Cook blames batsmen for defeat to Pakistan

London, July 18 (IANS) England skipper Alastair Cook blamed his team’s batsmen for their 75-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the first cricket Test at Lord’s.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah took 10-141 to help bowl England out for 272 and then 207 — in pursuit of 283 — at Lord’s.

Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir, on his return to Test cricket after a spot-fixing ban, took the final wicket on the fourth evening.

“Chasing 280, you need someone to play out of their skin, get a hundred and for people to bat around him. We allowed Yasir to get six wickets when he wasn’t turning the ball. It cost us,” Cook was quoted as saying by BBC on Sunday.

Yasir’s figures were the best by a Pakistan bowler at Lord’s, although at times on Sunday England looked capable of pulling off what would have been their second-highest successful run chase at this venue.

Rahat Ali removed Alastair Cook, Alex Hales and Joe Root to reduce England to 47-3, but James Vince (42), Gary Ballance (43) and Jonny Bairstow (48) maintained the hosts’ hopes before the last four wickets fell for 12 runs.

“It was a great day’s cricket. It’s been a really good Test. It ebbed and flowed; neither side grabbed the initiative. Pakistan always had their noses ahead,” he said.

“As always when you lose, you look at things to improve. What we’ve seen shows it’ll be an exciting series,” the skipper added.

England have won only one of their past six Tests at Lord’s — against New Zealand in May last year — with two draws and three defeats.

Defeats include a 405-run hammering by Australia in the 2015 Ashes, head coach Trevor Bayliss’ first series in charge, which England went on to win 3-2.

“We’re playing on our own turf – we’ve got to play and defend like it is our home turf. I don’t think we started very well. I didn’t think our fielding was anywhere up to scratch. That set the tone for the rest of the game,” the coach said.

Cook, who scored 81 in the first innings and eight in the second, added: “It hurts. You never like losing at Lord’s. We will need time to regroup. We’ve lost here before – Australia thrashed us here — but we bounced back.”

The second Test of the four-match series against Pakistan begins on Friday at Old Trafford.



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