Woakes, Buttler help England beat Pakistan in thriller

Sports Sunday 09/August/2020 15:26 PM
By: Times News Service
Woakes, Buttler help England beat Pakistan in thriller

Manchester: England seemed down for the count at 117/5, but a stellar 139-run stand between Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler helped England chase down the target of 277 with three wickets to spare.
Woakes and Buttler joined hands in the middle of an England collapse but transferred the pressure back onto the visitors, first through counter-attack followed by a more calculated effort later. While Buttler was dismissed for 75, Woakes stuck around till the end, remaining unbeaten on 84.
Pakistan's defence got off to a great start as Mohammad Abbas got one to nip back in from around the wicket to trap Rory Burns in front for 10. But England recovered superbly from that early setback.
Sibley and Root put on 64 for the second wicket through some defiant batting. Sibley survived a scare on 26 – given caught behind off Yasir, he was reprieved on review. Pakistan shot back after lunch, however.
Yasir initiated the reversal in momentum by having Dom Sibley caught at slip for 36 before Naseem Shah dismissed the England captain eight short of his fifty.
Yasir and Shaheen Afridi capitalised on the unpredictable bounce of the wearing surface to quickly get rid of Ben Stokes (9) and Ollie Pope (7) in quick succession as England slipped to 117/5.
With the chips down, Buttler and Woakes decided to counter-attack. Boundaries flowed off their bats as they drove the fast bowlers fearlessly and efficiently utilised the sweep and reverse sweep against Yasir. England went to tea at 167/5, the duo having brought on the fifty partnership rapidly.
They adopted a more cautious approach after the break but kept putting the bad balls away, bringing up their half-centuries to mount the pressure on Pakistan.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan's lower order went on the attack in the quest for quick runs.
Yasir added 21 to his overnight score to fall for 33 when attempting to hit Stuart Broad out of the park. Naseem had his stumps disturbed by Jofra Archer the next over as Pakistan were dismissed for 169.