Pakistan missed a golden opportunity to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series as they lost the first Test despite putting up a dominant performance and overshadowing England for the majority of the match.
Chasing 277 in the fourth innings, England was at one stage on 117/5. The pace and hostility of Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi, flair and flamboyance of Mohammad Abbas and the trickery of two leg-spinners were doing wonders for the visitors up till that point.
However, what transpired after that remains a mystery for cricket fanatics, as Pakistani bowlers suddenly lost their magic potion, memory and rhythm.
Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes combined for a 137-run stand to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for their team.
Former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram is disappointed with Azhar Ali’s captaincy as the legendary pacer believes that the latter missed a few basic tricks which cost the visitors a well-deserved victory.
“It will hurt the Pakistan team and the cricket lovers in Pakistan,” former captain Akram told Sky Sports.
“Winning and losing is part of cricket, but I think our captain missed a trick quite a few times in this game, as far as his leadership is concerned.”
Akram was startled by the complacency Pakistani bowlers showed towards Chris Woakes early in the innings.
The Lahore-born felt that Woakes should have been tested a bit more with short deliveries and bouncers.
“When Woakes came in, there were no bouncers, no short deliveries, they let him settle down and runs were coming easy. Once the partnership got going, nothing happened – the turn didn’t happen, swing didn’t happen – and Buttler and Woakes just took the game away,” added Akram.
The 54-years-old further opined that Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi were under-bowled by the Pakistani skipper.
“Pakistan cricket is all about flair, unpredictability and attacking cricket. We’re not county bowlers who are just going to come and bowl line and length all day long.”
“We’ve got a 17-year-old (Naseem), who bowls 90mph, a 20-year-old (Shaheen Afridi), who is around 88mph, and they should be bowling a lot more overs – 18-20 overs each innings, no matter the situation,” concluded Akram.