Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler guide England to remarkable victory in series opener

Nick Hoult
·45-min read
Chris Woakes finished unbeaten on 84 to seal the win for England - GETTY IMAGES
Chris Woakes finished unbeaten on 84 to seal the win for England - GETTY IMAGES

Chris Woakes held both arms aloft as he edged the winning runs to complete a run chase as good as the miracle of Headingley.

Woakes played the innings of his career, making 84 not out under high pressure to calmly deliver a three-wicket win against Pakistan that will rank alongside England’s great victories. 

In pure cricketing terms, if not for dramatic tension, this was a better all-round performance than Leeds 12 months ago because it was built on more than one man’s excellence (and a plucky No 11).

Jos Buttler showed immense mental strength to play an innings that probably saved his England career with 75 off 101 balls, produced against the backdrop of his worst Test as a keeper. Buttler owed the team 111 runs after fluffing two expensive chances in Pakistan’s first innings and he could not afford another failure, or poor dismissal. His highest score since September 2018 was perfectly timed, both personally and for the team.

Woakes had said on Friday night that England could do it. His confidence came after Ben Stokes had given England a sniff with the ball as Pakistan slumped from 101 for four to 137 for eight, a lead of 244 they extended with some slogging in the morning to a 277-run target.

But at 117 for five, a whopping 170 short of their target, and against a rounded, potent Pakistan attack, the game looked up when Woakes joined Buttler.

They counter-attacked in one-day mode like World Cup winners, rattling along at nearly seven an over to put Pakistan on the back foot before settling into a coolly focused mindset, giving nothing away. They combined for 139 in 33 overs for the sixth wicket, taking England to within 21 runs of victory.

Woakes’s batting had slumped since his 137 at Lord’s two years ago, with a highest score of 37, but here he was able to play his way in and only faced one brief passage when Pakistan tested his nerve with the short ball.

Jos Buttler counter-attacked brilliantly after England's top order had been felled - REUTERS
Jos Buttler counter-attacked brilliantly after England's top order had been felled - REUTERS

He struck 10 fours, including some excellent cover drives, as this most understated of cricketers took the game by the scruff of the neck. There was no guttural Stokes-like roar at the moment of victory. Just a quick acknowledgement of team-mates and a pat on the back from his partner, Dom Bess. Job done.

Pakistan had pace and wrist spin to exploit a pitch as dry as any in Karachi or Rawalpindi, but they were timid when it mattered most, failing to attack Woakes with the short ball despite seeing his discomfort in the first innings when a bouncer hit him on the head. They persisted with Yasir Shah, whose eight wickets in the match slightly flattered him, and by the time the second new ball was taken, the game was up with only 13 needed. Woakes lost another partner in Stuart Broad but by then it was too late for Pakistan.

England started doggedly, seeing off the new ball opening spell from Mohammad Abbas silencing chirpy fielders in the first 10 overs.

They lost Rory Burns, unluckily adjudged lbw, but Dom Sibley showed improvement, getting further forward to Abbas At 55 for one at lunch, England had enjoyed a solid start. Joe Root went into the innings averaging 63 against spin and 74 when facing leg spin, so Yasir was the crucial man. He was frustrated by England picking his length and tapping him around so went around the wicket to Sibley, who kicked the ball away and the scoring slowed. A big looping leg break tempter outside off stump lured Sibley in and the big drive was edged straight to second slip. 

Root oozed class at times sweeping Yasir, but his wicket opened the innings up. Naseem Shah only managed two wickets in the game but they were both crucial; Oliie Pope in the first innings, Root here. He produced a beauty that moved laterally off the pitch at pace and took Root’s edge. 

Sports Briefing
Sports Briefing

Yasir was now confident and hitting his length. A top-spinner lifted and surprised Stokes, who could only glove to the keeper, with Mohammad Rizwan taking a superb shoulder-height catch. 

Shaheen Afridi's brute of a ball hit a crack outside Pope’s off stump, lifted nastily and banged him on the glove. He walked off as Pakistan celebrated the wicket ringing his right hand. 

At 117 for five England were sinking. Pakistan fielders were buzzing around noisily, and the sometimes wonky notes of a lone Pakistan fan playing ‘dil dil Pakistan’ on the saxophone outside the ground carried across Old Trafford.

This situation suited Buttler. He had a target to aim for, which suits his one-day mode of operation. With Woakes he set out on the offensive. England had to blunt Pakistan confidence, knowing they can quickly go into their shell when attacked.

They crashed 40 runs in four overs, with Buttler’s reverse sweep for four off Yasir underlining his unorthodox brilliance. 

Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan catches England's Ben Stokes to dismiss him during day four - PA
Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan catches England's Ben Stokes to dismiss him during day four - PA

At tea the target was down to 110. Pakistan had an awful half-hour after the break. They were flat and listless, hoping that Abbas would swing one through the defences. Naseem lost his head a little bit and his line. Buttler reached 50 first, then Woakes with a brace of fours that tipped the win predictor on Sky in England’s favour for the first time. 

Yasir was brought back on, the man Pakistan knew could deliver, with 64 needed. A thin outside edge off Woakes landed agonisingly short of second slip, but England were no longer taking risks. The innings had gone from high-octane hitting, to calm run accumulation. England steadily marched towards their target. 

The pressure grew on Azhar Ali, the captain, and he cracked. With two reviews in his back pocket he burned both within eight balls, one each for Buttler and Woakes. 

Buttler hoicked Shadab Khan over cow corner for six, bringing the target to 26, but a missed sweep in the next over gave Pakistan hope. Buttler reviewed and it took an age for the Hawkeye verdict to be delivered, the ball just hitting the top of the off stump.

England sent in Broad, given his golden run of form, with two overs to the new ball. He did not last. It mattered little. Woakes was going to see his side home. This was his day and it is hard to think of anyone in cricket who would begrudge this popular player his moment.


05:57 PM

England take a 1-0 series lead

That is England's 10th highest successful run chase in Test history. What a game. And both teams go again on Friday. If the next two matches are anything like that, we are in for a cracker of a series.

05:54 PM

Man of the match

Is Chris Woakes, who took four wickets and scored that match-winning 84 not out.

05:53 PM

Joe Root speaks

That was a brilliant chase. A fantastic Test match all round. I couldn't be more proud of the lads. That partnership between Woakesy and Jos was magnificent. I'm thrilled to bits to have won the game. After last summer it's very hard to stop believing. We know that anything is possible.

The most important thing now is to back it up. There's things we can improve on, but I couldn't be more proud of the character we showed today. On a very tough surface to score that many runs shows the ability of the lads.

05:50 PM

Azhar Ali speaks

It was a wonderful Test match. Disappointing to be on the wrong side of it but full credit to England. The pitch started to do nothing when Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler were batting but full credit to them. They took the game away from us.

I would give credit to that partnership. It's tough when someone plays like that to keep the field up and keep the boundaries dry, but sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition batsmen.

When we got five wickets we were very happy that we had bowled well. Suddenly that partnership changed everything.

05:43 PM

Jos Buttler speaks

A lot of relief. I think we turned up today with a lot of belief. We knew it was going to be tough and Pakistan added some important runs this morning.

I really enjoyed my partnership with Woakesy. We tried to break it down into a bit of a one-day chase and score at four an over. After I saw that ball to Popey, I thought if you just try and stay in and bat time you'll be a bit of a sitting duck.

If I'd taken those chances we'd have won two hours ago. I'm very aware I didn't keep well and at this level you can't afford to do that. I've got to be better - I know that. The thought goes through your head that if I don't score any runs it could potentially be my last game.

05:33 PM

What a chase

05:31 PM

England win by three wickets

What a Test match. England looked to have no hope whatsoever after the top order was skittled after lunch, but what a partnership between Buttler and Woakes. Wonderful, wonderful batting. And a dramatic win. A cracking game.

05:29 PM

England win!

Shaheen continues... and Woakes outside edges between the slips and gully for four! England have won!

05:28 PM

OVER 82: England 273/7 (Woakes 80* Bess 0*)

Bess is the new man and Pakistan have another shout for lbw, which is turned down. If only it wasn't bouncing over the stumps and he hadn't hit it. Bess survives. England need four runs to win.

05:25 PM

WICKET! Broad lbw Yasir 7

Yasir will continue with the new ball, but England are just one hit away now. Woakes carves a single to the cover fielder. Fancy a boundary to win it Stuey? He goes down on the sweep again... but misses it and is struck on the back leg bang in front. The finger goes up and Broad doesn't bother reviewing. FOW 273/7

05:22 PM

OVER 81: England 272/6 (Woakes 79* Broad 7*)

Shaheen will have first crack with the new ball at Woakes and he prompts an inside edge that crashes into the pads. A huge no-ball helps England's cause before Woakes cover drives for two... and then straight drives majestically for four! What a shot. What an over for England. England need five runs to win.

05:16 PM

OVER 80: England 264/6 (Woakes 72* Broad 7*)

The final over before the second new ball. What have you got, Stuart? A well-struck sweep straight to deep backward square-leg, which brings Woakes back down to the business end where he is beaten by a beauty from Yasir. Just two runs off the over. It's new ball time, which means a return for the quicks. England need 13 runs to win.

05:12 PM

OVER 79: England 262/6 (Woakes 71* Broad 6*)

Over to you Stuart Broad. Oi oi, that's a crashing sweep off Shadab for four. That's what he's there for. Broad then tries to repeat the trick but picks out the fielder so only adds one. Woakes plays out the remainder of the over. England need 15 runs to win.

05:09 PM

OVER 78: England 257/6 (Woakes 71* Broad 1*)

Pakistan have the breakthrough. And Broad has come out ahead of Bess! He'll be there for a good time, not a long time.

05:04 PM

WICKET! Buttler lbw Yasir 75

Has the reverse-sweep cost Buttler? England's keeper attempts another one off Yasir but misses the ball and is struck just above the boot. It looked very close - the only issue is how far the ball still had to travel before reaching the stumps. The umpire's finger is raised, Buttler reviews and... it's umpire's call on distance and height! He's gone. FOW 256/6

04:59 PM

OVER 77: England 252/5 (Woakes 71* Buttler 71*)

Hello! Too short from Shadab and Buttler wallops it for six into the stands over cow corner! Go and fetch that. Out of nowhere, an eight-run over.

04:55 PM

OVER 76: England 244/5 (Woakes 70* Buttler 64*)

Five more overs until the second new ball can be taken. How many will England still require when that time comes? More reverse-sweeping from Buttler to Yasir, but just one run off the over. England need 33 runs to win.

04:53 PM

OVER 75: England 243/5 (Woakes 69* Buttler 64*)

Was that the moment? Buttler totally miscues an attempted pull off Shadab, which loops up and drops to safety in front of deep mid-wicket charging off the boundary rope. Buttler then looks to turn the ball to leg and get a leading edge that falls short of the bowler. How are the nerves? England need 34 runs to win.

04:50 PM

OVER 74: England 241/5 (Woakes 68* Buttler 63*)

Shane Warne says he feels like a wicket is coming from Yasir at Woakes. Is he right? Not if he bowls half-trackers that are easily cut away for two. Warne's prediction is amiss, with England helping themselves to five runs off the over.

04:47 PM

OVER 73: England 236/5 (Woakes 65* Buttler 61*)

Time for some more spin, with Shadab to try his luck in place of Shaheen. Woakes goes down on one knee in an attempted paddle sweep and Pakistan launch themselves into a huge appeal as the ball thuds into the front pad. The umpire shakes head and Pakistan eventually opt for the review. The verdict is: Not out. It was umpire's call on impact AND it was spinning past off stump. Pakistan have now used all their reviews, which could prove costly. England need 41 runs to win.

04:42 PM

OVER 72: England 235/5 (Woakes 65* Buttler 60*)

Is that out?? Pakistan are convinced they have Buttler caught behind, but the umpire says no. Buttler looked to cut the ball from Yasir, but it got big on him before reaching Rizwan. Pakistan have no hesitation in reviewing... but there's no edge. I wonder what they thought they heard. Yasir then gets one to rear off a length and thud into Buttler's chest/shoulder. They cannot find the breakthrough.

f - PA
f - PA

04:38 PM

OVER 71: England 233/5 (Woakes 64* Buttler 59*)

It's been more than 50 balls since the last boundary. Things are getting serious now - no longer the care-free attitude of before tea. Buttler flicks a full Shaheen delivery for two as England edge closer.

04:33 PM

OVER 70: England 230/5 (Woakes 64* Buttler 57*)

Oh, so close! Yasir rips one to Woakes and flicks the thumb on the way through, but it dies inches in front of second slip. The glove took the pace off it. Yasir has to be the key man for Pakistan here. Two singles from the over. England need 47 runs to win.

04:29 PM

OVER 69: England 228/5 (Woakes 63* Buttler 56*)

"I still reckon there's a twist somewhere," says Shane Warne on commentary. Will the 32 runs Pakistan plundered this morning prove crucial? Shaheen continues to provide little threat, with Woakes crunching a cover drive for two. It's all too easy for England.

04:25 PM

OVER 68: England 225/5 (Woakes 60* Buttler 56*)

Yasir finally finds Woakes' outside edge, but it drops straight into the turf and rolls down to third-man for a couple. The zip seems to have gone from the pitch and the Pakistan bowlers. A moment of magic is required. England need 52 runs to win.

04:22 PM

OVER 67: England 222/5 (Woakes 57* Buttler 56*)

From the fireworks before tea, the two batsmen have been content to largely nudge and work singles since the break. Risk-taking has been at a minimum, as it is off this Shaheen over, with Buttler flicking him for two to fine-leg and defending with ease.

04:18 PM

OVER 66: England 219/5 (Woakes 56* Buttler 54*)

Woakes cuts out to the cover sweeper for a single that brings up a quite superb 100-run partnership off 123 balls. No luck for Yasir. England need 58 runs to win.

04:12 PM

OVER 65: England 216/5 (Woakes 54* Buttler 53*)

A double bowling change sees Shaheen return and, while his start is tidy, there is nothing untoward from the pitch, the ball or anything else that might give the bowler any encouragement. Two singles are taken and it's time for drinks. England need 61 runs to win.

04:08 PM

OVER 64: England 214/5 (Woakes 53* Buttler 52*)

Here comes Yasir. I can't help but feel he could play a massive role in this. He's round the wicket, targeting the rough outside leg stump to Buttler, who remains happy to take him on with the sweep. A change of angle sees Yasir go over the wicket to Woakes, who plays out the rest of the over with ease.

04:03 PM

OVER 63: England 213/5 (Woakes 53* Buttler 51*)

Buttler pulls Naseem for one to fine-leg, which brings up a 55-ball half-century. An impressive innings. Could it prove match-winning? Naseem then goes short at Woakes, who gives himself room and swats it up and over point for four. He follows up by pushing one fuller, allowing Woakes to drive on the up through cover for four more to register a 59-ball half-century. England need 64 runs to win.

03:57 PM

OVER 62: England 202/5 (Woakes 44* Buttler 49*)

Abbas continues and there's minimal threat. Two singles taken easily.

03:53 PM

OVER 61: England 200/5 (Woakes 43* Buttler 48*)

Just a touch of width from Naseem allows Woakes to roll his wrists and cut expertly past point for four. Bowler and captain then have a long chat before moving the field to indicate the short ball is coming... and it almost removes Woakes instantly as he top edges a pull just over mid-wicket. At least Pakistan are trying something different. Otherwise this is in danger of drifting away from them. England need 77 runs to win.

03:47 PM

OVER 60: England 194/5 (Woakes 38* Buttler 47*)

That's a lovely shot from Woakes, flicking Abbas off his pads for four through mid-wicket. Pakistan must be getting twitchy now because Abbas isn't looking threatening and the runs are trickling along. Surely Yasir needs to be bowling.

03:42 PM

OVER 59: England 188/5 (Woakes 33* Buttler 46*)

There is indeed a bowling change and it's time for Naseem to crank things up a bit. Pakistan are desperate for the wicket that brings the tail. But Buttler spots one just back of a length and drags it from outside off to the cow-corner boundary.

03:37 PM

OVER 58: England 184/5 (Woakes 33* Buttler 42*)

Abbas is bowling very wide of the creasing, angling the ball into the batsmen and cramping them up for space. Just a single off the over.

03:33 PM

OVER 57: England 183/5 (Woakes 33* Buttler 41*)

Dross from Shadab, a full toss which Woakes hoicks away for two. He's not causing many problems at the moment and I'm not sure his spell will last longer than this over. Four runs off it.

03:30 PM

OVER 56: England 179/5 (Woakes 30* Buttler 40*)

As expected, the boundaries have dried up to Abbas. He just offers so little room to work with, but the scoreboard continues ticking with three singles off the over. England's target is now in double figures: 98 to win.

03:26 PM

OVER 55: England 176/5 (Woakes 28* Buttler 39*)

Buttler and Woakes are content to push singles off Shadab, who continues after the tea break. Four singles off the first five balls... before Buttler manages to pierce the infield with a cover drive and the ball races away for four.

03:22 PM

OVER 54: England 168/5 (Woakes 26* Buttler 33*)

Here we go then. England need 110 runs, Pakistan need five wickets. Abbas will kick things off and the keeper is up at the stumps to stop the batsmen advancing down the track. Measured to start with from Buttler, who pushes one into the leg side. And that is that. Back into red-ball mode.

02:58 PM

Tea - England need 110 to win

This is set up beautifully isn't it? Little over half an hour ago, England looked dead and buried after four quick wickets. But Buttler and Woakes' counter-attacking has made things very interesting. It's the hope that kills you. Back soon.

02:57 PM

OVER 53: England 167/5 (Woakes 26* Buttler 32*)

Time for one more over before tea and Shadab has been brought on to bowl it. But Woakes seems content to play for the break and two runs is the result.

02:54 PM

OVER 52: England 165/5 (Woakes 25* Buttler 31*)

Pakistan just need one wicket to break this partnership and calm the nerves. Then it'll be into the bowlers. Buttler is back on the reverse sweep to Yasir again, crashing the ball past point for four.

02:50 PM

OVER 51: England 159/5 (Woakes 24* Buttler 26*)

The batsmen are fully in white-ball mode. Barely a defensive shot in sight and Woakes displays impeccable timing yet again to push for four more through cover off Shaheen. The bowler then bangs one in and Woakes pulls hard for two, hauled in thanks to some excellent fielding on the boundary.

02:46 PM

OVER 50: England 153/5 (Woakes 18* Buttler 26*)

That's a glorious shot from Woakes, easing into a cover drive off Yasir for four more to take the partnership to 35 off 28 deliveries! Buttler is not afraid to try and sweep Yasir out of the rough that lurks outside leg stump. It may bring runs but it may bring about his downfall.

02:41 PM

OVER 49: England 147/5 (Woakes 13* Buttler 25*)

These two are going after the ball HARD. Buttler crashes Shaheen for one to the cover sweeper before Woakes flays for two thanks to gully's fine stop. But there's no halting the final shot as Woakes creams a cover drive to the boundary. England on the counter-attack.

02:37 PM

OVER 48: England 140/5 (Woakes 7* Buttler 24*)

More attacking intent from Buttler, sweeping Yasir hard for two... and repeating the trick with even more joy off the next delivery, rocketing the ball over the square-leg boundary rope. He is then lucky to survive though as he attempts a hat-trick of sweeps and watches a top edge land safe. Runs are flowing.

02:33 PM

OVER 47: England 133/5 (Woakes 7* Buttler 17*)

Oof, this is really testing from Shaheen, who continues to hit the pitch hard and get the ball to rear into the batsmen. Buttler survives one such delivery by tucking for a single. Woakes then gets off the mark flashing hard outside stump and beating gully to pick up four, before pulling over mid-wicket for three. These two batsmen have seen the demons in this pitch and are not going to hang around.

Here's that Pope dismissal:

02:28 PM

OVER 46: England 124/5 (Woakes 0* Buttler 15*)

Buttler pushes Yasir for a couple behind square on the off side. And he then reverse sweeps beautifully for four! Buttler is England's only real hope of victory (perhaps that's harsh on Woakes) and it seems he's going to be aggressive.

02:24 PM

OVER 45: England 117/5 (Woakes 0* Buttler 8*)

That ball from Shaheen just exploded off a length. Nothing whatsoever Pope could do. Impossible to play.

02:22 PM

WICKET! Pope c Shadab b Shaheen 7

That's totally unplayable. Shaheen gets one to rear up horribly from a good length, smash into Pope's hand as he desperately tries to adjust and it loops up for gully to take a few steps forward to claim the catch. An absolute ripper that sums up the extent of England's plight here. FOW 117/5

02:18 PM

OVER 44: England 116/4 (Pope 7* Buttler 8*)

A tossed up googly from Yasir allows Buttler to free his arms and drive neatly for four through extra-cover. Yasir then follows up with another loopy tempter, which Buttler piles into again and drives for four more. He doesn't look like he's going to put his shots away here. May as well try and score if you're there.

02:14 PM

OVER 43: England 107/4 (Pope 6* Buttler 0*)

A change of bowling sees Shaheen replace Naseem and he is operating a full outside-off-stump line angled across the two right-handed batsmen. Well, that's until switching round the wicket with the final delivery, angling one into Buttler, ripping it off his thigh pad and then celebrating wildly for caught behind even though the bat was nowhere near. Pakistan sensibly opt not to review this one.

02:09 PM

OVER 42: England 106/4 (Pope 5* Buttler 0*)

England have now lost three of their biggest wickets for just 20 runs.

02:07 PM

WICKET! Stokes c Rizwan b Yasir 9

Yasir continues to generate huge turn and there is all sorts of excitement as Stokes is beaten by one that bounces up outside off stump and Rizwan gathers behind the stumps. A massive appeal, the umpire shakes his head and Pakistan opt for another review. Stokes looks totally nonplussed but... UltraEdge shows it flicked the glove on the way through! He's gone. FOW 106/4

02:03 PM

OVER 41: England 105/3 (Pope 4* Stokes 9*)

More Naseem as Stokes blocks away. God there's so much riding on this partnership. Do they know how much is riding on this partnership?

Big appeal for lbw! No idea why, didn't look to be anything there but Azhar reviews! Not sure about that one. Looks high and drifting down the leg side. It's comfortably missing. Terrible review. Stokes gets out of the way of the last, maiden.

That's all from me today, with the excellent Ben Bloom taking you through the rest of the day's play.

01:57 PM

OVER 40: England 105/3 (Pope 4* Stokes 9*)

Yasir targeting the rough outside Stokes' off stump. Big appeal for lbw but Stokes hit it. Reverse sweep from Stokes for four to deep point. Yasir didn't like that, has a word. Stokes then works a single into the leg side before Pope misses out off the last ball.

01:54 PM

OVER 39: England 100/3 (Pope 4* Stokes 4*)

Feels like it all rides on this partnership, with Buttler's form questionable before you get into the bowlers. England still need 181 to win.

Pope off the mark with a boundary, flicked past square leg. That brings up the 100 for England.

01:49 PM

WICKET! Root c Babar Azam b Naseem Shah 42

Naseem Shah gets one to nip away! Root stood there fuming, the edge dropping straight to the slips once more. Pakistan well on top now, with England relying on Stokes and Pope to get out of trouble. FOW 96/3

01:45 PM

OVER 38: England 96/2 (Root 42* Stokes 4*)

Root into the 40s, reverse sweeping a ball out of the rough (!) for a boundary to third man. That was classy. Root the rocks back and cuts a single.

Yasir now bowling to Stokes, this should be a good battle this afternoon.

WinViz actually had England ahead before that Sibley wicket. It's a tighter battle than perhaps expected.

01:41 PM

OVER 37: England 91/2 (Root 37* Stokes 4*)

England need 191 to win, and in comes Ben Stokes. Root taps a single to mid-on, before Stokes gets off the mark with a boundary, thick, low edge to third man.

01:36 PM

WICKET! Sibley c Asad Shafiq b Yasir Shah 36

Good timing from Root, cut through the covers. Yasir then gets one to jag wildly out of the footmarks, that was lethal. Sweep from Root adds a single, out to square leg.

Edged by Sibley and gone! He went for the big drive and has paid the price, Yasir changing his approach coming back over the wicket. Pakistan get the breakthrough. FOW 86/2

01:31 PM

OVER 35: England 81/1 (Root 31* Sibley 36*)

Couple of byes and then Root plays a nice shot, rocking back and threading it towards third man for four. Root adds a single past square leg.

01:26 PM

OVER 34: England 74/1 (Root 26* Sibley 36*)

Sibley going for the kick and then misses it, with the next ball striking him on the backside. Too full by Yasir and Sibley gets enough on that for two.

01:23 PM

OVER 33: England 72/1 (Root 26* Sibley 34*)

Naseem Shah comes back on for Abbas. Edged by Root but drops well short of first slip! 86mph and it didn't carry to Babar Azam. Pitch is in a funny state. Maiden.

01:19 PM

OVER 32: England 72/1 (Root 26* Sibley 34*)

Sibley happy to use his pads but notably gets his gloves out the way afterwards, turning his body. Must be starting to grate on Yasir a little. 

England hurry through for two, small fumble from the keeper. That's the 50 partnership.

01:15 PM

OVER 31: England 70/1 (Root 26* Sibley 32*)

Abbas gets one to fly up but Root blocks away. Took a bit of the pitch with it. Another maiden.

01:11 PM

OVER 30: England 70/1 (Root 26* Sibley 32*)

Lots of turn from Yasir, Sibley glancing a couple away with his front pad. He even kicks one away. Maiden.

England's Joe Root in action - reuters
England's Joe Root in action - reuters

01:08 PM

OVER 29: England 70/1 (Root 26* Sibley 32*)

Shouts of catch after a leading edge but it's short of the two gullys! Root lucky there. Rizwan then palms a delivery into the hands of first slip, that looked slick. Rizwan applauding. Abbas accurate as ever and keeping the pressure on.


01:04 PM

OVER 28: England 70/1 (Root 26* Sibley 32*)

Good timing from Sibley, flighted ball, opens the bat and sends that for a boundary behind point. Shadab half-heartedly tries for a run out with Sibley well safe, but does hit the stumps.

01:00 PM

OVER 27: England 66/1 (Root 26* Sibley 28*)

Single for Sibley, played off his legs into the leg side. Run rate is currently 2.77 as England stay patient.

12:57 PM

OVER 26: England 65/1 (Root 26* Sibley 27*)

Looked set to be a Yasir maiden before a Sibley single off the last to midwicket. Plodding away, which is just what England want.

12:53 PM

OVER 25: England 64/1 (Root 26* Sibley 26*)

Runs, nice cut by Root, behind point to the boundary. Too wide from Abbas. They don't happen often.

A no ball too from Abbas, signaled by the third umpire.

12:49 PM

OVER 24: England 59/1 (Root 22* Sibley 26*)

More spin from Yasir. And that's so close. Stuck straight, Sibley's bat high and good job it was because it was a super ball, Yasir with his hands on his head.

Looks as though one beats everything but it's given out! Late call for an edge, Sibley reviews. Can't see anything really. There's a big chunk of a gap, it just spun so much that everyone got excited. Not out.


12:45 PM

OVER 23: England 59/1 (Root 22* Sibley 26*)

Big appeal from Abbas for lbw but nothing doing there. Remarkable ball though, forcing Root to play. Root fights back, coming down the pitch and striking with a boundary past midwicket.

12:40 PM

And we're ready to get going again

Abbas to bowl. Partnership is currently worth 33 runs.

12:36 PM

Something to read before we restart

Nick Hoult speaks to Thilan Walallawita, Middlesex's new slow left-armer, about his childhood and route into first-class cricket.

Thilan Walallawita was five years old and being carried in his father’s arms when his family scrambled to safety on Boxing Day 2004.

12:31 PM

Out of Exile

Watching the replay of this on Sky about the return of Test cricket to Pakistan. It's excellent. Atherton very good presenting it in particular.

12:02 PM

OVER 22: England 55/1 (Root 18* Sibley 26*) - LUNCH

Couple of singles before Yasir gets huge turn off one delivery. That really moved. Sibley steps back against the wrong'un and adds a single into the leg side. Nice batting though as Root delicately dabs the ball the way of leg side again for a single.

And that will be lunch. England should be fairly happy with that, only one wicket down and this partnership is working hard, showing good patience.

Burns dismissal was tight with umpire's call on the review. England trailing by 222 runs.

Back in a moment.

11:57 AM

OVER 21: England 51/1 (Root 16* Sibley 24*)

Shadab comes in for double spin as we edge closer towards lunch. Single for Root, behind square. And then England add three with some good running after a flick from Sibley to deep midwicket, which brings up England's 50. Good last ball from Shadab, hint of turn and glides through.

11:53 AM

OVER 20: England 47/1 (Root 15* Sibley 21*)

Sweep from Root for four! Nailed to the gap that opened up at deep midwicket. Root then finds the man out at deep cover for another single. Goggly blocked to end the over.

11:51 AM

OVER 19: England 42/1 (Root 10* Sibley 21*)

These two are plugging away. Root adds a single through covers, before Sibley comes up with a boundary past backward point. Nice shot.

11:45 AM

OVER 18: England 37/1 (Root 9* Sibley 17*)

Single from Root towards cover. Yasir Shah not quite in rhythm yet but he's just produced a nice straightening delivery. It'll come.

11:42 AM

OVER 17: England 36/1 (Root 8* Sibley 17*)

Steered into the leg side by Root for a single. Edged by Sibley but it drops short of first slip! Just shy of the hands of Azhar Ali. Big shout for lbw next but looks to be going down, no review.

Nice to see Matt Merchant rewarded after a busy few weeks!

11:38 AM

OVER 16: England 35/1 (Root 7* Sibley 17*)

Root nudges a single through the covers, was a slightly loopy ball from Yasir. No major threat otherwise.

11:35 AM

OVER 15: England 34/1 (Root 6* Sibley 17*)

Gem to Sibley from Naseem, has him all tied up. Plenty of bounce there, Sibley doing well to get his bat out of the way. Maiden.

11:31 AM

OVER 14: England 34/1 (Root 6* Sibley 17*)

Big moment as Yasir Shah enters the attack. Three singles, before Root goes for the cut again and misses! That was his downfall in the first innings.

How good was Abbas earlier? This good.

11:27 AM

OVER 13: England 31/1 (Root 5* Sibley 15*)

Beauty from Naseem, bringing Root forward, angled in, no nibble this time. Good speed too. Root responds with a nice flick off the pads for a boundary through square.

11:23 AM

OVER 12: England 27/1 (Root 1* Sibley 15*)

In comes the England captain and he's immediately off the mark with a single to midwicket. Too wide from Abbas on leg stump and Sibley steers that happily for four out to deep square leg.

11:18 AM

WICKET! Burns lbw Abbas 10

Big appeal for lbw and given! Abbas from round the wicket and Burns reviews immediately. Doesn't look like any bat and the height seems fine? Umpire's call! Burns is gone, struck him high on the back pad. Bit of chirp from Pakistan as Burns walks off. FOW 22/1

11:15 AM

OVER 11: England 22/0 (Burns 10* Sibley 11*)

Naseem Shah into the attack. Pitch is definitely causing the ball to die a bit, which will keep Rizwan busy. Maiden.

11:11 AM

OVER 10: England 22/0 (Burns 10* Sibley 11*)

Edge from Sibley, squared up, but it drops safely and runs away for a boundary to third man. Sibley clips a single square, to overtake Burns. It's a patient, steady start.

This sums up the challenge England are facing to chase down that score.

Successful Fourth Innings Chases at Old Trafford in Tests
Successful Fourth Innings Chases at Old Trafford in Tests

11:06 AM

OVER 9: England 17/0 (Burns 10* Sibley 6*)

Fun over. Afridi gets Sibley rocking back on his feet to avoid a short ball. Then Sibley bottom edges a full ball into the deck before adding three runs with a shot through the covers.

11:01 AM

OVER 8: England 14/0 (Burns 10* Sibley 3*)

Bowlers just starting to get back on top. Abbas is 0-3 after his four overs. Another maiden. Naseem Shah continuing to stay loose.

10:57 AM

OVER 7: England 14/0 (Burns 10* Sibley 3*)

First time Sibley's faced Afridi, with one sliding down leg side. Sibley stays patient. Man came in to block the drive off the last but no shot. Maiden.

10:52 AM

OVER 6: England 14/0 (Burns 10* Sibley 3*)

Beauty from Abbas as one flies through past everything. Superb. Nipped back in towards off stump. And another gem, this time fading away. What's coming next. Who knows! Sibley keeps the strike with a single into the leg side.

10:47 AM

OVER 5: England 13/0 (Burns 10* Sibley 2*)

Nice block from Burns to one swinging back in from Afridi. Runs for Burns after another fumble, this time by Masood at point, two more to the tally.

Afridi searching for the rough, looking to cause a bit of havoc. Naseem Shah warming up.

10:43 AM

OVER 4: England 11/0 (Burns 8* Sibley 2*)

Burns has started steadily enough. How about Sibley. There's his first runs of the day, flick off the pads for two past midwicket, small mis-field. Well bowled by Abbas in response, Burns just getting his bat in front of one nipping away.

Abbas starting to threaten, as Sibley does well to keep his bat out the way.

Shaheen Afridi of Pakistan reacts watched on by Rory Burns and Dom Sibley - GETTY IMAGES
Shaheen Afridi of Pakistan reacts watched on by Rory Burns and Dom Sibley - GETTY IMAGES

10:39 AM

OVER 3: England 9/0 (Burns 8* Sibley 0*)

Nice from Burns, sent through the covers for two more. That's also signaled as a no ball by the third umpire. And now the first boundary, looked like leg byes but Burns got something on it as he flicks it down to fine leg. 

10:34 AM

OVER 2: England 2/0 (Burns 2* Sibley 0*)

And now Abbas to Sibley. Three slips and a gully all in there waiting, short leg too. Blocks away diligently with Abbas keeping things tight and consistent once again. Maiden.

10:29 AM

OVER 1: England 2/0 (Burns 2* Sibley 0*)

Steady start, Burns connecting on the second ball but no run. Burns eventually off the mark with a pushed drive into the off side for two.

10:26 AM

England are ready

Afridi to open. If the openers can just hang in until lunch...

10:19 AM


Now that is a big old ask on this pitch. Magnificent effort by the Pakistan tail to just make the target feel very tough. England desperately need a platform from the top order but we've seen the damage Pakistan's fast and spin bowlers can do already.

Unsurprisingly, England have opted for the light roller.

10:16 AM

WICKET! Naseem Shah b Archer 4 - PAKISTAN ALL OUT FOR 169

Big swing from Abbas this time towards mid-off and he gets two for it, before adding a single with a push to mid-on, good running. The lead is now over 270.

Four leg byes! Ducking a bouncer and Naseem gets enough on it to send it to the boundary. And then it's all over, Naseem swings and misses, middle stump struck by Archer. But Pakistan add a brilliant 32 runs this morning. FOW 169/10

10:12 AM

OVER 46: Pakistan 162/9 (Naseem Shah 4* Abbas 0*)

Surely these two won't be around for long. What a shot though over Broad's head from Naseem. Just 17, blimey. That's another four to end an expensive over, 14 runs.

10:10 AM

WICKET! Yasir Shah c Buttler b Broad 33

Broad on to try and rectify things. Yasir clubs it for four past mid-on! Broadesque, that. Pakistan over 150. Up in the air but drops short of Anderson at mid-off. 

Six! Oh my word. Huge, high, over the rope at deep square leg. England should turn up at any moment... lovely batting though from Yasir, who's on 33* off 22 balls.

Root continues to tinker with the field and it works! Edge from Yasir trying to go over the top, and gone. He's done plenty of damage already though. FOW 158/9

10:04 AM

OVER 45: Pakistan 148/8 (Yasir Shah 23* Abbas 0*)

Easy two for Yasir through midwicket, and then a boundary! Oh dear. That's leaky. Yasir cracks it past square, handles the bouncer well. Another boundary! Helped on its way over Buttler's head, he was waiting for the bouncer. What a start for Pakistan. Archer's gone for 10 off three balls. Yasir adds a single for good measure.

Abbas versus Archer then for two balls. He survives.

09:59 AM

Here we go then

Archer with the ball bowling to Yasir Shah.

09:55 AM

Starting up for England

09:48 AM

Weather looks good

Plenty of sun, only a few clouds. Which should mean no silly rain delays like the five-minute number we had on Friday.

09:41 AM

Joe Root reckons 260 is chasable

Obviously the danger comes from Yasir Shah. The sooner England remove him, the better their chances. If Pakistan get up to a lead of 270, 280 though... things get tricky.

09:29 AM

High praise for Rizwan

Who I must say looked excellent with the gloves on Friday. Sir Geoffrey Boycott agrees.

It was a pleasure watching the Pakistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan standing back, taking the late wobbling balls from the quicks and standing up to the turn and bounce from the wrist spinners. His glovework was immaculate.  

09:19 AM

England at Old Trafford - an easy equation

Fairly stark statistics showing the chasm between England's performance when they bat first and they bowl first, from Tim Wigmore.

Under the three years of Root’s captaincy, there has been no better gauge of England’s success. Batting first, England have won 18 of their 29 Tests, losing nine. Batting ­second, England have won just four out of 14 Tests, losing seven.

09:13 AM

Pakistan have yet again shown up England's paucity of wrist-spinners

Not a new issue, but certainly a concerning one, as Scyld Berry notes the effectiveness of Yasir Shah in particular for Pakistan.

In no country since the Second World War has leg-spin played such a large part as it has in Pakistan – real leg-spin, with the ball ripping across the right-hander, mixed with the googly ripping back to bamboozle.

09:08 AM

Friday's highlights

09:05 AM

A bit of England squad news

09:03 AM

Morning all

What a lively finish to yesterday, eh? Ben Stokes creaking his way on to bowl and nabbing a couple of key wickets to keep this contest surprisingly alive.

England will be desperate to get rid of Yasir Shah and Mohammad Abbas pretty quickly, and then praying their openers can lay some sort of platform rather than leaving it all to Ollie Pope.

That being said, the Pakistan bowling attack were unreal for much of the first innings and with the pitch showing more cracks than Manchester City's new home kit, there are threats everywhere for England to be wary of.

09:00 AM

Ben 'Miracle' Stokes

Ben Stokes offered England a timely reminder that he remains "capable of miracles" after ignoring his injury doubts to help set up a tense finish to the first Test against Pakistan.

Stokes' nagging quad complaint meant England selected him as a specialist batsman for the series opener, but he was eager enough, hungry enough and skilful enough to turn a late cameo with the ball into a vital contribution.

Having been wrapped in cotton wool in the first innings he put himself forward for a late blast on Friday evening and proceeded to take two wickets - the last recognised run-scorer in Mohammad Rizwan and tailender Shaheen Afridi with the final ball of the day.

That left Pakistan 137 for eight, still in the box seat with a healthy lead of 244 but vulnerable to a pursuit that would already have to be the second biggest at Old Trafford.

Stokes, who made a duck earlier in the match, has a well rehearsed history of leading his side to improbable victories following last year's World Cup final and the Ashes classic of Headingley, and his team-mates know how vital his presence could be.

Chris Woakes, who dismissed key batsmen Babar Azam and Azhar Ali cheaply, said: "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.

"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.

"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."

Pakistan may already have enough on the board to see the game home, particularly with a varied bowling attack that has pace, nous and two eager leg-spinners in the ranks.

Yasir Shah took four wickets and Shadab Khan two as the turning ball did for England first time around and their threat could well be dialled up as the pitch continues to wear.

Spin consultant Mushtaq Ahmed, once part of England's backroom team, tipped them to be an even bigger handful with the game on the line.

"If we set a good target, they can be lethal out there," he said.

"If we can get another 20 to 30 runs that will be a very good score on that pitch. Yasir and Shadab have hardly played cricket for the last five or six months, but the way they bowled in the first innings I think they've got the momentum now.

"They understand the pitch and what pace you need to bowl on it, what fields you need to have to different batsmen. I think they are feeling confident in their bowling now. We are very confident." PA