Cricket

England vs Pakistan: Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler pull off heist on Day 4 to help hosts grab Test series lead

  • Agence France-Presse
  • August 8th, 2020
  • 23:35:31 IST

Manchester: Chris Woakes hit an unbeaten 84 as England came from behind to beat Pakistan in the first Test at Old Trafford on Saturday.

England were struggling in pursuit of a victory target of 277 after collapsing to 117-5 on the fourth day.

But Woakes, who had helped drag England back into the match with 2-11 in just five overs late Friday, and fellow World Cup-winner Jos Buttler turned the tide with a stand of 139.

Nevertheless, with just 21 more runs needed, Buttler was lbw for 75 after trying to reverse-sweep leg-spinner Yasir Shah.

The batsman reviewed but all to no avail, with England now 256-6.

Chris Woakes celebrates after hitting the winning boundary on Day 4. AP

Chris Woakes celebrates after hitting the winning boundary on Day 4. AP

By the time Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi took the new ball, England needed just 13 more runs to win at a sun-drenched Old Trafford.

But there was still time for England to lose their seventh wicket when, with four more needed, Stuart Broad was plumb lbw on the sweep to Yasir.

Woakes, however, finished the match with an edged boundary off Afridi down to the third man rope as England went 1-0 up in a three-match campaign.

Victory meant England had won an opening Test for the first time in six series.

Defeat was tough on Yasir, who took eight wickets in the match.

Wicketkeeper Buttler had had a poor game in the field, twice missing Shan Masood on 45 during the Pakistan opener's 156 that was instrumental in leaving England with a first-innings deficit of over a hundred runs.

But whether it was cover-driving leg-spinner Shadab Khan or pulling teenage paceman Naseem Shah for another boundary, Buttler put the pressure back on Pakistan.

Buttler's fifty came off just 55 balls, with seven fours, with Woakes no slouch in a 59-ball fifty he completed by cover-driving Naseem for the eighth boundary of his innings.

It was Woakes's highest Test score since his hundred against India two years ago.

Although Woakes is known to be vulnerable to the short ball, Pakistan did not pitch short to the all-rounder until he was well set.

Only twice before has a team chased more than 200 to win in the fourth innings of a Test at Old Trafford, with England making 294-4 against New Zealand in 2008 and 231-3 against the West Indies in 2004.

Collapse

Earlier, England lost four wickets for 31 runs in slipping to 117-5, with captain Joe Root and Ben Stokes both falling in the collapse.

The slump started when Dom Sibley (36) edged a drive off Yasir to slip.

Root made 42 before he nicked Naseem to Babar Azam in the slips.

Stokes had guided England to an astounding one-wicket win over Australia from a seemingly hopeless position with a brilliant century in the third Ashes Test last year.

But there was no repeat of his Headingley heroics on Saturday when he fell for just nine, with wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, impressive behind the stumps throughout this match, holding an excellent catch after Stokes got a thin glove to a Yasir googly that bounced.

Ollie Pope then received a brute of a delivery from Afridi that lept off a length, the ball ballooning to Shadab as he ran forward from gully.

Pakistan had resumed on 137-8, a lead of 244.

Yasir led a tailend rally that saw 32 runs added in just 16 balls before his team were dismissed for 169 in their second innings.

Yasir struck a quickfire 33 off 24 balls but, in the end, it was not enough to compensate for Pakistan losing four wickets late on Friday.

Updated Date: August 08, 2020 23:35:31 IST

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