England pulled off a remarkable run-chase at the Old Trafford in Manchester on day four against Pakistan to take a series lead. England’s most scrutinized man Jos Buttler spearheaded the chase to pull the hosts out of a hole as Chris Woakes held his nerve till the end to guide England to victory by three wickets ultimately. It is the first time since five series that Joe Root’s men have won the opening Test of a rubber.
Pakistan added 43 runs more runs to their overnight lead of 244 that they dragged themselves to. Yasir Shah played some electric shots off Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer to ramp up their scoring rate. Finally, Archer and Broad dismissed Yasir and Naseem Shah to wrap up their innings. England had to pull off the second-highest run-chase in Manchester to take a series lead.
Rory Burns and Dom Sibley began their chase safely but not positively. Rory Burns was the first to go as a nip-backer from Mohammad Abbas resulted in his downfall for 10. Sibley and skipper Joe Root built a 64-run stand before a delivery outside off-stump ended Sibley’s rearguard of 113 balls. The home side lost Root, Ben Stokes, and Ollie Pope within 31 runs as they still found themselves adrift of 160 runs.
Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes turn on the screws for England:
Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes did not bat defensively and instead attacked every chance they got. At the cusp of tea, the pair brought their fifty-run stand; however, Pakistan were still only one blow away from triggering a collapse. On the flipside, the hosts needed only a little more than a hundred for victory. In the 63rd over, Buttler reached his half-century while two balls later, Woakes got to his fifty too.
Woakes and Buttler did have their share of luck as well since the occasional top-edges did not carry to the fielders. Yasir Shah was the one to make the breakthrough, three overs before the new-ball availability. It ended a 139-run stand, but England needed only 21 more for victory. Shah sent Broad for his fourth wicket; however, Chris Woakes bagged the last four runs through an inside edge for a boundary to complete the victory.