ENGLAND’S ODEYSSEY IN PAKISTAN

Courtesy : Cricinfo.com

When England cricket team embarked on a tour to Pakistan to play Test cricket recently in November 2022

there were skepticisms whether the tour will happen given the political turmoil there. And England cancelled a

tour to that country two years back citing security reasons. When the England team reached the shores

of Pakistan this time they were given a royal reception at the Airport itself with heightened security for the

entire cavalcade.

There was a sigh of relief when the England team completed the formalities on the fourth day morning

of the third and final Test at National stadium, Karachi winning by 8 wickets and “Whitewashing” the Test

Series by a record 3-0. This is the first occasion that England defeated Pakistan at their den. This was a

embarassing defeat for the hosts as England won all the Tests in a clinical fashion.

In the first Test at Rawalpindi there were loads of runs as the pitch played benign for batters as it saw 1768 runs

and as many as 7 centuries were scored by both teams in the first innings. The batters from both teams made a

heavy weather of the flat pitch conditions as both team openers put a 200 + runs for the first wicket. When England posted

a mammoth 657 runs in the first innings thanks to 4 centuries by their batters including the two openers, the Pakistan

returned the favour with 579 runs as their openers also helped themselves with centuries and their captain also

scored a century. And the England debutant offie Will Jacks made a dream debut of scalping 6 wickets in the first

innings. And England in their second essay posted a quickfire 264 runs set a target of 343 runs in 110 overs for Pakistan.

England’s new found pace duo James Anderson and Robinson exploited the swing movements well and helped

themselves with 4 wickets apiece. And Pakistan fought valiantly through their tailenders especially the last wicket pair almost

dogged the defeat and England won the game by 74 runs in dying moments in a deteriorating light conditions.

And at Multan in the second Test the sensational debut of a young leg spinner, Abrar Ahmed of Pakistan created

ripples when the England team’s traditional weakness of tentative play against leggies was once again exposed when Abrar

reaped a heavy reward of 11 wickets in the Test. Both teams played true to their potential and England prevailed over

Pakistan in the final moments of the Test and won by 26 runs. And England’s new found batter , the 2 test old Harry Brook’s

century in the 2nd Innings helped England to set a 300 + total for Pakistan to chase.

And in the third Test at National stadium at Karachi, which is a stronghold of Pakistan, it’s again England who showed their

professionalism won by a whopping 8 wickets margin inside 4 days. Again another debutant made the headlines in this Test. The

teenage sensation Rehan Ahmed, the leggie, brought victory for England with his 5 wickets haul in the second innings of

Pakistan including the final wicket again inside 4 days of the Test. And Harris Brook’s century in the first innings helped England

to take a lead of 50 runs and the bowlers did the rest in the second innings of Pakistani batters.

And it was a Test series of Test Debutants make a headlines especially the slow bowlers from both sides.

And the “bazball” effect continues.

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