England vs Pakistan 2020, 1st Test, Manchester: Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes Star In ENG’s Thrilling Win
Chris Woakes (L) remained unbeaten on 84. (AFP)

England snatched a tense three-wicket victory over Pakistan in the first Test at Old Trafford, Manchester courtesy a fine partnership between Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler.

Chasing 277, England were struggling at 117/5, before Woakes and Buttler launched a calculated counterattack that brought the hosts back in the game.

The duo put on a 139-run stand before Buttler (75) was LBW reverse-sweeping Yasir Shah with 21 still required and the second new ball due.

Stuart Broad (7), promoted to No. 8, hit a boundary in a 17-run partnership with Woakes (84*), who finished the game with a boundary — an outside edge flying between second slip and gully.

“I think that was the way to go on the wicket, just counterattack,” said Woakes, the Player of the Match.

“The idea of taking it to them, counterattacking was the right thing to do – perfect thing to do. And to see Jos (Buttler) 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 with all his inventive sweeps and reverse-sweeps, especially the way he handled the spinners.

Woakes finished with match figures of 4/54 and a total of 103 runs.

“Very pleasing to pick up the big wickets, and I feel really good with the ball. Hopefully that will continue,” he added.

Earlier, resuming on 137/8, Pakistan added 32 in just 16 deliveries, with Yasir Shah increasing the lead as he smacked 33 off 24.

In response, England lost Rory Burns (10) early, trapped in front by Mohammad Abbas.

Dom Sibley (36) and captain Joe Root (42) added stability with a 64-run stand, before a post-lunch collapse put Pakistan in control.

Sibley and Ben Stokes (9) both fell to leg-spinner Yasir Shah, while Root and Ollie Pope (7) were removed by Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi respectively.

Buttler and Woakes then responded to the precarious situation by playing their shots. The strategy paid off as Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali was forced to push fielders back to stem the sudden flow of runs.

While Yasir struck twice late in the day, Woakes held his nerve to get England over the line.

Brief scores: Pakistan 326 and 169 (Yasir Shah 33; Stuart Broad 3-37) lost to England 219 & 277/7 (Chris Woakes 84*, Jos Buttler 75; Yasir Shah 4-99) by three wickets