England skipper Alastair Cook lambasted his side for naïve batting after they slumped to a humbling 75-run defeat in the first Investec Test against Pakistan at Lord’s.
Chasing 283 for victory, England again fell under the spell of leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who claimed four second innings wickets to finish with match-figures of 10-141 in his first Test outside of subcontinental conditions.
Scores in the forties by Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance and James Vince proved insufficient as Misbah-ul-Haq’s Pakistan secured a 1-0 lead in the four-match series and celebrated by performing a military-style press-up routine on the outfield.
Cook hinted that England would use the sight of Pakistan’s jubilant post-match frolics as motivation for the second Test at Old Trafford, which starts on Friday, although the lack of batting nous was the principal cause of his anger.
“We’re striving to become the best side we can be but naïve is the word. You don’t mind getting bowled out sometimes and you can play bad shots but we’ve played too many bad shots,” said Cook, who conceded England were 100 runs light in their first innings.
“We played some naïve shots at times to certain angles. You could see what they were trying to do and we fell into the trap. It’s frustrating.
“We’ve got to go back and talk about it but talk all you want it’s about delivering in the middle. Nobody got a hundred in this game and you don’t win many games if nobody scores a hundred.
“It’s never nice losing at Lord’s and seeing the opposition like they were at the end so we’ve got to use that as motivation. We’ve got the challenge ahead of us now and we’ve got to work really hard as a team, stay together, which we will do.
“We lost heavily to Australia here [in 2015] and bounced back very quickly. It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s a good week in terms of some of the guys growing up and becoming match-hardened Test cricketers.”
While Yasir was the worthy recipient of many a plaudit, seamer Rahat Ali claimed the first three England wickets to fall, while Pakistan’s victory was sealed by Mohammad Amir in his first Test match since the fallout of the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.
“It was a special moment for him and it could be the start of a new life,” said Pakistan captain Misbah. “I hope he’ll be a really good cricketer and human being now. He’s so lucky he got another chance and now it’s a new life for him. A new start.”
The day had started positively for England as Stuart Broad claimed the remaining two Pakistani wickets inside his first two overs to take his tally of Test scalps beyond 350.
Recent history would suggest England needed substantial scores from Cook and Joe Root but when the latter became Rahat’s third victim, caught in the deep following a mis-timed pull, the hosts were 47-3.
The middle-order flirted with major, match-winning contributions but when Moeen Ali recklessly charged down the wicket only to be clean bowled by Yasir, England had slipped to 139-6. A watchful 56-run stand between Bairstow and Chris Woakes offered temporary hope but once Yasir had worked yet more magic, the game was up for England. Amir administered the final blow.