It took twenty years to come – the last time Pakistan triumphed at Lord’s was in 1996, under skipper Wasim Akram – but when it did, victory was sweet indeed. This time, fittingly, it was the country’s most successful Test captain who won the laurels, dedicating the victory to Edhi, a legend no longer among us, but his logo, destined by Fate, on the shirt of every member of the Pakistan national team.
Wrapping up the five-day match in four, the Greenshirts put up an inspired performance – putting a much-needed smile on the face of the nation, which has been beleaguered and battered by one depressing event after another in recent weeks.
Most of the credit for the 75-run victory goes to spin-master Yasir Shah. To take 10 wickets in his first Test outside Asia must have been magical indeed, and he truly earned his Man of the Match award, but it was Rahat Ali who found the initial chink in the British armor – his dismissal of the top three batsmen paved the way for the conquest.
Redemption for Mohammad Amir after a disgraceful exit six years ago, came in the form of putting the finishing touch to his country’s victory by taking the last wicket, of Jake Ball, and being cheered as a hero. It was indeed a Milton-esque case of ‘Paradise Lost‘ and ‘Paradise Regained‘.
For the Pakistan supporters in the stands, whooping in joy and cheering wildly, the icing on the cake was when ‘drillmaster’ Younis Khan led his boys through five push-ups at the end of play. Looking on via television screens across the length and breadth of the country, Pakistanis enjoyed a commodity rare for them – communal laughter; for that too the lads in green deserve a salute.