Misbah-ul-Haq (Getty Images)
MANCHESTER: Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said that the side is as frustrated as the fans on losing the first Test against England by three wickets.
His remark came as England chased down a total of 277 against Pakistan after being reduced to 117/5 in the final innings.
Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes put up a 139-run stand for the sixth wicket. Woakes remained unbeaten on 84 while Buttler was dismissed after playing a knock of 75.
“We are feeling frustrated, just as the fans are, after the Old Trafford Test match but this is how cricket is. There are very small margins between victory and defeat and it’s easy to curse yourself when you’ve lost. But, we should remember that we were right on top until pretty much the last session of the game and we played very good cricket. Sure, we need to improve 10 to 15 per cent and deal with pressure situations a little better but we shouldn’t be mentally down,” Misbah said in an official release issued by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“There is disappointment, of course, but we must not keep that feeling in our minds otherwise it will be difficult to come back but the team believes we can fight back. It was a thrilling Test match and full credit must go to England for the way they fought back, came from behind and took the game away from us. There was wonderful cricket played by both teams. Sometimes luck doesn’t favour you, sometimes the opposition plays well – that’s the beauty of the game,” he added.
In the first innings, Pakistan had managed to gain a 107-run lead, but the side was bowled out cheaply in the second innings for just 169 runs.
Batting first, Pakistan had scored 326 runs, owing to Shan Masood‘s knock of 156 runs in the first innings. Then, the visitors had bowled out England for 219 as Yasir Shah scalped four wickets.
“We still need to improve, of course, but overall we fought really well against a top team in our first international fixture for six months. It was a brave decision to bat first against England’s bowling attack in those conditions. Shan Masood batted really well and it was great to see his partnerships with, first, Babar Azam and then Shadab Khan that shifted the momentum,” Misbah said.
“Shan should be given a lot of credit for his innings. He has been working so hard – with coaches Shahid Aslam and now Younis Khan – ever since I took the coaching job last September. He’s a different batsman now and Younis has helped him too. They have a good relationship from batting together at Pallekele back in 2015 when Shan made his first Test hundred,” he added.
Pakistan and England will lock horns in the second Test at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton from August 13.