ENGvPAK was eagerly anticipated ever since Islamabad lifted the PSL trophy for the second time. The fans were eager for action.
The stage was set in England. The home of cricket, Lords, was to host the opener of the EngvPak series 2018.
Pakistan are almost always the underdogs facing a top side. Add an experienced English side to the mix and experts expected the team to melt in the English summer. The odds were stacked against the visitors. England were experienced, and naturally more used to the conditions. Pakistan were immature and a side devoid of consistent international exposure. The stability of Misbah and Younis was a thing of the past. ENGvPAK promised to be a one sided affair. Mickey Arthur had different plans.
What followed in the next 3 days was very surprising, very atypical and very very Pakistani.
England lose their first home Test of the season for the first time since 1995 with Pakistan pulling off another famous victory at Lord’s.#ENGvPAK REPORT ➡ https://t.co/bd3NZ7MO9V pic.twitter.com/byqm3Xxa4n
— ICC (@ICC) May 27, 2018
There is different aura to this Pakistani side. This bowling attack was not reliant on a piece of Amir’s brilliance or a silly shot by the batsman.
This was an attack that stuck to it’s plan. Abbas bowled with a military-esque accuracy. Hassan Ali upped his game. Faheem didn’t let easy runs come by. Shadab looked to surprise with the old ball. Amir was Amir, reveling in the big moments – taking on the big boys when they looked adamant to stay.
Never give up on your dreams!
To support his family, he worked as a labourer in a leather factory & then as a welder in his village, today he is the 1st Pakistani pacer to get 8 wickets at Lord’s. #ENGvPAK
Muhammad Abbas is an inspiration for the talented youth of Pakistan.👏 pic.twitter.com/eA9bLLcOcl
— Naz Baloch (@NazBaloch_) May 27, 2018
This was a rare occurrence where the batsman complimented their colleagues.
A reckless observer would say that is the usual. Bowling always bails Pakistan out, doesn’t it?
But this wasn’t the case of bowling bailing the batsmen out. Azhar Ali calmed the tide in the first innings and was only out done by a cracker in the second. The middle order batsmen delivered like #MisYou would. The tail-enders looked like they had been batting in the nets often. The tone was set for the future tests in EngvPak. An all rounded performance everyone admired.
As Nasser Hussain put it: “Pakistan out-batted, out-bowled, out-fielded, out-captained, out-coached and out-thought England in every single department. So much so, that if you had just turned up this week, you’d say Pakistan were the home side”
You make us proud guys. Go on and win this series!