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Open letter to the Pakistan team after their win in the Lord’s Test

Misbah-ul-Haq Pakistan
Pakistan’s captain Misbah-ul-Haq (2R) congratulates the players at the end of the first Test cricket match. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

To the Pakistan Cricket Team,

First of all, thank you team Pakistan for our first victory in 20 years at the Mecca of Cricket and many congratulations to Yasir Shah on becoming the first leg-spinner to be ranked number 1 Test bowler in 11 years. I still remember the last time when we won at Lord’s, Wasim Akram picked up the last England wicket, and the leggie Mushtaq Ahmed picking up a five-wicket haul in the second inning along with Waqar Younis who picked up 8 wickets in the match. There was a centurion also in the match, Inzamam-ul-Haq who’s scores of 148 & 70 ensured that Pakistan took the lead in the first Test of the series.

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They say history repeats itself and here we are, 20 years later, another left-arm swing bowler Mohammad Amir picking up the last England wicket. Another leggie by the name of Yasir Shah spinning his way to record books and a fighting centurion and the other ul-Haq of the Pakistan Team, the 42-years-young captain Misbah. So much similar to our last victory at Lord’s!

Much was said about the comeback man Mohammad Amir prior to the Test match with experts labeling the series as Amir vs England but it turned out far from expectations. When you were struggling at 77/3 in the first innings I felt quite uncomfortable. But as soon as the two most composed batsmen of our country started knitting together a valuable partnership, deep down I knew that if we could get to 350, it would be enough to gain the upper hand with the kind of bowling attack we have.

Also read – 5 Reasons why Misbah-ul-Haq is the best thing that happened to Pakistan cricket in the last decade

But the way Misbah batted at what could most probably be his first and only Test at Lord’s, it was a great rejoice for us fans. We knew he would never shoulder arms easily against the England bowlers and it was a proud moment to see his name engraved on the Honors Board at Lord’s.

I was shocked to see Alastair Cook and Joe Root thrashing our bowlers at over 4 runs an over, all the hype surrounding our attack looked like nothing since we dropped Cook twice off Amir but when Hafeez caught the skier to dismiss Root, it was such a relief to see the back of the best England batsman. Our man with the golden arm, Yasir Shah ran through the England middle order like a knife through butter. And it was a lovely sight to see Amir disturbing Cook’s timber.

To be honest, I was sure that a 67-run lead will prove insurmountable for England. But I became skeptical soon when the scoreline read 60/4, our captain was dismissed without troubling the scorers off the second ball to a totally outrageous shot. Thank God you guys managed to extend the lead to 281. Asad Shafiq was brilliant in this Test match and proved his worth in the most desperate times scoring 73 and 49 under tough circumstances.

Although 282 was a tough target, England started off quite positively and we were afraid of losing this Test match after so much of hard work. Ever since he dropped Shane Watson in the World Cup match, Rahat Ali had generated quite a lot of heat amongst us fans, but now after watching his efforts, I have nothing but admiration for this man.

Also read – Shane Warne is my hero and Mushtaq Ahmed my teacher: Yasir Shah

Wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals but there was a time when England clawed their way back Gary Ballance and Jonny Bairstow were at the crease but just then we witnessed our very own version of Shane Warne’s “Ball of the Century” by Yasir Shah, who cleaned up the middle order yet again and finished with a 10-wicket haul from the match. And finally it was thrilling to see Amir deliver those reverse swinging yorker and clean up the tail. We are so excited to see him in full flight in the upcoming games.

A great coincidence being Yasir became the fist leg spinner to become number 1 Test bowler in 11 years, the last one was Mushtaq Ahmed, the man who played an instrumental role in Pakistan’s last Test match victory at Lord’s. And boy did we love your celebrations! That tribute to the Pakistani troops was so respectful and amazing. Kudos to the one who came up with this idea.

Although you are the only team who can win despite playing poorly and lose despite playing well. I hope you build on this amazing performance and come back with the trophy. There was not a dull moment in the whole game, a big ‘Thank You’ for all your efforts and entertaining cricket.

Sincerely,

Pakistan Cricket fans

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