Magnificent England claim famous victory over Pakistan on dramatic final day

By Sports Desk December 05, 2022

Ollie Robinson and James Anderson starred as England claimed a famous 74-run win in an enthralling first Test against Pakistan at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Ben Stokes was rewarded for a bold declaration when the tourists claimed a first away victory over Pakistan in the longest format for 22 years on a benign pitch late on the final day.

Robinson took 4-50 and the evergreen Anderson 4-36 before Jack Leach ended a defiant last-wicket stand with the light  fading to bowl Babar Azam's side out for 268 after they were set 343 to win.

England's seamers were outstanding, generating sharp reverse swing with an old ball to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series in their first Test in Pakistan for 17 years.

Anderson struck an early blow after Pakistan resumed on 80-2, snaring Imam-ul-Haq caught behind by Ollie Pope down the leg side for 48.

Saud Shakeel (76) and Mohammad Rizwan (46) took their side on to 169-3 at lunch, but Pakistan's wicketkeeper-batsman nicked Anderson through to Pope early in the afternoon session.

Keaton Jennings, the substitute fielder due to a tour-ending knee injury sustained by Liam Livingstone, took a brilliant diving catch at short cover off the bowling of Robinson to remove Shakeel.

Azhar Ali (40) played with great composure, after retiring hurt on day four with a finger injury, as he combined with Agha Salman to frustrate the tourists, Stokes and Anderson bowling excellent spells without further reward.

Pope dropped Azhar off Robinson down the leg side off the next ball, but the seamer ended a stand of 61 by trapping Salman leg before and then had Azhar caught by Joe Root at leg slip.

Naseem Shah had a huge stroke of luck with the first ball he faced when Robinson clipped his off stump but the bails stayed on, but Pakistan were eight down when Pope took a stunning catch for Anderson down the leg side to see the back of Zahid Mahmood.

Anderson got Haris Rauf lbw and although Mohammad Ali and Naseem dug in for just under nine overs, the latter fell lbw to Leach to give England one of their greatest wins after Stokes left it late to take the new ball.

 

Robinson and Anderson swing the game in England's favour

You would expect the spinners to play a massive part on the final day, but it was the reverse swing generated by England's seamers that was crucial.

Robinson generated sharp movement in the air, striking twice early in the last session to set England well on their way to victory.

Anderson was also magnificent, the 40-year-old once again showing age is no barrier as he bowled 24 probing overs on a lifeless pitch.

Stokes can do no wrong

Captain Stokes became only the third England captain to win a Test in Pakistan after Ted Dexter and Nasser Hussain.

The skipper could not have wished for a better start to his reign, beating New Zealand, South Africa and India on home soil this year and leading the side superbly in this remarkable Test.

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