England captain Joe Root has hailed under-pressure Jos Buttler along with Chris Woakes after their match-winning partnership in the First Test against Pakistan at Old Trafford.
England claimed an unlikely three-wicket win on Saturday, despite a 107-run first innings deficit and stumbling to 5-117 in pursuit of 226 for victory on the fourth day.
Buttler and Woakes were the heroes for England, with the pair combining for a decisive 139-run sixth-wicket stand.
Woakes was named Player of the Match, finishing unbeaten on 84no while he also took four wickets for the match, while Buttler’s 75 from 101 balls turned the momentum of the game, with renewed aggression.
“It was a brilliant chase,” Root said. “Fantastic Test match all round, credit to Pakistan.
“I thought the way we approached the day in particular was outstanding. That partnership between Woakesy and Jos was magnificent.
“I thought they were very clever about how they went about it and constructed it. I’m thrilled to bits to win the game.”
Buttler had been under pressure to hold his spot, with a lack of significant runs and some wicketkeeping errors, but his match-winning display will go a long way to retaining his spot in the side. Woakes said at times he played second fiddle to wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler.
“The idea to try take it to them and put them under a bit more pressure in that position seemed the right thing to do. In hindsight it was the perfect thing to do,” Woakes said.
“A great partnership with Jos. I was playing second fiddle really at one point just watching him do his thing.”
The win ends England’s bizarre recent records of losing the first Test in their past five Test series.