England v Pakistan 1st Test report and scorecard: Hosts hit back with ball but Pakistan lead by 244 runs

England v Pakistan: Ben Stokes in action

England's bowlers set up a thrilling finish to the first Test against Pakistan, digging deep to drag the tourists back from a dominant position at Emirates Old Trafford.

Day three scorecard

Pakistan 326: Masood 156, Babar 69; Broad 3-54, Archer 3-59, Woakes 2-43

England 219: Pope 62, Buttler 38; Yasir 4-66, Shadab 2-13, Abbas 2-33

Pakistan 137-8: Woakes 2-11, Stokes 2-11, Broad 2-23

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat


Report

England's bowlers set up a thrilling finish to the first Test against Pakistan, digging deep to drag the tourists back from a dominant position at Emirates Old Trafford.

The tourists leveraged an imposing first-innings lead of 107 when they bowled England out for 219 on the third afternoon, but lost regular wickets of their own as they failed to bat their opponents out of the game.

At stumps they were 244 ahead on 137 for eight, still strongly poised but suddenly vulnerable to a fourth-innings chase. That was largely down to in-form seamers Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad, who shared four cheap wickets, but there was also a vital double strike from Ben Stokes.

Not deemed fit enough to play a full role with the ball due to a nagging quad injury, the all-rounder stepped up late in the day to add the sheen to a strong fightback.

England began the day on 92 for four, with Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler looking to reprise the rescue job they had started the previous evening.

Pope quickly turned his 46 not out into a a half-century but the first hour was little more than a trial for the batsmen. A paltry nine runs came off the bat in that time - outscored by 10 extras in the same period - as the three-pronged pace attack of Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah worked up a head of steam.

Buttler edged the third ball of Naseem's spell just short of second slip but after that it was a litany of plays and misses as the bowlers weaved away tirelessly.

Somehow the duo reached drinks intact and, when both hit the cover boundary after the break, there was a suggestion of better things to come.

Instead, Naseem simply upped his game again to see off Pope for 62, with a length ball which kicked and flew to gully. Remarkably that was the solitary success of the morning, Buttler and Woakes steering the score to 159 for five as scoring chances belatedly opened.

Buttler, still burdened by three missed chances behind the stumps, had scrapped hard for his 38 but fell to his second ball after lunch. Yasir Shah was his downfall, sneaking one between bat and pad to clip the top of off.

Yasir made short work of Dom Bess, ousting him with turn and bounce before taking his fourth of the innings when Woakes heaved towards leg and hit fresh air.

England were in trouble at 170 for eight but had Broad to thank for two tail-end stands which added 49 to the total before Shadab Khan intervened on both. He finished unbeaten on 29, with three boundaries in a row off Shaheen and a slog-swept six off Yasir under his belt.

There were nine overs before tea for England to strike back and Broad did so almost instantly, Shan Masood strangled down leg for a duck for a deflating follow-up to his epic 156. Buttler, who let him off twice in the first innings, was the most relieved man on the park when the ball settled cleanly in his gloves.

James Anderson created a second chance when Abid Ali edged an away-swinger but Stokes went across Joe Root and fumbled. It was not a costly miss, with the opener reaching 20 before hacking Bess to deep midwicket.

Woakes held the catch safely but had an even greater job to do with the ball. He was the fifth bowler used but made a major impact, rousing England with the two big middle-order wickets.

First was Babar Azam for five, feeling outside off stump and giving Stokes the chance to make up for his error, and next came skipper Azhar Ali, pinned lbw full on middle stump.

Once again, the Warwickshire man was making a fair case as the team's most dangerous weapon in home conditions. Bess and Anderson failed to keep a lid on the scoring, going at almost four an over, meaning their captain had to look elsewhere for inspiration.

Dom Sibley obliged when he rushed in from point to run out Shafiq after a poor call from Mohammad Rizwan, and Stokes put concerns over his quad complaint aside to volunteer for his first bowl of the match.

He struck with his eighth attempt, forcing Rizwan back and earning a tight lbw, and when Broad picked up Shadab via DRS the tail was well and truly open. Stokes bounced out Shaheen in the final over of the day, leaving everything to play for.

Reaction

Chris Woakes was reminded of Ben Stokes' knack for conjuring "miracles" in an England shirt after he swept aside fitness concerns to aid a brilliant bowling comeback in the first Test against Pakistan.

The tourists' first-innings lead of 107 could have been turned into an unimpeachable one with some solid batting on the third evening but England rallied brilliantly in the field to leave them 137 for eight at stumps.

That was still enough to leave them 244 ahead - only once has a team ever chased down more at Emirates Old Trafford - but there is no doubting the shift in tone as the players left the field.

Woakes was heavily responsible, removing key men Babar Azam and Azhar Ali in a spell of two for 11, while Stuart Broad also picked up a pair of cheap wickets.

But there was also an unexpected late blast from Stokes, deemed unfit to play a full role with the ball but shrugging off his quad complaint to cap England's efforts with a pair of late breakthroughs.

Despite his first-innings duck he will still be the top target among England's batsmen and there is nobody Woakes would rather have in the trenches.

"I had no idea whether he was able to bowl or ready to bowl, but I'm not overly surprised that he could do what he did. That's Ben Stokes, we know he's capable of miracles," said his fellow all-rounder.

"He's got a bit of a golden arm, he always has had the knack of picking up wickets. When you are in a bit of dog fight, he's the sort of player you want in your team. He always put his hand up and gives 110 per cent and he certainly did that picking up a couple."

Pakistan may already have enough on the board to see the game home, particularly with a varied bowling attack that has pace, nous and two eager leg-spinners in the ranks.

But Woakes was part of the team that won the World Cup final in incredulous circumstances and then down the Australians from a seemingly impossible position at Headingley last summer. On both occasions, Stokes was the key man.

"You always have belief, it would be stupid if we're rocking up tomorrow thinking 'if we lose three quick wickets we're done'," said Woakes.

"You hear a lot about records and chases, how many times it's been chased at Old Trafford, but things like that are there to be broken.

"We'll definitely look at those other wins, the sort of wins where you're written off around this stage of the game. We'll draw on those experiences. We've definitely got the ability to get a win and we've got the players who can do it.

"Of course it's a challenge. As soon as we lost the toss we knew it was going to be a test and at some point we'd be batting on the fourth or fifth day pitch. We'll have to play well."

Pakistan's wrist-spinning duo Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan, who took six first-innings wickets between them, are sure to be a major factor in the final result.

Spin consultant Mushtaq Ahmed knows more than most about the art and tipped them to cause big problems on a wearing surface.

"If we set a good target, they can be lethal out there," he said.

"If we can get another 20 to 30 runs that will be a very good score on that pitch. Yasir and Shadab have hardly played cricket for the last five or six months, but the way they bowled in the first innings I think they've got the momentum now.

"They understand the pitch and what pace you need to bowl on it, what fields you need to have to different batsmen. I think they are feeling confident in their bowling now. We are very confident."

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