Pakistan beat England emphatically by 9 wickets — Match Review
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Pakistan cruised to a victory at Lords on Sunday with a convincing nine wicket victory against a feeble England. The defeat means England have not won a test match since the victory over the West Indies last summer, and is the first time England have lost the first test of the summer in 25 years. Jos Butler and Debutant Dom Bess’ 100 partnership at the end of the third day gave England a little hope, but this hope dissipated when Butler was trapped LBW by Mohammed Abbas and England were bowled out having lost four wickets for seven runs on Sunday morning. The Pakistanis, coached by South African Mickey Arthur, were the best team throughout the match, arguably winning every session in the Test bar one. Despite losing the toss Micky Arthur’s men started on the front foot with only Alastair Cook providing any support with the bat (70). Quality bowling from Abbas and vibrant fast bowler Hasan Ali meant England were toppled over for just 184 in 58.2 overs. Pakistan looked to assert dominance in the Test match by setting a big total and they did just that. Albeit with some searching and sometimes quality bowling from Ben Stokes (3-73) and James Anderson (3-82), the Pakistani’s reached 363 all out, a target that gave them a comfortable 173 run lead. Debutant Dom Bess failed to threaten the Pakistani batsmen on a pitch that offered little to the spinners in the first three days. The one worry for Pakistan was Babar Azam, who retired hurt after suffering a nasty blow from a Ben Stokes delivery. Azam was taken to hospital and had suffered a broken wrist, an injury that would prevent him from batting the second innings. Despite being down a batsmen, inspired bowling and some ill-considered batting meant England were again bowled out for a sub-par total. Jos Butler’s and Dom Bess’ 67 and 57 respectively gave England some hope at the end of Day 3, but quality new ball bowling from Abbas (4-41) and Amir (4-36) shattered any hopes England had, as they were bowled out for 242 leaving the tourists 62 to win. Jimmy Anderson was able to bowl Azhar Ali for 4, but this did nothing but slow the inevitable loss as Imam-ul-Haq and Haris Sohail tore into the England bowlers awarding them the deserved 9 wicket victory. WHAT THE TEAMS SAID England coach Trevor Bayliss was not only disappointed with the result but especially the performance that his England team gave. Speaking to Sky Sports he said: “From a batting point of view, it was nowhere near good enough for Test level. Obviously, the Pakistanis bowled well, but we've got to be better than that.” England Captain Joe Root agreed with Bayliss, admitting England were not good enough. "If I'm being brutally honest, we were outperformed in all three departments and it's a difficult pill to swallow. I'm sure we can bounce back and we've got an opportunity to do that.” Pakistan head coach Mickey Athur spoke a lot before the Test about discipline and how his team must employ discipline in all areas of cricket in order to defeat England. After the victory, Arthur said how pleased he was in achieving what they had set out to do. “I think what has pleased me most is the consistency, the consistency and discipline that we have shown in all areas of our game.” Since taking the reins as Pakistan Head Coach Arthur has reinvigorated the team following the turbulent few years that the team have faced, and this monumental victory at Lords may well be the start of an upswing for Pakistani cricket. The loss for England will again arouse questions of the England Test team and the Head Coach Trevor Bayliss. They will have the opportunity to draw the series at Headingely on Thursday, a Test Match that will likely have a lot of negative connotations if England fail to win. Image rights - Both images - Wikimedia Commons
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