A magnificent century stand between Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler propelled England to a stunning three-wicket victory over Pakistan in the thrilling first test at Old Trafford on Saturday.
England started the day with just two Pakistani wickets to get, which the English bowlers did in pretty quick time, as Pakistan were bowled out for a mere 169, scoring just 32 runs in the morning, setting England a target of 277 to win.
Coming in to bat with 277 needed to win, England made a slow start, as they put on just 22 runs in the first 11 overs. But time was the least they would have been worried about, as they had almost two days ahead of them. But soon after in the 12th over, the English opener Rory Burns (10) fell for Mohammad Abbas.
Although the England top order showed promise with a quiet 64-run partnership between Dom Sibley (36) and skipper Joe Root (42), they could not capitalize on the start they got and were dismissed in quick succession. With England at 96 for 3, Ben Stokes(9) and Ollie Pop(7) were expected to do some damage control, but both departed in a jiffy, one after the other. England was left at 117 for 5, losing three wickets just within 20 runs.
With 160 runs needed for victory, Jos Buttler (75) joined by Chris Woakes (84*) put together a match winning 117-run partnership for the sixth-wicket. With Buttler’s white-ball credentials in no question, he combined the skill to rack up the runs at a good tempo with the patience required to not throw his wicket away. And with Chris Woakes showing some excellent temperament, it became all the more easy for Buttler, before he departed missing a reverse sweep off Yasir Shah, and stuck on the boot for an lbw. But with just 21 more needed and Woakes still at the crease well set, the wicket came a bit too late for Pakistan. Woakes , with his new-found form with the bat, made sure England do not face any more hiccups and guided the innings till the end, before he finished with a four to help England pull off the second highest fourth innings run chase at Old Trafford.
MOM : Chris Woakes
Full Scorecard : England win by 3 wickets