We let England off the hook, admits Misbah

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Manchester: Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq is not happy with his side’s below-par batting effort in the first Test against England here but more disappointing to him was how the visitors let England off the hook during their run chase.

Chasing 277, England were reduced to 117 for five before under-pressure Jos Buttler (75) and Chris Woakes (84 not out) stitched a brilliant 139-run stand for the sixth wicket to notch up a memorable three-wicket win on the fourth day on Saturday.

“…we are disappointed that we let England off the hook after they were five wickets down at one stage. The way Buttler and Woakes counter-attacked our bowlers it was very skilful,” Misbah said after Pakistan went 0-1 down in the three-match series.

“Over all, we could have done better with the bat in the second innings. It would have been a different scenario if it was a 300 above target. It is very important to put up decent score in the second innings against England’s quality bowling attack in their own conditions.”

Former captain and fast bowling great Wasim Akram too felt that Pakistan lacked flair, unpredictability and attacking instinct while defending the target.

Akram felt with England reduced to 117 for five, the need of the hour was to put pressure on Buttler, who was fighting for his Test spot, and Woakes, who averaged just 5.22 with the bat in his previous six Tests.

Misbah, though, refused to comment anything on this, only admitting that the partnership between Buttler and Woakes was the turning point of the game.

“I think till then the match was in our hands. That partnership completely took the game away from us. The turning point of the match was that England produced a brilliant partnership under pressure,” he said.

“It was a tough game for us but we will have to come out of that soon. We can play munch better cricket and this team has the capability to make a comeback.”

The second Test of the series will be played in Southampton, starting August 13.

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