England allrounder Ben Stokes showed another miracle on the third day of the first Test match against Pakistan, but not with the bat. Sidelining his fitness issue, he took the bowl and aided England’s bowling attack. His teammate Chris Woakes, who picked two prized scalps, also could not stop and went on to lavish praise of Ben Stokes’ prodigies.
Pakistan had the upper hand on the game before England’s bowler attack shrunk the visitor’s second innings. The Green Army was leading for 107 runs and was ready to get a mammoth target but the host halted them to do so.
Chris Woakes was the main man for England as he early sent back two-star performers Babar Azam and Azhar Ali. Stuart Broad also picked the wicket of key man Shan Masood who scored a century in the first innings.
But Ben Stokes late boomer assisted England to easily get rid of Pakistan batters. He got the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan, who was settled to score big, and pacer Shaheen Afridi, who had played some brilliant shots in the first innings. The host left them 137 for eight at stumps.
Ben Stokes has had the knack of picking up wickets: Chris Woakes
After the end of the third day, Chris Woakes was not stunned to see the masterpiece of Ben Stokes because he knows that his teammate is capable of conjuring ‘miracles’. The pacer added that every captain would need Stokes in the trenches.
“I had no idea whether he was able to bowl or ready to bowl, but I’m not overly surprised that he could do what he did. That’s Ben Stokes, we know he’s capable of miracles,” said his fellow all-rounder, Chris Woakes.
“He’s got a bit of a golden arm, he always has had the knack of picking up wickets. When you are in a bit of dog fight, he’s the sort of player you want in your team. He always put his hand up and gives 110 per cent and he certainly did that picking up a couple.”
Chris Woakes confident over England’s win:
Although Azhar Ali-led side had still 244 lead which is seemingly fighting total to win the first Test match at Old Trafford.
On the other hand, Chris Woakes is well acquainted with his team’s talent which has done impossible things. From winning the dramatic World Cup to Headingly Test match, England has bamboozled the opposition.
“You always have belief, it would be stupid if we’re rocking up tomorrow thinking ‘if we lose three quick wickets we’re done’,” said Woakes.
“You hear a lot about records and chases, how many times it’s been chased at Old Trafford, but things like that are there to be broken.
“We’ll definitely look at those other wins, the sort of wins where you’re written off around this stage of the game. We’ll draw on those experiences. We’ve definitely got the ability to get a win and we’ve got the players who can do it.
Meanwhile, the host were all out for 219 in their first innings as Yasir Shah picked four wickets. Only England batsman Ollie Pope had shown temperament to handle Pakistan’s outstanding bowling attack.