Pak vs Eng 1st Test: England register thrilling 74-run win over Pakistan on Day 5 at Rawalpindi

Chasing 343 to win, Pakistan were bowled out for 268 on Day 5

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, December 05, 2022, 05:11 PM IST
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England's attacking approach paid dividends as they registered a thrilling 74-run win over Pakistan in the first Test in Rawalpindi on Monday.

Chasing 343 to win, Pakistan were bowled out for 268 on Day 5

Pakistan needed 86 runs for victory in the last session while England were 5 wickets away from winning the Test.

Veteran James Anderson struck twice on either side of the first two sessions on Day 5 with a hint of reverse swing on a docile wicket as Pakistan reached 257-5 at tea.

Azhar Ali (37 not out) was dropped by wicketkeeper Ollie Pope in the last over before tea as the ball flew off the inside edge down the leg side.

First-innings half centurion Agha Salman also survived two close lbw calls just before tea against Ollie Robinson and Jack Leach to keep Pakistan in the hunt with an unbeaten on 30.

Fading light has brought an early stumps over the last four days with a maximum of 23 overs bowled after tea on Day 3 and both teams will be pressing for victory in the first of the three-Test series.

Robinson ended the nearly four-hour defiance of debutant half century-maker Saud Shakeel (76) to a spectacular Keaton Jennings' diving catch at short mid off as England continued to challenge Pakistan with an attacking field setting.

Jennings was one of the several close in fielders stationed by fearless captain Ben Stokes throughout the first two sessions as Shakeel was lured to play an uppish drive away from his body soon after Anderson bowled another miserly spell and had Mohammad Rizwan (46) caught behind.

Jennings had dropped Shakeel late on the fourth day after England made a bold declaration and set Pakistan a challenging target of 343 in four sessions. He had been fielding in place of allrounder Liam Livingstone, who injured his right knee on Day 2, and will be flying back home on Tuesday.

Earlier, Anderson denied Imam-ul-Haq a half century after Pakistan resumed on 80-2 and reached 169-3 in the first session.

Shakeel completed his fifty while Rizwan, who took 45 minutes before scoring his first runs off the 24th ball he faced, reached 42 off the next 62 balls as Stokes persisted with his attacking field settings.

England's recent aggressive approach to make five-day Test cricket more entertaining under the coaching of Brendon McCullum led to them racking up 657 and 264-7 declared on a flat Pindi Cricket Stadium wicket, with four of its top five batters smashing hundreds in the first innings.

Pakistan made 579 on the back of three centuries, but England took a gamble in hope of victory in its first test in Pakistan in 17 years when declaring the second innings closed at tea on Sunday, giving Pakistan a full four sessions to achieve their target.

Anderson had Imam caught down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Ollie Pope in the day's sixth over as the left-hander tried to work the fast bowler off his hip.

Stokes dried up the runs by placing men close to Rizwan's bat on both sides of the wicket, before the batter accelerated against the spinners to help Pakistan make 89 runs in the day's first session.

Rizwan got off the mark with two boundaries against offspinner Will Jacks, and Shakeel completed his maiden test fifty in a more traditional test-match style, off 104 balls, when he lofted over leftarm spinner Jack Leach for a straight four.

Stokes persisted with attacking fields but Rizwan changed gears in the latter half of the first session by smashing five fours and a six each against Leach and Jacks.

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