A total of 1,236 runs were scored by England (657) and Pakistan (579) in their first innings in the Rawalpindi Test and with the PCB boss Ramiz Raja calling the pitch a “road," viewers and fans had razor-thin hopes of seeing a result on a surface that had already produced 7 centuries among the two teams. But then Ben Stokes made a bold decision - one that would be hailed widely by the cricketing community.
The England skipper turned the match on its head by declaring their second innings at 264-7 on Sunday. A target of 343 was given to Pakistan to achieve in a gettable 130 overs.
Pakistan were on track in their run chase, having 257-5 on the board at tea on Day 5, needing another 86 in the final session.
However, Ollie Robinson scalped two wickets in two overs after the break giving England enough ammo to go for the kill. England fielders hovered around Pakistan batters and during the last leg of the match, captain Ben Stokes stationed the entire team around the 22 yards.
James Anderson then quickly removed two more Pakistan batters from the other end as the hosts lost four wickets for a mere seven runs.
The last pair of Naseem Shah (6) and Mohammad Ali (0) frustrated England for 35 long minutes and almost 9 overs before spinner Jack Leach trapped Shah in front of the stumps.
England won the historic Test on the back of some exceptional bowling and decision-making by Ben Stokes on the final day as fans erupted in joy. “Test cricket is the best cricket," was the general sentiment on social media with even the fans from Pakistan heaping praises on Stokes for his brave captaincy.
It was perhaps the snapshot of the entire team of England closing in on the Pakistan batters that became the photo of the day on Twitter, moments after the epic Rawalpindi Test.
Best Test I’ve ever witnessed! Well done @benstokes38 and the team. Lucky to have this pic as the card was completely full straight after this photo. My lucky day. pic.twitter.com/q5L6pgYqlj— PHILIP BROWN (@dudleyplatypus) December 5, 2022
This pitch produced a result only cos Eng made 650 in 100 overs and declared potentially risking a loss. Well played England, well led @benstokes38 @englandcricket 👏🏽 #PAKvENG pic.twitter.com/pWbAH7vhWh— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) December 5, 2022
England Cricket’s official page celebrated the win with a savage post.
“We took 20 wickets on THAT wicket. We don’t do draws," read the caption.
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