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Pakistan vs England, 2nd Test, Day 1: Abrar Ahmed leaves England in a spin

Multan Cricket Stadium hosting its first Test since 2006, was the venue for the second match of the series between Pakistan and England.

Match Summary

Pakistan vs England, 2nd Test, England tour of Pakistan

Pakistan *107/2 (28 ov)

England 281/10 (51.4 ov)

Day Break : Day 1 Pakistan trail by 174 runs.


Ben Stokes, as has been the case in the last eight months in every Test that he has led his country, remained in the spotlight on the opening day here too. The England management might have got the selection wrong with just one front-line spinner but would be quite comfortable with the events thus far in the quest of going two-up in the series, following a remarkable victory in Rawalpindi. Pakistan have advanced to 107-2 in reply to England 281 all out.

Exciting and watchable were the two words that described the extended opening session of the Test match as England galloped at a pace that is no longer a surprise for anyone in world cricket. Their total of 180-5 off 33 overs represented yet another batting milestone, for no other side in the history had reached this many runs on the first morning of a Test. These ultra-aggressive and almost frentic tactics in red-ball cricket, almost unthinkable a year ago, is a standard England template that continues to challenge the opposition, in all conditions.

To counter-punch those tactics, Pakistan were led by new boy Abrar Ahmed, an exponent of leg-break and googly, with just the fingers coming into play. Both his variety and change of pace outfoxed England batsmen, though the run rate stayed at run-a-ball for the best part of the morning. Both Ben Duckett (63 off 49 balls) and Ollie Pope (60 off 61 balls), were assertive from the word go and found boundaries at will. England’s surge with score reaching 117-1 in the 19th over was looking ominous before Abrar picked up four wickets with delightful exhibition and achieved one of the rarest achievements of claiming five wickets

In the post lunch period both Ben Stokes and Jacks, simply attacked the spinners and with the ball now getting softer, Babar one felt over bowled Abrar, who had bowled 17 overs in a stretch on either side of the lunch. In no time the score of 228-5 off 42 overs started to look quite decent, on a wicket that offered turn to the slow bowlers. At that point Abrar castled out England captain, who left the crease in shock with a perfectly disguised googly. That wicket triggered the talk of all-ten on debut and he soon added Jacks to claim his seventh.

Surely he needed a break after his hard toil but was asked to continue and would end up with remarkable figures 22-1-114-7 in a single spell of and asked to lead Pakistan back to the pavilion. England all out for 281 in just 51.4 overs, after Mark Wood had swung the bat pretty effectively with an unbeaten 36 off 27 balls with no less than eight boundaries, particularly severe on Zahid Mahmood, who picked up last three wickets, but was clearly not at his best.

Given the success of the Pakistan slow bowlers, Stokes opened the bowling with Jack Leach and three close-in fielders and was happy to have no slip at all for the pace of Mark Wood. Being unconventional is his greatest strength and his world-wide appeal in international cricket comes from that.

He simply refuses to let the game drift away. Babar came one down, since the experienced Azhar Ali had been dropped to bring in all-rounder Fahim Ashraf. He by the close has looked well for a regal 61 off 76 balls with 9 fours and a six, to his name, when bad light took the players off. Babar continued to pounce on all poor deliveries and looks all set to play a decisive hand in this Test match.

His partner Saud Shakeel, who has won promotion too again showed how steady he is with his technique and temperament, particularly when surrounded by five close-in fielders. The pair have already put on 56 for the third wicket and were not asked to face Ollie Robinson, the Man of the Match in the previous Test, but yet to bowl in this innings. In sharp contrast to their counterparts, Pakistani batsmen have not played a single sweep so far. 388 runs in a day’s play off 79.4 overs with fall of 12 wickets represents a contest which is a million miles away from being branded a dull affair.

Match Stats

England Fall of wickets: 1-38 (Zak Crawley - 8.5 ov), 2-117 (Ben Duckett - 18.6 ov), 3-145 (Joe Root - 24.1 ov), 4-164 (Ollie Pope - 28.4 ov), 5-167 (Harry Brook - 30.5 ov), 6-228 (Ben Stokes - 42.3 ov), 7-231 (Will Jacks - 44.5 ov), 8-245 (Ollie Robinson - 47.3 ov), 9-245 (Jack Leach - 47.4 ov), 10-281 (James Anderson - 51.4 ov)

Pakistan Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Imam ul Haq - 2.2 ov), 2-51 (Abdullah Shafique - 13.3 ov)

Playing XI

Pakistan: Imam ul Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (C), Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Zahid Mahmood, Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Ali-II

England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope (WK), Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (C), Will Jacks, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, Mark Wood, James Anderson


Match Details:

Date: Friday, December 9, 2022 05:00

Venue: Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan

Toss: England won the toss & elected to bat

Officials: Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) Marais Erasmus (South Africa) Joel Wilson (West Indies TV)

Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)

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