The pitch was playing its all sorts of tricks and the life of the batsmen was miserable at Manchester on day 4 of the 1st test match between England and Pakistan. England, chasing a target of 277 were in all sorts of trouble with the Pakistan trioka of Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah along with Yasir Shah breathing fire and the wicket of Ollie Pope would have definitely sent shivers to the England dressing room.
It was the perfect set-up for Pakistan to win the historic test match and they would have felt like hulk after dismissing Ollie Pope with that sort of delivery. The young and ruthless left arm seamer in Shaheen Shah Afridi was bowling around the wicket to the right-hand batsman in Ollie Pope. The wicket ball was pitched on good length and Pope was in good position to negate it as he wasn’t too committed to front-foot but the violet kick that Shaheen got was enough to take the leading edge and Shadab Khan did the rest by completing a neat catch by running in from 4th slip to grab it.
England were staring down at another defeat in the 1st match of the series as they lost 5 wickets inside 117 runs chasing a huge target of 277 on the 4th day pitch which had all the demons in it. A Pakistan victory seemed to be the inevitable but Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler had other ideas.
Both the batsmen took the attack to the opposition and stitched 139 runs between them in double quick time. Pakistan were clueless to England’s counter-attack and Azhar Ali was quite defensive in his approach which also paved way to Pakistan's loss in hindsight.
In the end, England won the humdinger of a game with the help of 2 valiant knocks from Chris Woakes who stayed unbeaten till the end with 84 and Jos Buttler who scored 75 runs. The 2nd test will take place at Southampton on 13th of August.