England v Pakistan: Azhar Ali praises ‘special’ Woakes and Buttler partnership

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Highlights: England pull off incredible win against Pakistan

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali praised “a very special partnership” by Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes as England won the first Test against the tourists.

With England staring defeat at 117-5, chasing 277, Buttler (75) and Woakes (84*) shared a stand of 139 as the hosts won by three wickets at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester.

“It’s the beauty of Test cricket,” Azhar told BBC’s Test Match Special.

“One good partnership took the game away from us.”

Pakistan looked set for victory after seamer Shaheen Afridi took the wicket of Ollie Pope with a ball which bounced unexpectedly off the pitch and was edged to gully.

“We were in a comfortable position when they were five down but credit to England they stuck to the task when they came in to bat,” Azhar said.

“When Buttler and Woakes came in, they tried to play their strokes from the word go, they put us under pressure and we couldn’t really answer them.

“It was a very special partnership, it was turning and even for the fast bowler it was doing a bit, it was jumping up from a length. So credit to them, they outplayed us in that period.”

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Azhar says there are “a lot of positives” to take from the loss, with the second match of the three-Test series to begin behind closed doors at Old Trafford on Thursday.

“We outplayed England on most parts of this Test,” Azhar added.

“We lost a couple of sessions and we lost them badly.”

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