings was a crucial element in the game. England batsmen did score runs but failed to convert them. One among those who scored the 30s and 40s should have carried it on; had that happened it would have been a different story. But Pakistan deserved this victory. They worked hard for it and earned every right to walk out of the Lord’s with their heads held high.


In the post-match press conference skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said, “Of course, career is not 42 years, maybe 15 years. You could say its a top win as captain and Pakistan team, really proud of the team, how they fought and how they showed really good skills. Especially today, mentally they were strong and they should such patience. Yasir Shah bowled brilliantly for us,”

He was pleased with his team’s effort. They came back to the same venue after six years and were successful in turning things around. “Remarkable turnaround after that 2010 incident, this team took responsibility. They showed respect to the game, playing all through the six years, bringing the team to No. 3. And winning this Test match against a top side in their conditions speaks volumes of our team,” he said.

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Misbah also emphasized on the point that despite the air that was created around Mohammad Amir’s comeback, the crowd rather supported and cheered the youngster and that gave him a lot of confidence. “Everybody wants Amir to play, the crowd especially, the supporters. Everyone believes he is such a good cricketer, it’s something special for him also, he is part of a team which has won a Test match here. It’s a really memorable day for him and from here he can start his career again, he is a good kid now.”

“If we can cross 300, we have a chance, especially in the first innings. We have a top spinner and the bowlers in the fourth innings, they can put so much pressure with reverse swing and making it really difficult for the opposition. Live by the sword, die by the sword. You have to back yourself, if someone invites you to play your favourite shot, you play it. The celebration was again for the same camp, we enjoyed that camp and it was again a message to those guys and we have been really working hard and I think they would have really enjoyed this celebration. I would like to dedicate this win to Abdul Sattar Edhi [a philanthropist and a social activist]. They supported good cricket, they enjoyed the cricket and we love playing cricket here,” the Pakistan skipper concluded saying.

Yasir Shah was awarded the Man of the Match for his brilliant bowling that ensured Pakistan a first innings lead and that the game didn’t go into the fifth day. Bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed accompanied him to translate his response. Shah said, “Thanks to mighty Allah. First Test match at Lord’s and England, very happy with it. At the start it wasn’t spinning much, so I was just concentrating on my action and line and length and that helps me get into rhythm. I was lucky to get lots of wickets in the first innings. I was concentrating more on my batting today. I wanted to get a fifty today, but I couldn’t. I was very focussed though, even with the pressure.”

He played a crucial role in the second inning, breaking the middle order resistance and then exposing the tail to Amir. “You always rely on a spinner on the fourth and fifth day and that puts pressure on us. Dedicating my performance to my team, whenever I was drifting, trying to bowl the magic ball, they told me to keep going, keep bowling maidens and that will get me wickets. I am using Inti [Intikhab Alam, team manager] and myself [Mushtaq] for their experience. We had a plan, bowling from one end in the first innings, and then another in the second innings,” the leggie said.

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When Michael Atherton asked him who he thinks is the better bowler between himself and Mushtaq Ahmend? Shah said, “I think Mushtaq”

England skipper Alastair Cook was disappointed starting the series with a defeat but they were defeated quite comprehensively by a spirited opposition. Cook said, “That 75 runs in the first innings, we left a few out there,”

The wicket at Lord’s was dry and if Atherton is to be believed similar pitches await the team at the remaining venues as well. “The pitch was certainly better to bat on the first and second days. When you lose a game of cricket, and we were always slightly behind. I thought we were okay on the first day, and then on the second day to allow Yasir to take six wickets when the ball wasn’t turning – he bowled beautifully – but that hurt us. Chris Woakes was outstanding, not many seamers take 11 wickets at Lord’s. There’s a bitter taste in the dressing room right now. Some of the shots [in the second innings was risky] But it’s up to the individuals to change. I always thought we were two wickets behind than we wanted to be. It’s really frustrating. we’ve lost before, we can bounce back. That’s the wrong way to look at things, we have a side that was good enough to win, it’s great to have Ben and Jimmy back, they seem to be back, but we have to digest this overnight and pick a squad for Old Trafford. Credit to Pakistan, but we’re very confident we can beat them, but we have to get better,” Cook said.

Also read – Eng v Pak 1st Test Review: Pakistan register historic win as England crumble in the second inning