ENGLAND cricket stars worked out the best way to kill time during a rain delay – with an incredible goal that would not have looked out of place at the ‘other’ Old Trafford.
With the Manchester drizzle forcing the players off on the first day of the First Test against Pakistan, the England side kept themselves occupied by getting the football out.
There was no repeat of the Rory Burns injury picked up in the traditional warm-up kickabout as they instead opted for the famous ‘bin challenge’.
The aim of the game is pretty simple: keep the ball up with a series of headers with the last person nodding the ball into a bin.
And the England players even added in the extra difficulty of starting off the move on the balcony before finishing it pitchside in rather impressive fashion.
Jimmy Anderson got things underway on his home ground, teeing himself up and knocking it to skipper Joe Root.
He found his team-mate Chris Woakes who came flying in with a bullet header sending the ball flying over the balcony to fellow pace bowler Mark Wood.
Wood helped it on to Jos Buttler who put it back in the mixer, with spinner Dom Bess looping it binwards with a recovery effort.
Ollie Pope delicately flicked it on for Wood who showed the composure of a first-class striker to perform a tidy header into the bag.
It was the kind of finish Marcus Forss, top scorer last season for Wood’s beloved AFC Wimbledon, would have been proud of as he cushioned it home in style – cue wild celebrations from all involved.
England tweeted the clip with the caption firmly tongue in cheek: “They did this first time…,” followed by a winking emoji as Sky Sports mocked up a graphic blaming Bess for most of the failed attempts.
David Lloyd on commentary called the action in vintage fashion: “Try again, try again… here we go… over to you… heads up, diamond head… GOAL! Oh what a goal!”
It was a rare moment of pure, unadulterated joy for England on a frustrating day at Old Trafford.
Pakistan chose to bat first and got themselves to 139-2 by the time alleged bad light brought an end to proceedings.
Babar Azam hit an unbeaten 69 while opener Shan Masood is still at the crease on 46.
Jofra Archer bowled Abid Ali through the gate for 16 before Woakes trapped the visitors’ captain Azhar Ali for a 15-ball duck.