Pakistan skipper Azhar says England series 'not over yet' after 1st Test loss

Cricket

Pakistan skipper Azhar says England series 'not over yet' after 1st Test loss

Monday, August 10, 2020

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Manchester , United Kingdom (AFP) — Pakistan Captain Azhar Ali insisted there was all to play for following a dramatic three-wicket loss to England in the first Test at Old Trafford, where his side were “one punch away” from victory.

England, chasing a target of 277 — only once higher total been achieved to win in the fourth innings of a Test at the Manchester ground — were in trouble at 117-5.

But a sixth-wicket stand of 139 between player of the match Chris Woakes, who finished on 84 not out, and Jos Buttler (75) changed the course of the game during Saturday's fourth day.

It was a particularly bitter defeat for Pakistan as they had been the better side for much of this Test.

Knockout

But the loss of several wickets late on Friday during an eventual second innings of 169 cost them dearly, in a match during which Shan Masood made a Test-best 156 in the first innings and leg-spinner Yasir Shah took eight wickets in all.

Pakistan, who have not lost a series against England for 10 years, must regroup quickly before the second Test in a three-match campaign starts at Southampton on Thursday.

“It's disappointing but not over yet, there are still two Tests to go,” Azhar told reporters.

“There are a lot of positives from this game; we outplayed England on most parts of this Test match.

“I wouldn't say we lost the match in [our] second innings, but we missed a chance to knock England out of the game there.”

Pakistan, however, were still in command during an England top-order collapse on Saturday that saw four wickets lost for 31 runs.

“We were sure we'd wrap it up if one more wicket fell,” said Azhar.

“But they [Buttler and Woakes] attacked from the off and snatched the game away from us.

“Sometimes you just have to give credit to the opposition.”

“We were in control of the game; we were one punch away from finishing the game off — but they came and dominated us during that period.”


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