James Anderson
James Anderson (PC-Getty Images)

England took a 1-0 series lead by defeating Pakistan by 74 runs in the opening Test in Rawalpindi. Day five’s final two sessions saw James Anderson and Ollie Robinson bowl superbly to end the hosts’ hopes of winning, who needed 263 runs overall and 8 wickets to do so.

Although England could have batted Pakistan out of the game, that would have complicated their chances of winning because it would have been simple to dead-bat on a surface that had held together. Therefore, declaring a target of 343 in four sessions for your opponents on a field where 1,500 runs had previously been scored at a rate of 5.14 per over was a risk that the England team decided to take.

England National Cricket Team
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England Pacers Hand Visitors Historic Victory

In the first test match against Pakistan on Sunday, England made a bold declaration and then used short-ball strategies to great effect to set themselves up for a convincing victory on the fourth day. With four sessions remaining in the run-fest, England declared their second innings on 264-7, taking a 78-run lead and giving Pakistan a 343-run win target.

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Pakistan started the day at 80 for two. In the sixth over of the day, Anderson had Imam caught by Pope on a delivery going out the leg side. On the other hand, wicketkeeper Rizwan had to wait for 45 minutes to open his account. He opened the account on the 24th ball.

Ollie Robinson
Ollie Robinson
(PC-Getty Images)

Rizwan, however, then batted freely against the spinners as Pakistan added 89 runs in the morning session. Rizwan started off with two fours against off-spinner Will Jacks. Shakeel on the other end, hit a straight four off left-arm spinner Jack Leach to complete his first half-century in 104 balls.

At one moment, Pakistan’s team had scored 259 runs for five wickets at one time and was heading towards victory, but the wickets of Agha Salman (30 runs) and Azhar Ali (40 runs) within starting 5 overs of the last session broke Pakistan’s hopes. After that, it was just a waiting game for England bowlers, who bowled brilliantly to finish off the tail.

Mohammad Rizwan
Mohammad Rizwan (PC-Getty Images)

James Anderson and Ollie Robinson were the pick of the bowlers for the Ben Stokes’ side, taking 4 wickets a piece by giving away just 36 and 50 runs respectively.

Pakistan Remains On Fifth Spot In Points Table

England last played a Test match in Pakistan in 2005. At that time, in the match played in Lahore, the England team had to face a crushing defeat by an innings and 100 runs. But the England team, playing for the first time in Rawalpindi, avenged that defeat and achieved a historic victory on Pakistan’s soil.

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Pakistan National Cricket Team
Pakistan National Cricket Team (Image Credits: Twitter)

Following the game, neither of the two teams changed their position in the ICC WTC Points Table. While Pakistan remained in the fifth spot, England remained in seventh. The defeat, however, has made Pakistan’s task of qualifying for the WTC final tough. 

Australia are currently at the top with a points percentage of 70 followed by South Africa, who have a points percentage of 60. On the other hand, India’s points percentage is 52.08.

World Test Championship (2021-2023) – Points Table 

Pos  Team  Matches  Won  Lost  Drawn  NR  Points  PCT 
1  Australia  11 7 1 3  0  96 72.23
2  South Africa  10  6  4  0  0  72  60.00 
3  Sri Lanka  10  5 4  1  0  64  53.33
4  India  12  6  4  2  0  75  52.08 
5  Pakistan  10 4  4 2  0  56 46.67
6  West Indies   10 4 4
2  0  54 45
7  England  20 8 8  4  0  100
8  New Zealand  9  2  6  1  0  28  25.93 
9  Bangladesh  10  1  8  1  0  16  13.33

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