Pakistan needs just 64 to win 1st test v England
LONDON (AP) Pakistan cruised to a nine-wicket win over England in the first test on Sunday, needing just one session on Day 4 to take four wickets and then chase down a victory target of 64 at Lord’s.
England resumed on 235-6 and with a lead of 56 runs, but lost its last four wickets for seven runs in 25 balls.
Pakistan lost Azhar Ali (4) early in its chase but Imam-ul-Haq (18 not out) and Haris Sohail (39 not out) saw the tourists home on 66-1, 30 minutes before lunch.
The second and final test begins Friday at Leeds, with England potentially already needing to rejig its team after rolling over meekly at the home of cricket to extend its winless run in tests to eight matches.
It started going wrong for England at the toss, when captain Joe Root chose to bat first in what proved to be good conditions to bowl. His team was dismissed for 184 and was chasing the game thereafter.
Pakistan played the better, more disciplined cricket in almost every session, taking a 179-run lead after the first innings and then reducing England to 110-6 – opening up the possibility of a humiliating innings defeat.
Jos Buttler and Dom Bess survived to the close on Day 3, and needed to stick around at least until after lunch to given England a glimmer of hope.
Buttler lasted eight balls.
He had added one run to his overnight 66 when he was trapped lbw by Mohammad Abbas. Ten balls later, Mark Wood feathered a catch behind to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed off Mohammad Amir for 4, and Stuart Broad (0) did the same the next over off Abbas.
Amir also took the final wicket, removing the off stump of overnight batsman Dom Bess for 57. James Anderson was 0 not out.
Amir and Abbas finished the innings with four wickets apiece.
Anderson bowled Azhar in the third over but Sohail didn’t hang around, hitting six fours and a six in a 32-ball knock.
England is in turmoil in the longer format, having lost the Ashes series 4-0 in the past year and then 1-0 to New Zealand in a two-test series.
”We were outperformed in all three departments (batting, bowling and fielding),” Root said of the loss to Pakistan. ”It’s a difficult pill to swallow. We have to be better.”
Root said he had no regrets about opting to bat first.
”If we bat well and get something near 250 or 300,” he said, ”it would be a closer game on that surface.”