It was a Test match, which started off with a lot of hype. Surely, an England-Pakistan Test series always offers something more than just a cricket match. And as expected, the first test at Manchester lived up to its billing. In the end, it was another classic England-Pakistan encounter.
On the final day, the Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes partnership revived the memories of Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist’s partnership at Hobart in 1999 and Sachin Tendulkar and Nayan Mongia partnership at Chennai the same year. At Chennai, Pakistan did come back, but not in Hobart.
At Manchester, Buttler and Woakes brought the memories of Hobart back. But at Manchester, there was no umpiring howler to save the day for England, but some poor captaincy by Azhar Ali let down Pakistan, who dominated there and a half days.
They started off brightly with the bat. Bowled absolutely brilliantly and posted a total, which would always be tougher to chase on this deck. Moreover, no team has ever won a Test against Pakistan while chasing more than 250 in the last 20 years. Obviously, Pakistan had the edge, but in the end, England prevailed in a tense finish.