England took Bazball philosophy to its peak as they beat Pakistan in the series-opening Test match in Rawalpindi. Ben Stokes played aggressive cricket by declaring on the fourth day, backing themselves to get all ten Pakistan wickets—and they did it under the fading lights. Now, England’s win has surely helped India to qualify for the World Test Championship final which is to be played in June 2023 in England.
Pakistan were primed for qualification as they had five Test lined up on home soil against England and New Zealand. A win in Rawalpindi would have helped Babar Azam led side go up in the standings; they were fifth. But that chance was taken away and now India and Australia have the upper hand.
If Rohit Sharma and his men clean sweep Bangladesh, they can afford to lose at least one of their Tests at home against Australia and still have the chance to make the final. For Australia, if they whitewash West Indies and win two of their Tests against South Africa, they would also have the chance to make the final.
Pakistan still stand fifth in the table, but wins for Australia or India in their respective upcoming Test series means the Babar-led team is likely to miss out.
Fast bowlers Ollie Robinson and James Anderson took four wickets apiece as England pulled off an exciting 74-run win over Pakistan Monday in the first Test in Rawalpindi.
Anderson took 4-36 and Robinson 4-50 on a placid Rawalpindi Stadium pitch to dismiss Pakistan for 268, with the stadium floodlights glowing as daylight faded.
Pakistan’s last pair of Naseem Shah (six) and Mohammad Ali (nought) defied England for 35 minutes and 8.5 overs before spinner Jack Leach trapped Naseem leg-before, leaving England players ecstatic.
The win — giving England a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series — embellished England’s newly adopted “Bazball” cricket, an aggressive style taken from the nickname of head coach Brendon McCullum.
Skipper Ben Stokes was also active throughout the day, keeping unrelenting pressure on the Pakistan batters with close-set fields and intelligent bowling changes.
He hailed the win as “special”, figuring they had less then 10 minutes to seal victory before bad light would have been called.
“I think it’s maybe up there with one of England’s greatest away wins,” said Stokes.
“We’ve done something very special this week.”