Sport England win Old Trafford thriller as Buttler and Woakes repel Pakistan
Pakistan's Babar Azam hits sublime half-century to frustrate England
He hit nine boundaries as he reached 52 not out in just 71 balls, almost every one of them imperious, as he set about proving all of the praise he has garnered in recent months is well placed. The players were forced off the field by a shower just before 3pm and would have welcomed the chance to regroup after Babar's onslaught.As well as stalling England's progress his efforts also placed Shan Masood in the shade, the opener having ground out a valuable 45 not out across more than three hours.
Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler played starring roles as England chased down 277 to win an absorbing first Test of the series against Pakistan.
The sixth-wicket pairing combined in a match-winning stand worth 139 to help Joe Root's side triumph against the odds in Manchester.
Pakistan appeared on course to prevail when they reduced their opponents from 86-1 to 117-5, while there was a further twist in a see-saw game when Buttler departed for 75 with 21 still required.
Brilliant Babar and wasteful Buttler give Pakistan the edge at Old Trafford
Only 49 overs were bowled on day one of the Test series at Old Trafford, with Babar Azam lighting up a gloomy day.The tourists were 43-2 at one stage after Abid Ali and Azhar Ali, who had opted to bat after winning the toss, were dismissed by Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes respectively at Old Trafford.
Stuart Broad also perished for seven following a promotion up the order, but the outstanding Woakes finished up on 84 not out to see England home with three wickets to spare.
YEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!— England Cricket (@englandcricket)
The hosts had fought their way back into the contest with a clatter of wickets in the final session of the previous day's play, though still had work to do with the ball on Saturday morning.
Resuming on 137-8, Pakistan's final two wickets added 32 in just 16 deliveries, Yasir Shah increasing the lead as he smacked 33 in a hurry.
The flurry of boundaries – not all through conventional shots - hurt England, whose task became even harder when Rory Burns (10) fell early, trapped in front by the metronomic Mohammad Abbas.
Broad joins 500 club and Woakes takes five as England win series
After being left out for the first match of the series, it was a special day for Stuart Broad on the final day at Old Trafford.Broad started day five needing just one wicket to become the seventh player to reach the landmark and achieved the feat by removing Kraigg Brathwaite, the same batsman James Anderson dismissed to join the 500 club in 2017.
Dom Sibley (36) and captain Root (42) combined to put on 64, only for a post-lunch collapse to put Pakistan firmly in control.
Sibley and Ben Stokes (9) both fell to leg-spinner Yasir Shah, Root edged behind off Naseem Shah and Ollie Pope (7) could do little with a brute of a delivery from Shaheen Afridi that climbed off a length, thumped into the batsman's glove and looped to gully.
Yet Buttler and Woakes responded to the precarious situation by going on the offensive, their attacking intent paying off as Pakistan pushed fielders back to stem the sudden flow of runs.
While Yasir Shah struck twice to create a little more tension late in the day, Woakes duly edged Shaheen to the third man boundary to get England over the line.
Top 10 hit sees England ahead
This was England’s 10th highest successful chase in Tests, a tale of overcoming problems of their own making through a positive attitude.
Magnificent Crawley, Buttler and Anderson leave Pakistan on the ropes
England dominated the second day to stand on the brink of a Test series win over Pakistan, with Zak Crawley the star of the show.Crawley reached three figures for the first time on the international stage on day one at the Rose Bowl and went on to craft a majestic 267 on Saturday.
Having fought back from an opening loss to beat West Indies, they now have their noses in front as the teams head to the other bio-secure bubble in Southampton for the remaining two games.
All-round qualities on show
Woakes had reached double figures just once in his previous nine Test knocks coming into the game.
He took a blow on the helmet first time around in Manchester, yet showed not just his talent but also temperament to produce an innings that underlined his all-round talents.
Tourists let slip opportunity
This result will hurt Pakistan, particularly after they had England five down and still not even halfway home.
However, they will look back with real annoyance at failing to bat their rivals out of the game in the third innings, not aided by the unnecessary run out of Asad Shafiq.
Tanveer: Unpredictable Pakistan can trouble England if batsmen step up .
England are favourites to beat Pakistan but Sohail Tanveer says the tourists are in with a chance if the batsmen can deliver.Pakistan return to Test action in the bio-secure bubble at Old Trafford on Wednesday six months after they thrashed Bangladesh in their last contest in the longest format.