England players celebrate after their victory at the end of the fifth and final day of the first Test against Pakistan at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Monday. RAWALPINDI: Just like their victory in Karachi in the dark in the year 2000, England scored a 74-run victory over Pakistan under fading light in the first Test of the three-match series at Rawalpindi Stadium here on Monday. This is an England win that will be remembered for a long time, a fitting way to mark their first Test in Pakistan for 17 years. The drama of victory being secured late on the fifth day was entirely in keeping with the extraordinary action of the previous four days. Hats off to courageous skipper Ben Stokes whose bold declaration at tea on Sunday engineered a contest that had all four results possible going into the final session of the match. The visitors amassed 657 in their first innings and declared their second on 264-7, setting Pakistan an improbable victory target of 343 on a docile track in Rawalpindi. England plundered 921 runs in 136.5 overs at a scoring rate of 6.73, the fastest of any team batting twice in Test history. The 506-4 runs they racked up on day one is a Test record. Pakistan fought and reached 268 before being dismissed in an absorbing final session, Saud Shakeel top-scoring for the hosts with 76. Mohammad Rizwan made 46 and Azhar Ali scored 40 with an injured finger but they could only delay the inevitable. Pakistan’s last pair of Naseem Shah and Mohammad Ali resisted for nearly nine overs before the former fell lbw to Jack Leach barely 10 minutes before the scheduled end of play. That England were in a position to win was thanks to James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, who gave a masterful exhibition of reverse-swing bowling to claim four wickets each. Stokes hailed the win as “special”, figuring they had less than 10 minutes to seal victory before bad light would have been called. “I think it’s maybe up there with one of England’s greatest away wins,” said Stokes. “We’ve done something very special this week,” he added. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was disappointed. “We are disappointed as a team,” Babar said afterwards. “At lunch we were confident that we could win, but credit to England on their brilliant effort.” The skipper said the absence of pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi was felt in Pindi’s Test. The victory also ended a run of 11 away Tests without victory and secured their first win over Pakistan outside the UK for 22 years with an entire XI that had never played a Test here before. All this after the England squad was badly affected on the eve of the match by a virus that raised the prospect of the Test being delayed by a day. Above all, this is the finest win of England’s new era under Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, giving full vindication to their ultra-aggressive style of play that is turning Test convention on its head. England are on their first Test tour of Pakistan since 2005, having declined to visit in the interim years on security grounds. The second Test is in Multan from December 9 to 13, and the third in Karachi from December 17 to 21.