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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Sonia Twigg

Ben Stokes ‘enjoying every moment’ as England record historic win in Pakistan

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Ben Stokes hailed his side’s historic victory in Pakistan as the most fun he has had in an England shirt despite the squad having battled against sickness throughout the series.

The first match in Rawalpindi was almost delayed due to a viral infection in the England camp and players continued to struggle throughout the tour, but Stokes’ side still became the first visiting team to secure a 3-0 victory in Pakistan.

Ben Duckett and Stokes completed the job by knocking off the remaining 55 runs in just 38 minutes on the fourth day in Karachi to secure an eight-wicket win.

The tourists had been set 167 to win the previous evening and their final chase on their first Test tour of Pakistan in 17 years was completed in a manner that epitomised the attacking brand of cricket played since Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum took charge in April.

When asked if it was his most enjoyable time in an England shirt, Stokes said: “Yeah definitely. Just going out and enjoying every moment we can, whatever situation we find ourselves in.

“The first Test pitch was very, very flat and we just said, ‘enjoy the flatness boys, let’s just enjoy this challenge and see what we can do’.

“We’ve had Jimmy (James) Anderson smiling which is an impressive thing in and of itself down on the field. It is a great time to be in this dressing room and a great time to be playing for England.

“I’m just encouraging everyone to turn up every day and enjoy what you’re doing. Obviously it is easier to do when we are winning the way we are at the moment.

“The real test will be when things don’t go so well and that will be the time to make that even more of a thing for us to take out there, but I hope we don’t come to that.”

It has been far from a straightforward tour for England, with the off-field security measures and the illness to deal with.

Stokes added: “(I’m) so, proud of everyone – got through the external stuff, with the illness that’s been floating around, and everyone’s put the effort in.

“We’ve had some days out in the field, when the bowlers have come off drained and not feeling great.

“But they’ve rested up and then they’ve all turned up again the next day. Woody (Mark Wood) in particular, the role he’s played not feeling great is a huge effort, running in and bowling as fast as he does.”

Ollie Robinson has been among those struggling throughout the series, but showed a determination to continue.

The England seam bowler said: “A tough first Test and then a tough last Test. But I said to Baz (McCullum) before we started this Test that I was really keen to play all three Test matches.

“I was pretty crook the first day, but I said to Baz I really wanted to play to prove a point to everyone here, back home, that I can play three Test matches. I got through it in the end and the 3-0 win makes it all worth it.”

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