England staged a comeback three-wicket win over Pakistan in the first Test at Manchester. The hosts now lead the three-match series 1-0 with two more fixtures to go.
Here are the talking points from the series opener.
Pakistan’s batting collapse proved to be a big factor in the side’s defeat at Manchester. Despite having a 107-run lead, the batsmen spoiled the hard work of its bowling unit which had dismissed the hosts for 219 runs in the first innings. Shan Masood was dismissed for a duck after having played a brilliant 156-run knock in the first innings whereas Babar Azam made just five runs in the second innings after having scored 69 in the first innings.
Pakistan’s Test skipper is under a lot of criticism for his batting performance while leading the team. He has been averaging 27.25 while batting as captain. During the press conference, the batsman said that he doesn’t think about his role as a batsman when he is leading the team.
Just when England looked to be down and out at 117-5 while chasing 227 to win, wicketkeeper Buttler and Woakes took the game away from Pakistan’s reach with their match-winning 139-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Their half-centuries proved to be frustrating for the Pakistan bowlers who tried everything in the book to dismiss them.
After a dismal tour of Australia, Yasir Shah proved to be the best out of the lot as he bagged eight wickets in the match for the visitors. He returned with the figures of 4-66 in 18 overs. He then improved his figures in the following innings after returning with figures of 4-99 in 30 overs.
The first Test proved the red-ball format can be a riveting affair. The rhythm continued to shift in the favour of both sides. It showed that players’ grit and character is a great factor in helping the team win a match.