Sunday, May 28, 2023

    PAK Vs ENG : Pakistan needs 263 runs to beat rampant England in 1st Test(Day 5)

    RAWALPINDI — Rampant England pushed its 1st test in Pakistan in 17-years to an exciting last-day finish after setting a brave target of 343 runs for the home team on Sunday(December 4).

    Pakistan ended the 4th day at 80-2, needing a further 263 runs in a maximum of 90 overs left in the 1st test of the 3-match series.

    1st innings centurion ‘Imam-ul-Haq’ was not out on 43 off 60 balls while 1 of 4 Pakistan debutants, “Saud Shakeel”, was lucky to be there on 24 after Keaton Jennings couldn’t hold on to a 2-handed catch close to the wicket in the penultimate over of the day.

    “Ben Stokes”’ plan to start with a barrage of short-pitched balls paid dividends for England in the final session after the tourists declared their 2nd innings at 264-7 at tea for an overall lead of 342.

    “We’re confident we can do it,” England’s assistant coach Paul Collingwood said. “The boys have shown that they’ll come up with different plans & different ways… it’s going to be an exciting day tomorrow.

    “Some might say it’s an early declaration, (but) we’re not scared of losing & I think that’s a really good position to be in.”

    “Abdullah Shafique” (6), 1 of the 3 Pakistan 1st innings century-makers, fell into England’s trap & pulled to Ollie Robinson in the deep before “Azhar Ali” was struck on his right index finger in the same over & left the field in pain.

    “Ben Stokes”, who shared the new ball with Robinson, got the faint inside edge of “Babar Azam” off another short pitch ball to reduce Pakistan to 25-2 before the 2 left-handers — Imam & Shakeel — batted confidently to produce a 55-run stand until Jennings’ missed opportunity.

    In its 1st innings, Pakistan’s lower order dug in to reduce England’s lead before getting dismissed for 579.

    “The aim in the camp is to win the match,” said Pakistan middle-order batter “Agha Salman”, who did the bulk of Pakistan’s scoring on Day 4. “We were expecting them to make a challenging declaration because that is the way they’ve been playing for quite some time now.”

    And England didn’t sit back on a wicket still conducive to batting & pushed its bid for victory with yet another electrifying display with the bat from the top order in the second session.

    “Joe Root” rocked 73 & “Harry Brook” followed his belligerent century in the 1st innings with 87 off 65 balls before getting bowled by fast bowler “Naseem Shah” (2-66).

    England added a brisk 218 runs in the 2nd session to finish the innings with a rapid run rate of 7.4 an over, which matched its first-innings aggression that saw the visitors rack up an electrifying total of 657.

    Despite losing first-innings century-makers “Ben Duckett” & “Ollie Pope”, England underlined its plan of setting up a target for Pakistan in reaching 46-2 in seven overs before lunch.

    Pakistan’s inexperienced bowling resources were further reduced when debutant fast bowler ‘Haris Rauf’ couldn’t recover from his strained right quad & was unable to bowl in the 2nd innings.

    “Joe Root” survived a scare shortly after completing his half-century when Naseem couldn’t hold on to a reverse sweep in the covers before legspinner Zahid Mahmood (2-84) dismissed him & then Ben Stokes for a duck in a single over.

    Earlier, offspinner Will Jacks, who was given his test debut at the last minute after Ben Foakes had to sit out due to a viral infection, picked up 6-161 on a wicket doing the bowlers few favors before Pakistan was eventually bowled out.

    Pakistan’s tailenders frustrated England for nearly 1.5 hours with Salman scoring 53 off 67 balls after the home team resumed on 499-7.

    Salman shared a 57-run stand with Mahmood (17), who didn’t play a false shot despite being surrounded by at least 6 England fielders close to the bat for much of his time at the crease.

    Salman successfully overturned on-field umpire Joe Wilson’s leg before decision through a television referral just before reaching his half-century.

    TV replays suggested Jacks had pitched the ball outside the line of leg stump when the batter attempted a reverse sweep but missed the line of the ball & was struck on the front pad.

    Salman reached his 2nd test half-century by chipping leftarm spinner Jack Leach over covers before edging Jacks to the lone slip. Leach bowled the bulk of the overs with Jacks and finished with 2-190.

    Injured Rauf (12) hung in with Mahmood & added a further 22 runs before Jacks finally wrapped up the innings by dismissing both batters.

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