Ben Stokes hailed the 74-run victory over Pakistan in Rawalpindi as one of the “greatest” in English Test history.
On a flat pitch, England dropped the bowlers on the final day after Jack Leach took the final wicket at the end of the over.
It was only England’s third Test win in Pakistan, and Stokes praised his side, who were hit by illness on the evening of the first day.
“We wanted to come here and continue with our words. I have no interest in playing the game, and we try to look for the best way.
“You have to make things happen on a wicket like this and make bold decisions. James Anderson and Ollie Robinson were fantastic today.
“At the break, that’s where we wanted to be and we found ourselves in a really good position. I think we’re up there with one of England’s best non-Test teams.”
‘High class’ Anderson and Robinson lead England to victory
Stokes vowed to continue playing exciting cricket, and an early announcement at tea on the fourth day set the match up for an exciting finale.
With Pakistan needing 343 runs to win, England dangled the carrot enough for both sides to compete for victory.
With England taking six wickets before the last innings, the game looked good and Pakistan would have thought they had a chance to win the match.
But after Stokes gave his side the final say at the tea break, early wickets from Ollie Robinson and James Anderson after the break swung the pendulum their way and Pakistan’s tail spinners did not do enough to catch it.
“There is no more speculation about this (information), we want people to watch Test match cricket. You just have to think of ways to get people to watch it.
“Playing backwards is much more difficult to play than normal playing, and it was an unplanned way. When it came back it was a big moment for me, Jimmy and Robbo. The records that Jimmy and Robbo shot were high. Jimmy running in the middle 40+ is amazing to see.”
Friday 9 December 4:30 am
Brook is a ‘blessing’ in England
On the first day, England had four captains as they put on a mammoth run, which broke their first record of 657 runs.
Among those to reach 100 runs was Harry Brook, who scored 153 in the first innings and 87 from 65 balls in the second to help England lift themselves to the top spot.
Stokes described Brooks as “amazing” and was pleased with the way his team had turned around after illness swept through the squad days before the Test.
“I don’t think many players in their second game have shown the ability that Harry showed there,” Stokes said.
“He is the future. He has everything in all forms. For him to come at No. 5 was a blessing for us and England cricket. The freedom and the way he showed his ability was amazing.
“With the illness that went through the camp and the one change we made because of Foakes’ illness, Will Jacks had to come in and make his debut and get one six and Pope hit three and put on the gloves for a long time.
“Everybody’s been amazing this week, everybody’s playing for each other and nobody’s leaving anything on the field. That’s the kind of mentality and attitude that we need out here.
“There are a few things that we can prepare for, but some things you can’t, that happened before the team. I have to thank the players for coming in that season.
“Some very important games, like Jacks and Pope. I think what we had to overcome to get into the game makes it better.
“We’ve had broken bodies after that. It’s amazing to see the amount of passion and heart the boys have shown.”
The second test is held in Multan from Friday (build-up starts at 4.30am on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event ahead of first ball at 5am) with Pakistan looking to clinch the game ahead of the final in Karachi from December 17, also available on Sky Sports.