The opening game of the three-match Test series between England and Pakistan provided fans with an edge-of-the-seat action, throughout all four days of the match.
In the end, it was the hosts who came out triumphant in the first Test match at Old Trafford in Manchester.
It was the heroic counter-attacking partnership between Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes which stole the show on the fourth day of the game.
Moreover, the visitors were subjected to criticism for giving away the momentum to the hosts on multiple occasions.
Earlier, Pakistan laid a solid foundation in the first innings on the back of Shan Masood’s impressive 156. With the ball, Yasir Shah and Co. backed Masood’s good work by curtailing the hosts to 219.
After bagging a handy 107-run lead, the Green Caps let the hosts claw their way back into the game. In the second innings, Pakistan got bundled out for a paltry 169, setting a par target of 277 for the ‘Three Lions’.
However, the Pakistan bowlers turned the tide in their favour yet again after reducing England to 127-5, with in-form Ollie Pope going back to the pavilion.
Well, it required something special from Shaheen Shah Afridi to take Pope out of the equation.
During the 45th over of the fourth innings, Afridi’s delivery kicked up from nowhere as Pope failed to cope with the rising ball.
The ball, pitched in the good length area, bounced viciously to catch the shoulder of Pope’s bat. In the end, it was a relatively simple catch for Shadab Khan placed at slips, who came running and pouched the ball, lobbying in the air.
Pope took a moment to digest his dismissal and could not believe what unravelled in front of him.
Here’s the video:
Not much you can do about that.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 8, 2020
At that point in time, Pakistan looked firm favourites to win the opening match of the series. But, Woakes and Buttler took the game away from the visitors with their counter-attacking 139-run partnership, from thereon.