"We don't need to do this quickly" is what the Pakistan players are saying out on the field. It is probably the personal mantra of Misbah-ul-Haq. You can imagine him as a 28-year-old cricketing nomad saying it every morning in front of the mirror.

It is that sort of man that you need in charge of a team that dealt with cheating and imprisonment, of their captain and lead bowlers, the last time they were here. That was history, but it was also present. There where ghosts everywhere. And Mohammad Amir isn't even a ghost, he's right there on the field.

Far more docile situations than this have exploded in Pakistan cricket before.

"They do have a reputation of being volatile, "Jonathan Agnew says on the BBC when he his talking about how calm Misbah is looking in the field. Phil Tufnell adds that leading them can be like "herding cats". We have all seen it. That moment when Pakistan aren't a team with a leader, but a team with 11 leaders, all yelling, pointing, and arguing, like this is the most important moment they will ever live through.

And it's all happening right now, at this very moment, everything is going on, good, bad, terror, earthquakes, wickets, runs, winning, losing, drawing; a moment in Pakistani cricket is a series of 12 novels. There is nothing that can't happen, that isn't happening, nothing that can stop it. The foundations of society are falling apart, the world has stopped turning, the sun is exploding, and that last lbw appeal was so out that 11 men screamed for it as if they were trying to save their life.

How do you captain that, how do you harness it, how do you stand in front of a cyclone of passion, for cricket, for country, and just say: settle down. How do you be Misbah?

The first ball of England's second innings, bowled by Amir, was a short, wide piece of filth. Alastair Cook didn't want to hit it, but he felt rude not going for it, so he took the four runs that were given to him. It was a terrible start.

Everyone bowls reverse swing now, but when it comes from a Pakistani hand, still has a trademark. You can almost see the tail, it seems to tell you what it is doing, and you know where it is going, but it just goes further and faster than you can handle

Misbah didn't even react. It was just a bad ball. He'd seen them before.

The ball also wasn't really swinging, and his two new-ball bowlers were struggling to keep it dangerous, keep it anywhere - 283 could be disappearing quickly. But in the fourth over Rahat Ali bowled the best ball of his Test career and Cook was gone. The nation of Pakistan relaxed.

Misbah clapped softly.

But there was no over-attacking. The attacking fielders seemed capped at four. There weren't five men around the bat for Yasir Shah. There were boundary riders everywhere. The bowlers weren't looking for unplayable balls. They just continued to bowl well and wait. When Younis Khan dropped James Vince at slip, there was no concern, no worry.

Misbah played with his beard.

Yasir comes on, and his first over is pretty calm until he bowls a fullish ball that the batsman goes back to. It hits the middle of the bat, but the Pakistan players, the crowd, the media box all gasp as one.

Misbah stretches.

Vince starts to play recklessly, and thanks to the Younis drop and other luck, he gets away with it. The scoring rate rises. Suddenly Yasir isn't ripping through anyone, Wahab Riaz isn't controlling it from his end, and there are runs out there if you want them. Gary Ballance is crabbing around the crease with confidence not seen in a long time. But a wide one from Wahab is chased by Vince, and this time Younis takes the catch.

Misbah jogs over to the celebrating group.

Not long after Ballance nicks one, but something happens to Younis. Instead of standing up, he squats, and the ball goes through at a catchable height. No one can truly work out what has happened. Younis spent both his innings with the bat jumping up at the ball when he played it, and now that the ball is there to jump at, he's on the floor.

Misbah walks off for lunch chatting.

After lunch Pakistan decide to slow it all down. They have bowled for wickets and now they bowl for dots. England's easygoing happy hour chase turns into a hard slog. It is a completely different game. Amir bowls wide for dots. That is one of the most exciting bowlers in the world, finally back in the side, who can bowl beams of pure energy from his magical fingers; and he is bowling his second spell - on a pitch he has destroyed England on before - as wide and boring as possible. His five overs go for six runs.

Misbah's only move is to occasionally change the angles of the sweepers out on the boundary.

Yasir changes ends. Before the break he had bowled okay, but it never truly looked like he was going to run through anyone. Misbah makes the move and Yasir finds rhythm. He finds something extraordinary. Ballance had been moving across the crease when he was around the wicket earlier, taking lbw out of the contest, so Yasir rips one out of the footmarks that goes behind Ballance and bowls him. It comes from nowhere. It is obscene legspin porn, and before the heart rate can return to normal, Moeen Ali charges Yasir. The end change and Amir's dry bowling have resulted in two wickets.

Misbah smiles.

But he doesn't put in eight catchers or six slips. The plan is to bowl dry. They will continue to bowl dry. Yasir is to bowl wicket to wicket. The quicks are to bowl wide of off stump. It is England's decision what to do next. Pakistan are going to wait. "We don't need to do this quickly".

Rahat comes on and bowls so wide first ball that it is called. An actual wide, and that is where he intended to pitch it, as he bowls a bunch more out there as well. If England want to score, they have to reach for it. It's there, runs and the win. All they have to do is have a go.

Shouldn't Yasir change ends? Should we attack more? Should we attack less? Surely something, Misbah. David Gower says, "This is where as a captain you start to get twitchy." Misbah doesn't look twitchy. He looks Misbah

Misbah rubs his beard.

In Pakistan's innings, Misbah saw this happen right in front of him. England bowling dry, keeping the pressure on Pakistan, waiting for them to make a mistake. And it was Misbah who tried to change the pace. There was method to his madness, but there was a lot of madness. Misbah thought he could snap England's hold over his middle order by taking Moeen out. Instead, he took himself out.

Misbah now set the game up for someone else to make that mistake.

England inched along with Jonny Bairstow using every inch of his restraint to not play a big shot and Chris Woakes using his straight bat to great effect. The partnership was working. Pakistan had to do something.

Misbah brought on Wahab.

It was only five overs, and technically there were no wickets, and only a few runs, but it felt like the entire Test was going to explode, or implode, or Pakistan. It felt like Pakistan. Not Misbah's Pakistan, but Pakistan Pakistan.

Everyone bowls reverse swing now, but the shape of the ball, when it comes from a Pakistani hand, still has a trademark. It looks heavy, like a falling comet. You can almost see the tail, it seems to tell you what it is doing, and you know where it is going, but it just goes further and faster than you can handle. Wahab did all of that.

If there is anyone in this Pakistan team that you can't tame, you can't control, you can't hold back, it's Wahab. Every fibre of his being is un-Misbah, so this wasn't going to be bowling dry, not intentionally. He wasn't going to bowl wide floaters and hope for an error. He was going to make the error, force the error, head-butt the error. He was going to do it while dancing on the pitch's danger zone like a drunk at a cemetery, right after hurling reverse-swinging rockets at Bairstow and Woakes, and then go down the wicket to look them in the eyes. So there was a snorting, heaving monstrous cocktail of danger flying at Woakes and all he could do was poke his bat near the flash he saw before him. Wahab was breathing pure fire and couldn't see details, so he decided that one of them was an edge, and when his bone-curdling, screaming appeal was turned down, he wanted a DRS, and who dare deny him. Wahab Riaz, bowler of thunderbolts.

Misbah shook his head.

Wahab walked back toward his mark, slowly, but didn't get there as umpire Kumar Dharmasena stopped him and gave him his last warning for running on the pitch. One more mistake and Wahab wouldn't bowl again in the Test. So he came around the wicket and bowled his fast, snarling comets from hell at the batsmen and then watched them veer away violently.

Around the wicket he was even better. One ball is so good, you're just surprised to be in the same universe. Fast, dangerous, invisible, it was so good that Dharmasena asked for the ball, looked at it for a second for signs of something illegal, but mostly he wanted to see how a normal cricket ball could do something like this. He doesn't get it, so he shrugs and hands it back to Wahab, who bowls another ball. It isn't as good, because this time Woakes can see it enough to get an edge that Asad Shafiq pouches smoothly on the bounce. And finally the over ends, the over that almost had Woakes twice, that could have had the ball taken away, that Wahab almost was banned from finishing; the over that made the crowd change noise, the commentators change pitch, the world turn over the TV. It is now finished, but the others that follow are the same. You can feel your skin tightening 100 metres away, over after over, tighter, can't breathe, too much, please, Wahab, Jonny, Chris, someone, end this.

Misbah just tilted his head to the side and smiled.

Teams who lose six wickets and need over 100 runs to win a Test almost never win. But who is using Statsguru out on the ground calming the Pakistan team with facts? They just saw Woakes and Bairstow survive their biggest force of nature. England are on their way, runs are getting easier. It might be one of the slowest partnerships in modern English history, or ever, but it's over 50 runs, and as they crawl the chase comes under 100, and the crowd let them know by breathing for the first time since lunch, and then cheering. England are going to do it. Maybe part-timers should come on. Rethink the field plan. Shouldn't Yasir change ends? Should we attack more? Should we attack less? Surely something, Misbah. David Gower says, "This is where as a captain you start to get twitchy."

How do you stand in front of a cyclone of passion, for cricket, for country, and just say: settle down. How do you be Misbah?

Misbah doesn't look twitchy. Mishab doesn't look worried at all. He looks Misbah. Any worries he has, they are buried down so deep that no one can ever find them. Misbah does nothing.

Yasir continues to bowl wicket to wicket. He does what he has done most of the day to Bairstow. The field is mostly the same, there is no panic, there is no magic ball. Pakistan just wait for England to make the mistake. And Bairstow makes it. It is not a Pakistani death ball of doom, it isn't unplayable. He just makes a mistake and it bowls him. Then Stuart Broad misses one. Steven Finn almost misses another one next ball that is given out, and the bowlers go up to the umpire to ask why it was overturned on review.

Not Misbah. He is back at mid-off, waiting for the next ball.

Finally the waiting is over. The stumps are on the ground, Pakistan have won, and it was the ball that came from Amir that did it. He puts out his arms like he did six years ago, and he just runs as fast as he can. His face is one that has seen six years of self-inflicted pain and has just overcome it all. He didn't win the Test, he wasn't the difference, but there he is crossing the crease.

The crease where he ruined his life, hurt the thing he loves, and broke his nation's heart, and he is smiling like he has never smiled before as he crosses it in a different direction, in every way, on one of the best days of his life. The whole team chase him, celebrating his second chance and their win.

Not Misbah. Misbah stands at mid-off smiling and clenching his fists. Eventually he walks over to the stumps, picks up one, grabs Amir's hat off the umpire and shakes the batsman's hand.

It is Younis who leads the team in their army camp celebration as they get in line, salute and then get down for their push-ups.

Misbah is on the second line of the celebration, out the back, and it is Misbah who gets down last for his push-ups. It was the first time all day he didn't lead his country. Not that it mattered. He had won the Test at Lord's. These were just celebration push-ups. There was no need to do them quickly.

Jarrod Kimber is a writer for ESPNcricinfo. @ajarrodkimber