Manchester, Aug 9 (IANS) Chris Woakes stormed back to form with the bat as he hit a match-winning 84 not out for England against Pakistan in the first Test at Old Trafford. With England 117/5 chasing a target of 277, Woakes joined Jos Buttler in the middle and changed the tide of the game by taking the attack to the charging Pakistan outfit.
He ended up putting on a stand of 139 runs for the seventh wicket and while Buttler eventually departed on 75 off 101 balls, Woakes saw them over the line. This coupled with the two wickets he picked in each innings, including that of Babar Azam in the second, was enough to earn him the player of the match award.
“I think that was the way to go on the wicket, just counter-attack. Especially the ball Ollie (Pope) got, we took initiative by scoring quickly and thought that was the way to go on that surface,” said Woakes in the presentation ceremony.
“The idea of taking it to them, counter-attacking was the right thing to do — perfect thing to do. And to see Jos do his thing was incredible, and unfortunately he got out.
“He is one of the best white-ball players in the world, one of the best run-chasers, and he showed it today with all his inventive sweeps and reverse-sweeps, especially the way he handled the spinners.”
He has a Test century to his name but Woakes’ highest score in his last 17 innings before Saturday was an unbeaten 37.
“I don’t think I have lacked in training with my batting form, and thankfully I focussed on the ball today and managed to hit it. Very pleasing to pick up the big wickets too, and I feel really good with the ball. Hopefully that will continue,” he said.