Manchester, Aug 8 (IANS) Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes’ counter-attacking partnership for England stopped the Pakistan charge in the second session on Day four as the first Test between the two sides gears up to a dramatic conclusion at Old Trafford. While England need 110 more runs to win, Pakistan need 5 more wickets.
England started the second session on 55/1 with captain Joe Root and Dom Sibley in the middle. The pair continued to hang around well into the second session and their partnership was on 64 when Sibley succumbed to Yasir Shah. Sibley went for a hard drive across the line to a ball that Yasir delivered from over the wicket, it only took an edge and flew straight to Asad Shafiq at first slip.
Two overs later, Naseem Shah successfully set up Root who also edged the delivery to first slip and England all of a sudden lost both their set batsmen. Yasir struck again soon with the big wicket of Ben Stokes who was done in by the extra bounce the former got and gloved it to the wicketkeeper.
The umpire initially shook his head upon which Azhar Ali took the review. The replays showed a feather of a spike on ultra edge when the ball passed Stokes’ gloves. Two overs later, Shaheen Afridi’s unplayable delivery that bounced off a length took Ollie Pope by surprise. It smashed into his gloves and Shadab Khan took the catch running in from gully.
With Pakistan in the driver’s seat, Buttler went on the counter while Woakes also put on his batsman’s hat. The pair managed to knock off 50 runs in the remaining overs of the second session and thus left the match on a knife’s edge when the umpires knocked off the bails for Tea.
Brief Scores: Pakistan: 326 and 169 vs England: 219 & 167/5 (Joe Root 42, Dom Sibley 36; Yasir Shah 2/74)