Sunday, August 9, 2020

Pakistan snatched defeat at Manchester

                                     Test Cricket is an interesting game ! ~ a Team that dominated most of the Sessions and was all set to win – ends up losing !

I first thought 277 was gettable but when Ben Stokes got out to Yasir Shah (101/4) and Ollie Pope back making it 117/5, I thought all hopes had vanished. Ben Stokes, I thought was the man who could have changed the fortunes.  None would forget his heroics in the final of World Cup 2019 where he scored 84 runs, (and that included the ball hitting him for a 6) helping England win their maiden 50-over World Cup title.  Ben Stokes will miss the rest of England's Test series against Pakistan after withdrawing from the squad for family reasons. He is set to travel to New Zealand !

Britain could be heading into another full lockdown if Boris Johnson doesn't to sort out the "disastrous" test and trace programme, a former government adviser has said. Sir David King told the Sunday Mirror the the UK is "nowhere near" the safe reopening of schools, adding: “We need a proper test and trace system by September. Otherwise full school opening will put us right back.” Sir David, 80, the former chief scientific advisor to Tony Blair who now heads the Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies shadowing the PM's scientific team, called on Mr Johnson to "get it right".

There have been more than 300,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and more than 46,000 people have died, government figures show. However, these numbers only include people tested, and the actual death toll is higher.  Boris Johnson would close pubs, restaurants and shops ahead of schools in the event of severe coronavirus outbreaks, according to a Number 10 source. It comes as the PM said getting all children back in school was a "moral duty". Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Johnson added: "Keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible." Meanwhile new figures suggest that nearly 1,800 UK companies told the Government of plans to cut 20 or more jobs in June as the coronavirus damaged the economy. Labour is calling on the Government to halt a “jobs bonfire” by helping out industries and businesses still shut down by the pandemic.

All that shows UK too is in turmoil affected by Covid 19 yet – they are hosting Cricket tests – first a 3 test series against West Indies and now Pakistan. In between they played ODI with Ireland.  The graphs show that covid has spiked over last week at  Greater Manchester.  The charts outline an increase in cases in Trafford, Manchester, Stockport, Oldham, Salford and Tameside since the middle of July. Statistics show many of the new cases are among young people. According to latest developments, with a spike in coronavirus cases, new restrictions have been imposed in the Greater Manchester area. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board  assured England’s first Test with Pakistan at Old Trafford will remain unaffected by extra coronavirus impositions. The government  banned separate households from meeting each other indoors or private gardens across the area.  

The mood in England camp in chasing 277 was perhaps not upbeat. After playing international cricket for ten years, I understand when I need to take certain decisions. When I bat, I'm not thinking about the captaincy, whether or not I'm out of form. And when I'm captain, I don't think about my batting at all, whether I scored a 100 or 0. That's the job of the captain. There's a lot of disappointment that we had this game in the palm of our hands, and we led at most points in the game, but that can happen sometimes, said Paki Capt Azhar Ali.


Chris Woakes hadn’t passed fifty since he scored his only Test hundred, against India at Lord’s in 2018. Buttler had done it only once in his last year of Test cricket.  They came together with scorecard reading 117/5.  Then things happened differently.  Jos Buttler played his part in England's thrilling victory against Pakistan believing that if he didn't make runs, he was probably playing his last Test. Buttler made the frank admission after scoring 75 and sharing a century stand with Chris Woakes, who finished not out on 84, to help England chase down an imposing fourth-innings target of 277 with three wickets in hand and a day to spare. It came as Buttler faced increasing criticism over his batting - his Test average had dropped to 31.63 going into this, his 45th Test - and he had a poor game behind the stumps, missing three chances during Pakistan's first innings.

The score card would never reveal the thrills that occurred.  England 219 (Pope 62, Yasir 4-66) and 277 for 7 (Woakes 84*, Buttler 75, Yasir 4-99) beat Pakistan 326 (Masood 156, Azam 69, Broad 3-54) and 169 (Yasir 33, Broad 3-37) by three wickets

A fighting century stand between Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler carried England to a stunning three-wicket victory over Pakistan in a thrilling opening match of their three-Test series. Buttler's gutsy knock of 75 from 101 balls in the face of mounting criticism over his place in the side, combined with Woakes' new-found form with the bat, handed England an unlikely victory and broke their run of five consecutive series in which they had lost the first match.  Woakes had had a poorer performance, with a high score of 37 not out from his previous 17 innings.  They both  shared a partnership worth 139 for the sixth wicket and helped England pull off the second-highest fourth-innings run chase at Old Trafford. Fittingly, Woakes hit the winnings runs with a four through third man off Shaheen Shah Afridi to finish not out on 84 as England snatched victory by three wickets inside four days.

Joe Root began the day suggesting a target below 260 would be within reach. Pakistan pushed it just beyond after Yasir Shah came out, as expected, and threw the bat. Yasir resumed on 12 with Pakistan 137 for 8 and leading by 244. He clubbed 21 from nine balls, including 11 off Jofra Archer's first four deliveries of the day, followed by a defiant four past mid-on and a brutal six over midwicket off Stuart Broad's first three.  In all, Pakistan pilfered 32 runs within the first half hour, before Naseem Shah was the last man out, bowled by Archer for 4.

England wickets fell - Mohammad Abbas took the first with the first ball of the 12th, which nipped back and struck Rory Burns on the back leg as it curled in off the seam. Yasir Shah, who had claimed four England wickets in their first innings, broke a 64-run partnership when he had Sibley caught by Asad Shafiq for 36.  Pak wasted its reviews.  Ben Stokes got out and  Pope could do little about his dismissal when he copped an unplayable delivery from Afridi that reared off a length and hit his top hand, ballooning to Shadab Khan running in from gully. With England 117 for 5 and hope fading fast, still 160 runs from victory, most thought that the match was over.

Ben Stokes will miss the rest of England's Test series against Pakistan after withdrawing from the squad for family reasons. He is set to travel to New Zealand, where his parents live, next week and will not be available for the two behind-closed-doors Tests in Southampton. Stokes' father Ged was hospitalised ahead of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa during England's winter tour, and has since been recuperating back home in New Zealand. England's Test vice-captain, Stokes has played a central role in the summer so far. He led the team in Joe Root's absence for the opening Test against West Indies, scored a century and a fifty in the second, and has chipped in with 11 wickets despite more recently playing as a specialist batsmen.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

9.8.2020.

 

 

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