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ENGLAND V PAKISTAN TESTS

Dramatic win gives Pakistan 1-0 lead

17 July 2016
MATCH REPORT

Shah claims 10, Amir gets match winner as Pakistan secure a famous victory at Lord's

England v Pakistan Tests, First Test

ENG
PAK

Pakistan have gone 1-0 up in their Test series against England after a superb fourth-day bowling performance saw the tourists claim a 75-run victory at Lord’s.

England, at times, fought valiantly but Pakistan’s bowlers ultimately proved too much to handle on a wearing wicket, Yasir Shah again the standout with 4-69 to secure a 10-wicket haul in his first Test outside Asia.

Quick Single: England v Pakistan: by the numbers

After collapsing to 6-139 before tea in pursuit of 283, a fighting partnership from Jonny Bairstow (48) and Chris Woakes (23) kept the hosts in the game. But when Bairstow was bowled by man-of-the-match Shah, England's lower-order crumbled, eventually bowled out for 215.

Well-drilled Pakistan savour famous win
 

It sparked a remarkable celebration from the Pakistan side, who, as their captain Misbah-ul-Haq had done upon reaching his first-innings century, completed a set of push-ups in front of the Member's pavilion.

Pakistan excelled in conditions that became more and more familiar to them as this match wore on. The dry Lord's pitch offered increasing amounts - and varying degrees - of turn to Shah, as well as reverse swing for their pacemen, who all bowled with tremendous stamina and pace.

Wahab Riaz came into his own after tea with an outstanding, though unrewarded, spell of reverse-swing bowling to Bairstow and Woakes.

Wahab wows with sizzling reverse-swing spell

Operating from over the wicket at first, the left-armer probed the two right-handers, aiming at their stumps before shifting the ball away.

He switched to around the wicket, perhaps only because he'd received a second warning from umpire Kumar Dharmasena for running on the pitch, and became even more dangerous.

Quick Single: Military precision pushes proud Pakistan

Wahab frequently beat the outside edges of both batsmen, who were either unwilling - or, considering how late he had the old Dukes pill moving, unable - to leave the ball.

With Shah wheeling away from the other end, it was Test cricket at its most gripping; two bowlers in their element frequently asking questions of two dogged batsmen battling to survive.

Shah finally broke the partnership, which yielded 56 runs off 190 balls, when the resilient Bairstow seemingly had a slight lapse of concentration and was bowled by one that kept a fraction low.

Amir then struck immediately, clean bowling Broad for one, and followed up with the wicket of No.11 Jake Ball to send Pakistan into rapturous celebrations.

Resuming at 8-214, Pakistan added just the one run to their overnight lead as as Stuart Broad had both Shah (30) and Mohmmad Amir (1) caught behind.

After another wayward start from Pakistan's new-ball pair of Rahat Ali and Amir, the former claimed the crucial wicket of Alastair Cook with one that held its line up the Lord's slope, which had the England captain edging behind for eight.

Alex Hales then played a shot he'd rather forget, attempting to cut a Rahat delivery angled across him, but only managing to guide it into the slip cordon where Mohammad Hafeez, who dropped Cook off Amir in England's first innings, took a sharp catch to his left. 

England's new No.3 Joe Root became Rahat's third victim when he pulled a short ball in the air and Shah calmly pouched it like an AFL centre-half-forward taking a mark on the lead.

Resuming after lunch, Wahab had James Vince caught at second slip by Younis Khan, who'd nearly taken a stunning one-handed catch off the same batsman prior to the break, making no mistake this time around as he parried it up and caught the rebound.

Quick Single: Redemption and a 'new life' for Amir

Vince had rattled along to 42 off just 49 balls but the right-hander's dismissal came as Wahab had discovered the reverse swing.

While Vince had ridden his luck, Gary Ballance, recalled to England's Test side for the first time since last year's Ashes, looked comparatively assured.

Pakistan's seamers targeted the left-hander's stumps, as did Yasir Shah from around the wicket, but he nudged his way to 43 when he pulled Shah for four, piercing the two men out on the leg-side boundary on a short ball that kept low. 

The next ball however, Ballance was bowled by a big-turning leg break, the 26-year-old finishing well outside his off-stump as the ball clattered into middle and leg.

It was a superb bit of bowling from Shah, who had switched to the Nursery End and looked to benefit from spinning the ball down the famed Lord's slope.

Moeen Ali became the leggie's eighth victim for the match when he danced down the track to his fourth ball, failing to connect with a mighty swing and was bowled. 

England have talked often in recent times about playing fearless cricket but this was a high-risk stroke so early in his innings, one that showed little regard for the difficult conditions, the high-class Pakistan bowling and the hard graft required to counter those two factors.

It marked the end of the resistance, and Pakistan take first blood in what is quickly proving to be a gripping Test series.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith