Of the three results possible on the last day of the Old Trafford Test match, a Pakistan win looked the least likely. England needed 285 runs with all wickets in hand and if it stepped on the gas, this was an eminently achievable target. Or England could easily hold out for a draw which would have won them the series. By the tea interval, England had settled for a draw.

Pakistan seemed out of the reckoning and I started to compose this column in my mind, I would say that Pakistan had batted far better than they had done at Lord's but had not bowled well enough. England had got off to a flying start in the second innings, 85 off 22 overs and I was particularly disappointed with Wasim Akram who seemed over charged-up and had let loose a bouncer-barrage. Was he trying to tell his fans at Old Trafford that he was capable of generating the same steam as of yore?

Pakistan are at their most dangerous when they see an opening and Waqar Younis had provided that with a superb in-swinging yorker (reverse swing) that bowled Michael Atherton and suddenly it became a different ball game. Pakistan has played some inspired cricket in the past but even the wildest Pakistani supporter could have hoped for what happened. I thought of the nursery rhyme. "I'll huff and I'll puff and I will blow your house down."

Wasim, Waqar and Saqlain Mushtaq did not huff and puff. Instead they did a hatchet job on England. Not even the born-again England team could withstand the pressure. Soon after Pakistan won, I got a telephone call from my son who works in Cairo. He pointed out that in all the excitement, one tended to overlook the superlative catch that Imran Nazir took that dismissed the last England batsman. He had dived to his left and was air-borne when he plucked the ball, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. I told him that it was a part of the team effort. But in our euphoria, one must not overlook the tremendous crowd support that Pakistan got. Old Trafford as awash with Pakistan flags and irrespective of the state of the game, the crowd remained noisy, willing their team on and I must add, remained well behaved at all times.

When Pakistan had lost, somewhat ingloriously, at Lord's there had been great disappointment and this disappointment had been expressed in a variety of ways including some injudicious comments that targeted the PCB and its chairman. I hope these same people will make amend. If a cricket board is to be held responsible for the defeat of its team, surely by that some token, it must get all the credit when the team wins. I hold to the view that a cricket board must not be judged by its team's performance, whether the team loses or it wins.

Despite the magnificent win at Old Trafford, there are glaring weaknesses in the Pakistan Test team. To start with it needs a specialist opener to go in with Saeed Anwar. When I first read that Pakistan was planning to send Abdur Razzaq to open to innings, I thought it was some kind of a joke. But lo and behold, their was Abdur Razzaq strutting out with Saeed Anwar. As mistake go, this came in the category of stupidity.

Perhaps, the Pakistan think-tank was under the impression that, as guests, they were obliged to gift England a wicket. And when he came into open in the second innings as well, I was convinced that the Pakistan think-tank was of the view that best way of learning from a mistake was to repeat it. Why have we given up on Imran Nazir and Mohammad Wasim as Test players? I had supported the inclusion of Faisal Iqbal in the team but surely not at one wicket down?

Generally a team sends its best batsman in that position, not a callow youth. Inzamamul-Haq is Pakistan's best batsman and if he is comfortable at number four, Yousuf Youhana should be coming one wicket down. With Razzaq opening and Faisal Iqbal coming one-down, Pakistan was effectively gifting two wickets. This may seem like carping when one should be praising Inzamam and Younis Khan and Rashid Latif but just as one learns from failures, we should also learn from success. I think that the umpiring in both the Test matches was poor and since it was the Pakistan batsmen who were victims of "errors of judgement" it makes the umpiring suspect. When an England team next visits South Asia, I hope its players and media will remember that their own umpires are capable of making mistakes, or, put more unkindly, of being patriotic.

The decision to take the team to Blackpool a day before the start of the Test was a stroke of genius. A team needs to come to a Test match prepared but it also needs to come to a Test match relaxed. An outing of this sort adds to the bonding. It didn't seem to have done Inzamam any harm. In 1974 when I managed the Pakistan team, I asked the driver of the team coach to divert to Whipsnade Zoo on our way to Leeds. There were howls of protests from the players but once we got to the Zoo, we all had a great time. A team can get too intense. It needs to unwind. I get the impression that this is a happy team.