Rawalpindi [Pakistan], December 5 (ANI): Following his side's 74-run win over Pakistan in the first Test, England captain Ben Stokes said that the win is up there among side's best in the longer format and added that the dressing room has no interest in playing for a draw.
Incredible bowling performances from Ollie Robinson and James Anderson were complemented well by England's batting, as the visitors defeated Pakistan in their first Test in the country in 17 years at Rawalpindi on Monday.
"Some of the things we cannot plan for is what happened to the squad before the Test (the illness). It seems a long time ago when we were running around to find players for the Test. Will Jacks getting the message three minutes before toss, and Pope getting the gloves," said Stokes.
"We have played 8-9 matches with myself and Brendon in charge. One thing we try to do is focus on ourselves and not the opposition. We know we are a very exciting team. Was a great batting surface, so it was an opportunity for our batting group. Having the lads truck in like they did today was amazing. Really special group of players. We wanted to come here to Pakistan and carry on with our mantra of exciting cricket.
"I have got no interest in trying to play for a draw, the dressing room has no interest in playing for a draw. Felt on this kind of wicket, almost had to entice the batsmen to play an attacking shot. Today we were fortunate to get the ball reverse-swinging," Stokes said.
"James Anderson and Ollie Robinson were fantastic today. We won probably about 8 minutes before we would have come off. This is probably up there as one of England's greatest away wins," he added while lauding two of the best bowlers in the match.
With this win, England have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Resuming the chase of 343 runs on the final day, Pakistan took to the field at the score of 80/2, with Imam-Ul-Haq (43*) and Saud Shakeel (24*) unbeaten at the crease. Though Shakeel scored 76 and Mohammad Rizwan also scored 46, there was no stopping James Anderson (4/36) and Robinson (4/50), who bundled out Pakistan for 278, winning the match by 74 runs.
In their second innings, England declared at 264/7. This gave them a lead of 342 runs in the match and set a 343-run target for Pakistan. Harry Brook scored 87 off 65 balls, with 11 fours and three sixes. Joe Root (73) and Zak Crawley (50) also scored in the fifties.
Naseem Shah, Mohammad Ali and Zahid Mahmood took two wickets. Agha Salman got a wicket each.
In their first innings, Pakistan was bundled out for 579, in reply to England's first innings score of 657. They were trailing by 78 runs in the match at that point. Babar Azam (136) scored a brilliant ton, with openers Imam-ul-Haq (121) and Abdullah Shafique (114) also hitting big.
Will Jacks (6/161) was fantastic for England with the ball on his debut. Jack Leach took two scalps while James Anderson and Ollie Robinson took a wicket each.
England posted 657 in their first innings. The visitors took full advantage of the batting-friendly conditions and Crawley (122), Ben Duckett (107), Ollie Pope (108) and Harry Brook (153) posted tons.
Zahid Mahmood (4/235) and Naseem Shah (3/140) were the picks of the bowlers for Pakistan. Ali took two while Haris Rauf also got a wicket.
Ollie's performance, which included a knock of 37 and five wickets in the match, earned him the 'Man of the Match' title.
Brief Scores: Pakistan: 579 and 268 (Saud Shakeel 76, Imam-ul-Haq 48, James Anderson 4/36) lost to England: 657 and 264/7 declared (Harry Brook 87, Joe Root 73, Mohammad Ali 2/64). (ANI)