|First Test, Lord’s (day four)|
|England 184 (Cook 70, Abbas 4-23, Hasan 4-51) & 242 (Root 68, Buttler 67, Amir 4-36, Abbas 4-41)|
|Pakistan 363 (Babar 68 ret hurt) & 66-1|
|Pakistan won by nine wickets|
England succumbed to a miserable nine-wicket defeat by brilliant Pakistan on the fourth day of the first Test at Lord’s.
Optimism provided by Jos Buttler and Dom Bess on the third evening was dashed by the eighth delivery of the day, when Buttler was trapped lbw by Mohammad Abbas for 67.
That began a collapse of four wickets for six runs, leaving England 242 all out and Pakistan chasing only 64 to win.
Although James Anderson bowled Azhar Ali in the third over, Haris Sohail and Imam-ul-Haq shared an unbroken stand of 54 that sealed victory 90 minutes into the day.
Following a winter when they did not win in seven Tests in Australia and New Zealand, this is an awful result for England, who spoke before this match of returning to winning ways and developing skills that will make them more competitive in foreign conditions.
Instead, have lost the first Test of a home summer for the first time in 23 years.
For Pakistan, this is a wonderful result, their thorough preparation leading to a superiority over the hosts in all aspects of the game.
They will have the opportunity to seal their first series win in England since 1996 when the second and final Test begins at Headingley on Friday.
England’s new era the same as the last
England had hoped to move on from a wretched winter with a slightly new look. Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were promoted in the batting order, Buttler was recalled and off-spinner Bess handed a debut in place of the injured Jack Leach.
However, for the all of the optimism, acceptance of past failings and talk of improvement, England were behind in this game on the first day, when they were bowled out for 184 after opting to bat in helpful bowling conditions.
It says much about how poor England were that the inclusions of Buttler and Bess can be seen as a partial success because they at least prevented a defeat by an innings inside three days.
On both occasions when they batted, England gifted wickets or lacked the defensive capability to deal with a potent Pakistan attack.
The home bowling was adequate but lacking the penetration of the visitors, while most unforgivable was the dropping of five catches in Pakistan’s first innings.
The outcome was an eighth successive match without a win and the need for a vast improvement in the short time before the second Test.
England hopes ended in quick fashion
In slipping to 110-6 on the third afternoon, still 179 behind, England were heading for humiliation before Buttler and Bess came together.
Their century stand took the hosts to 235-6 and they resumed on Sunday with a lead of 59, a remarkable comeback still possible if the lower order could add perhaps another 100 runs.
Instead, Buttler was pinned in front by Abbas and, with a review unable to save him, England’s hopes disappeared.
Pakistan took the second new ball in the next over and the tail was mopped up by Abbas and Mohammad Amir.
Amir angled one across Mark Wood to find the edge and Stuart Broad poked at Abbas. Both were taken by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
When Bess, so impressive in making 57, lost his off stump to Amir, England had lost their last four wickets in the space of 18 balls.
Perfect Pakistan rewarded for preparation
Visiting teams, especially those from the subcontinent, are often blown away in the early part of the English summer. Only three times before had England lost a home Test that has begun in May.
At Lord’s, Pakistan won by playing English conditions better than England. They showed restraint with the bat and moved the ball to more dangerous effect. Their fielding was far superior.
They reaped the benefits of an elongated period of preparation. Their tour began in April and has taken in three games against counties as well as a Test in Ireland. Collectively, their XI has played more first-class cricket this summer than England’s.
Bar Saturday evening, Pakistan had the better of every session in the match. On Sunday, their excellent pace attack returned refreshed and surged the visitors towards victory.
The skillful Abbas was excellent throughout, the 4-41 he picked up in the second innings giving him 8-64 for the match.
Although Azhar was dismissed for only four, Haris made 39 not out, including a six off Bess and a leap for joy when he hit the winning runs.
‘England were absolutely walloped’
Former England spinner Phil Tufnell on BBC Test Match Special: “England were Absolutely walloped – out-batted, out-bowled, out fielded, out warmed-up.
“That should really really hurt for England. It has been a very, very, very, poor performance all round.
” I don’t think I’ve seen England play that badly for a long time. We might not be quite as good as we think we are…”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan: “This England Test team is not a very good team, and they should be. They are playing 50-60% under their potential.
“That has been happening for too long. Last year they lost to the worst West Indies team to ever tour this country.
“It’s not a surprise that they have lost to Pakistan – they’ve been losing for a while. But they are not just losing games – they are getting hammered.”
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed: “When we came here, we were very inexperienced but we are confident. We have a very good bowling side. They did a great job for us.
“The Malahide game was a very tough game for us. Ireland played really well. That is good practice before a Lord’s Test match.”
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur on Sky Sports: “When you see a tour of England come up on your calendar, you’re so excited.
“The Ireland Test match was great for us because we were put under pressure at times. All in all we’ve been going for six weeks, preparing for Lord’s.”
England’s defeat in numbers
- This is only the second time England have lost a home Test that began and ended in May, after defeat by Australia at Trent Bridge in 1921
- Joe Root won five of his first seven Tests as captain, but has not won any of the next eight
- Under coach Trevor Bayliss, England have won 15 and lost 20 of their 44 Tests, compared to 38 wins in 57 one-day internationals
- Mohammad Abbas’ match figures of 8-64 are the best by Pakistan seamer at Lord’s
- Pakistan have won five and lost four Tests against England at Lord’s; the only other team with more wins than losses against England at Lord’s is Australia (W15, L7)
- Mickey Arthur is only the third coach to win two Tests against England at Lord’s, after Bobby Simpson and John Buchanan