On the fourth day of the opening game of the three-match Test series against Pakistan at Manchester, Chris Woakes and the wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler secured a dramatic three-wicket victory for the hosts England to secure the 1-0 lead in the series with two to go.
Starting the day on their overnight score of 137/8, Pakistan were all-out for 169 runs. Chasing down the 277 runs target, England were once battling on 117/5, but Jos Buttler (75 runs off 101 balls; 7 fours and only six) and Chris Woakes (84 not out off 120 balls; 10 fours) didn’t give up and inspired the hosts to snatch a three-wicket victory as the hosts reached the target after losing seven wickets.
Pakistan’s second innings: Yasir Shah added 21 runs off just nine balls on the morning session
While Pakistan only managed to play 16 balls on the fourth-day morning session, Yasir Shah added 21 runs off just nine balls on that morning as he fired up with 33 runs off just 24 balls (5 fours and only six) before losing his wicket.
Among the England bowlers, pacer Stuart Broad (3/37) was the most successful bowler in that innings as he took three wickets, adding one wicket on this morning. Also, Chris Woakes (2/11) and Ben Stokes (2/11) got two wickets each while Dom Bess (1/40) and Jofra Archer (1/27) collected one wicket each.
Chasing 277 runs: English middle-order batsmen Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler controlled the game after England lost four wickets in 31 runs
In the fourth innings, after Mohammad Abbas dismissed the English opener Rory Burns (10) cheaply, another opener Dom Sibley and skipper Joe Root handled that early pressure very well. They built up the solid 64 runs partnership for the second wicket, but once their partnership was broken, English batting suffered a collapse.
At first, the Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah dismissed Sibley for 32 runs. Sixteen balls later of that dismissal, Root (42) was dismissed by Naseem Shah. Ben Stokes (9) and Ollie Pope (7) both failed to reach the double-digit mark after Yasir and Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed them respectively. At that time, England lost their last four wickets in just 31 runs.
While the visitors were dominating at that moment as that game was well in their grip, Buttler and Woakes rescued the hosts and set up the game-changing 139 runs partnership for the sixth wicket.
Though Yasir tried hard till the end of that game as he dismissed Buttler and Stuart Broad (7) at the very late moment of that chasing, it was too late for the visitors to return to the game. Yasir finished that innings with the bowling figures of 30-2-99-4.
It was England’s sixth successful fourth-innings chasing in their home Test history. It is also the highest successful chase for a team in the fourth innings of a Test match against Pakistan in the 21st century. Woakes undoubtedly won the Player of the Match award.