Sarfaraz has his name written in the annals: Lord’s was a tremendous victory

Salahuddin Haider

Tantamount to groping for the words . Despite being a regular cricket writer, I have for considerable length of time searching for words to describe the Pakistan cricket team’s victory at Lords, Victory anywhere is victory because it is recorded as such, but a win at the home of cricket is very special.. So, was it glorious, tremendous, fascinating , historic? Whatever it is, it was laudable, and added another feather in Sarfaraz’s cap. The young Pakistan captain has his name written in the annals alongwith all-time greats like Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Waseem Akram, to some extent Misbahul Haq also, and now Sarfaraz, committed and dedicated, is a legend.
Fright and fear writ large against Pakistan cricket team, the moment its schedule for the two-Test series was announced few months ago, but the same, inexperienced team worked wonders, in fact performed nothing short of a miracle, outclassing, outplaying, outmaneuvering England completely, writing a glorious chapter in history of Pakistan and International cricket.
What was really worth mentioning is the fact that from the word “go”, Pakistanis began dictating terms, humbling and humiliating a vastly experienced side, and registering emphatic win inside three days and less than an hour on the fourth day.
When Pakistan lost 5-0 to England under Javed Burki’s captaincy, English critics demanded refusing full five-day , and five-Test series to Pakistan. Now that England is done and dusted, the English media must write an obituary about their own cricket team. There was a time in 70s when Pakistan cricket team returned unbeaten after Zaheer Abbas had flogged them to a mighty 274 at Egbaston. English critics appeared dumb-founded, but some of them did reminded their readers that Cricket being of English origin, should now be replaced by football.
Look at the sterling performances from pacers like Mohammad Amir, Muhammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, and the worthy contribution from lone spinner Shadab. They skittled out Joe Roots side for a hapless 184, then their batsmen after early loss of Imamul Haq, batted with authority, with half centuries from Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, and Shadab to build a huge lead of 179, after their tail wagged to take the side total to 363.
A team, under psychological pressure, roared like a lion, impact of which was finally felt in England second innings when they were 110 for 6. Thanks to 7th wicket partnership, home side was able to build a meager lead of 63, after Abbas and Amir had broken their back, and on fourth day it was a mere formality, for the new ball did the trick as Amir and Abbas shared the remaining four wickets to wrap up the resistance within 27 minutes of the resumption, off just 25 balls.
Pakistan batsmen in full cry after their struggle against Ireland, where they finally succeeding in winning the one-off Test at Malahide, collected the required runs for the loss of just one wicket. Tributes began flowing in minutes after that as Imran Khan, Waseem Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Asif Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto recording their appreciation to the young side. It was a great and historic win, especially for Sarfaraz, Mohammad Amir, Muhammad Abbas, Shadab, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, all of whom had their best. Great team effort.

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