Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler scored stunning fifties to power England to an impressive three-wicket win over Pakistan in the first Test. After conceding a 107-run lead in the first innings and being reduced to 117 for 5 in the second, the match looked as good as over for the home side.
However, Woakes and Buttler starred with the bat to help the Joe Root-led side chase down 277 successfully. England started their chase on a poor note as Rory Burns failed to get going again. Dom Sibley and Joe Root then steadied the ship by adding 64 runs for the second wicket before England lost both of them as well as Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope to find themselves reeling at 117 for 5.
Woakes and Buttler then joined hands and shared an impressive 139 runs for the sixth wicket to all but seal the game for their side. When Yasir Shah dismissed Buttler for 75, England needed only 21 runs. England later lost Stuart Broad too but Woakes, who remained unbeaten on 84, made sure to take England over the line without much drama.
Speaking at the end of the game, Joe Root lavished praise on Buttler and Woakes for their decisive partnership. At the same time, he urged his teammates to not get carried away and capitalise on the win.
“Couldn’t be more proud of the lads, approach was outstanding and that partnership was magnificent. We knew it would take something special but after last summer we knew not to stop believing. It’s a real strong trait of ours,” said Joe Root.
“Jos, it shows the mental strength, to play that situation and manage different passages of it, calculating risks, manipulating the spinner, brilliant innings, and Chris was magnificent too.
“The more important thing is we back it up again, and keep learning, but the clarity with which they played shows the maturity of the group too,” he added.
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