England’s sixth wicket pair of Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler added 139 to secure an unlikely victory at Old Trafford.
On a gripping fourth day, England looked down and out chasing 277 for victory. A century partnership between Woakes and Buttler edged England closer to the finishing line.Despite a late scare England managed to grab victory by three wickets on a pulsating day of test cricket.
Pakistan name two spinners in their side
England named an unchanged side for the three-test series against Pakistan, with the visitors playing two leg spinners.
The visitors elected to bat first on a pitch that appeared to offer something for both bat and ball.
Jofra Archer struck first for England by removing Abid for 16. Azhar lasted just six deliveries before he was leg before to Chris Woakes before lunch.
An afternoon session which was interrupted by the expected Manchester rain saw Pakistan close on 139 for 2. The impressive Babar Azam was on 69 with opener Shan Masood unbeaten on 46.
England strike early on before Pakistan hit back
With better weather forecasted for the second day, England struck twice early on. Jimmy Anderson had Babar caught at slip in the first over of the day. Stuart Broad removed Shafiq quickly and with Woakes getting Rizwan for nine, England were on top.
Pakistan were indebted to Masood and Shadab Khan who featured in a century partnership for the sixth wicket. Dom Bess eventually removed Khan for 45, but Masood continued to prosper.
The opener- who was dropped twice- made a magnificent 156 before Broad trapped him leg before. The opener now having completed his third successive test century. Despite Archer picking up two wickets in two balls, Pakistan were bowled out for an impressive 326.
England stumble in reply to visitors impressive total
England lost Rory Burns to the fourth ball of their reply. The hosts were in bother when Dom Sibley went for eight and Ben Stokes without scoring to leave them 12 for 3.
Captain Joe Root and Ollie Pope posted a fifty partnership before Root fell to leg spinner Yasir Shah. Pope steadied the ship with a mature unbeaten 46 as England closed on 92 for 4.
Pope added 16 to his overnight total before he fell to Naseem Shah to leave England 127 for 5. After lunch England lost three wickets for four runs as Shah had England tied up in knots.
Only some impressive late hitting from Broad enabled England to post a total of 219, with Shah taking four wickets.
With an overall lead of 107 Pakistan soon lost Masood for a duck off Broad. Abid was then dropped by the normal reliable safe hands of Stokes at slip. The visitors were struggling against some useful England quick bowling. At the close of the day Pakistan had stretched their lead to 244 to close on 137 for 8.
It didn’t take England long to pick up the reaming three wickets, with the hosts bowled out for 169. Pakistan were grateful for some late hitting from Shah with a cameo innings of 33 off 24 balls. Once again it was Broad who was the pick of the England attack by finishing with 3 for 37.
England set an imposing total for victory
England were set 277 to win, which looked a stiff target. They soon lost Burns for 10 trapped leg before to Mohammad Abbas. Sibley and Root rallied England to reach 55 for 1 at Lunch, still 222 away from victory.
After lunch Yasir Shah removed Sibley with Root following shortly afterwards, Pakistan were fighting back. Pakistan’s fine afternoon continued when Stokes gloved a delivery off Yasir to wicketkeeper Rizwan. Shaheen Shah produced an unplayable delivery that Pope could do nothing about to leave England in deep trouble.
England have Woakes and Buttler to thank
At 117 for 5 England looked dead and buried, but this England side do bat deep. Enter Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler with the pair deciding the best form of defence is attack. In a blistering partnership of 139 they took England to the brink of victory.
With 21 needed Buttler was leg before to Yasir sweeping. England decided to send Broad in next. With just four required to win the Nottinghamshire seamer was trapped leg before to Yasir.
It needed some calm nerves from Dom Bess and Woakes to see England across the line. Bess survived three deliveries from Yasir. It was down to Woakes to face Shaheen Afridi. Off the first delivery of the over he guided the ball down to third man to seal a remarkable victory.
So, an outstanding fightback from England after conceding a first innings lead. For the first time in a very long time England have won an opening test of a series.
The job still isn’t done with two tests remaining. England will go into the second test at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday 1-0 up in the series. England have called up Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson to their squad ahead of the second test.
All rounder Ben Stokes will miss the rest of the Pakistan series to be with his unwell father. Stokes, will fly back to New Zealand this week to support the rest of his family.