England win Test series despite Abrar’s magic spells

F.P. Report

MULTAN: Saud Shakeel’s 94 and Imamul Haq’s 60 runs ended up in a losing cause as Pakistan went down to England by 26 runs in the second Test at Multan Cricket Stadium on Monday.


The visiting team leads the series 2-0. Chasing Egnland s 355 target, Pakistan were all out for 328 in the second innings on day four. Earlier, when the day started Faheem Ashraf was sent to pavilion.


Later, Mohammad Nawaz and Saud Shakeel played a responsible innings and moved the team closer to target. However, Shakeel was removed just before lunch, serving a setback to Pakistan.


Pakistan resumed their second innings at the overnight score of 198 against England on day four and they needed 157 more to deny the tourists a second successive victory in the three-match series.


On Day 3, Pakistan lost the key wicket of half centurion Imamul Haq late on the third day to give England hope in the second Test on Sunday. England, which held a 79-run first innings lead, had set up a target of 355 runs after it was bowled out for 275 in its second innings.


England had defeated Pakistan by 74 runs in the first Test at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, which was also England’s first test in Pakistan after 17 years.


The left-handed pair of Imam, who made 60, and Saud Shakeel (54 not out) had shared a 108-run stand and attacked the bowlers before Imam played a lose drive against Jack Leach and was caught in the slip late in the last session.


James Anderson, OIlie Robinson and Wood showed great display of seam and swing bowling in the middle session, claiming three wickets for 17 runs before Imam and Shakeel dug in and took Pakistan to 136-3 at tea.


Imam didn’t open the innings after feeling discomfort in his right hamstring and went to hospital for MRI scans, but batted confidently at No 5 though Will Jacks had a chance to end his innings but couldn’t hold onto a sharp return. Harry Brook also couldn’t grab a low one-handed catch at forward short leg when Shakeel was batting on just four.

Earlier in the day, Brook had hit his second successive century and made 108 off 149 balls before England were bowled out for 275.


In the absence of Imam, Abdullah Shafique (45) and Mohammad Rizwan (30) batted fluently and provided a confident start of 66 before England’s seamers started to exert pressure on the home team after lunch.


Anderson dismissed Rizwan immediately after the break off a ball that left the right-hander just enough to knock back his off stump. Babar Azam (1) offered no shot to Robinson’s sharp incoming delivery and was also clean bowled. Wood switched ends and went through the defences of Abdullah with a sharp fast delivery as Pakistan slumped to 83 for three.


Mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed prospered again and ended up with match figures of 11 for 234, becoming only the second Pakistani after Mohammad Zahid to take 10 wickets on a Test debut. Fast bowler Zahid took 11-130 against New Zealand at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in 1996.