February 5, 2023

England’s best overseas Test cricket wins after beating Pakistan

England overcame a lifeless pitch, the setting sun and Pakistan lower order resistance to record a famous win in Rawalpindi… but where does it rank among their greatest EVER Test successes overseas?

  • England defeated Pakistan by 74 runs in the opening Test in Rawalpindi
  • Battling the clock and blocking batsmen, England achieved a memorable win
  • They famously won in near-darkness against Pakistan in Karachi back in 2000
  • Another significant win in Asia was achieved against India in Mumbai in 2012
  • Of course, there have been plenty of hugely satisfying Ashes wins in Australia 

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England recorded a victory for the ages as they overcame a dead pitch, the setting sun and a dogged Pakistan to win the first Test by 74 runs in Rawalpindi. 

Ben Stokes made a fourth day declaration that could easily have backfired on England and, indeed, at one stage Pakistan looked firmly on course to reach their target of 343 to win. 

But Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson took four wickets apiece as they somehow extracted something out of the surface before Jack Leach wrapped things up.

So where does this win rank among England’s finest overseas? Wisden editor LAWRENCE BOOTH ranks the top five. 

There was delight for England as they achieved only their third-ever Test win in Pakistan

5. Karachi 2000-01 – England won by four wickets

Pakistan had never lost at the National Stadium in Karachi as the teams arrived for the third and final Test with the series still 0-0. 

But Mike Atherton ground out 125 in nine-and-a-half hours, before the hosts collapsed to 158 on the final morning. 

Set 176, England got home in the dark, with Graham Thorpe inside-edging the winning runs after some gratuitous time-wasting from Pakistan captain Moin Khan.

Graham Thorpe and Nasser Hussain guided England to victory over Pakistan in the dark

Graham Thorpe and Nasser Hussain guided England to victory over Pakistan in the dark

Graham Thorpe and Nasser Hussain guided England to victory over Pakistan in the dark

The England team celebrate their series-clinching win over Pakistan at Karachi back in 2000

The England team celebrate their series-clinching win over Pakistan at Karachi back in 2000

The England team celebrate their series-clinching win over Pakistan at Karachi back in 2000

Bobby Peel overcame his hangover to take six wickets as England beat Australia in 1894

Bobby Peel overcame his hangover to take six wickets as England beat Australia in 1894

Bobby Peel overcame his hangover to take six wickets as England beat Australia in 1894

4. Sydney 1894-95 – England won by 10 runs

Nearly 87 years before the miracle of Headingley ’81, England won their only other Test after following on. 

Bowled out for 325 in their first innings, they were 261 behind Australia, before managing 437 second time round, with a century for opener Albert Ward. 

Australia needed 177, but collapsed from 130 for two to 166 all out as left-arm spinner Bobby Peel, bowling with a monstrous hangover, took six wickets.

3. Mumbai 2012-13 – England won by 10 wickets

India had romped to victory in the first Test at Ahmedabad, prompting fears of a 4-0 whitewash, but Alastair Cook’s side responded in style. 

Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann shared 19 wickets on a pitch produced to help India’s spinners, and Kevin Pietersen scored a superb 186, not long after his reintegration into the team following ‘Textgate’. 

England won the next Test in Kolkata and were soon celebrating their first series win in India for 28 years.

Kevin Pietersen hit 186 as England beat India in Mumbai back in 2012 - and they would go on to win their first Test series there in 28 years

Kevin Pietersen hit 186 as England beat India in Mumbai back in 2012 - and they would go on to win their first Test series there in 28 years

Kevin Pietersen hit 186 as England beat India in Mumbai back in 2012 – and they would go on to win their first Test series there in 28 years

2. Melbourne 2010-11 – England won by an innings and 157 runs

This was the game that clinched the Ashes for Andrew Strauss’s team, after an opening day that may go down as England’s greatest in Australia. 

After they skittled the hosts for 98, Strauss and Alastair Cook reached stumps on 157 without loss. 

Jonathan Trott then made 168 not out as England racked up 513, before Tim Bresnan’s four-for sealed a thumping win, and England’s players performed ‘the Sprinkler’ on the MCG outfield.

England's Graeme Swann leads the team in performing the 'sprinkler' dance at the MCG

England's Graeme Swann leads the team in performing the 'sprinkler' dance at the MCG

England’s Graeme Swann leads the team in performing the ‘sprinkler’ dance at the MCG

James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Alastair Cook celebrate a thumping innings Ashes win

James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Alastair Cook celebrate a thumping innings Ashes win

James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Alastair Cook celebrate a thumping innings Ashes win

1. Rawalpindi 2022-23 – England won by 74 runs

On a pitch apparently set up for a draw, England performed out of their skins, thrashing 657 in 101 overs, then 264 in 35. 

Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson took four wickets each in Pakistan’s second innings, before Jack Leach applied to coup de grace with only minutes to go before the sun set.

England spinner Jack Leach (second left) claimed the final wicket England needed for victory

England spinner Jack Leach (second left) claimed the final wicket England needed for victory

England spinner Jack Leach (second left) claimed the final wicket England needed for victory

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