Relentless Pakistan conquer battling England
Mohammad Amir takes final wicket as visitors win pulsating cricket Test at Lord’s
Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir (centre) celebrates with team mates after bowling Jake Ball to win the first Test match against England by 75 runs. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
If Pakistan had enjoyed the edge since Misbah-ul-Haq’s historic century, England have battled throughout. No quarter asked and none given. And, shortly after six o’clock on the fourth day, it was Pakistan who emerged triumphant, by 75 runs.
To Mohammad Amir, the young man who left this ground in disgrace six years ago, fell the honour of the coup de grace, splattering the stumps of Jake Ball, the last England batsman. Amir aeroplaned his way across the outfield to be mobbed by team-mates and support staff.
Misbah collected them together, lined them up in ranks and, just as with his century celebration, demanded press- ups and a salute to those back home in the Pakistan army who trained them up before the tour. Where was Inzamam- ul-Haq when we needed him?
Pakistan had given an outstanding exhibition of fourth-innings bowling, not just defending an England target of 283 but methodically, patiently at times, and ultimately relentlessly dismantling the opposition.
There were a trio of new-ball wickets for Rahat Ali to undermine the chase from the start; the absorbing sight of Yasir Shah twirling his way through 31 overs, from either end according to the rotation of the seamers, and collecting four wickets; and then the emphatic finish from Amir. Yasir was to finish with four for 69, giving him match figures of 10 for 141, by a distance the best by a Pakistan bowler at Lord’s.
To all of these, Misbah set masterful fields, applying pressure around the bat, while cutting off the oxygen of boundaries. England were throttled.
It proved too much. Vince made 42 without any great sense of permanence and Gary Ballance a more composed 43, sticking very much to his game plan until Yasir, from around the wicket, spun one massively behind him as he went too far across to the off, and clipped his leg stump.
By any standard, the dismissal of Moeen Ali that followed almost immediately was catastrophically ill-judged, hurling himself down the pitch, swinging massively and then missing. Guardian Service