At the end of the second day of the second test match between England and Pakistan in Multan on Saturday, England had a commanding lead of 281 runs and was looking to win the series-deciding match.
On a surface that was turning, the visitors were 202-5 in their second innings, and their captain, Ben Stokes, was still not out. During the previous two days, 25 wickets had fallen for the home team.
Earlier, spinner Jack Leach claimed 4 wickets to help Pakistan get bowled out for 202, which gave England a first-innings lead of 79 runs and put them in a great position to win the Test series. This is England’s first time competing in a Test series in Pakistan in 17 years.
“I felt it was a pleasing day with 280 ahead, so looking forward to what tomorrow brings,” said Leach. “I thought it was a pleasing day with 280 ahead.”
“Simply said, we just want to obtain as many as we possibly can. We would settle for a score of 500 if Brook and Stokes remained in the competition.”
Ben Duckett, the opener for England, scored an aggressive 79 before he was bowled by Abrar Ahmed, the spinner, who claimed three wickets in England’s second innings in addition to the seven he took in their first. Will Jacks, age four, and Joe Root, age twenty-one, were the two people he hurt.
After Mohammad Zahid’s 11-130 against New Zealand in 1996, Ahmed has became the second Pakistani bowler to take 10 or more wickets on debut. Ahmed’s 3-81 in the second innings so far makes him the second Pakistani bowler to do so.
Together with Duckett, Brook added 68 runs for the fourth wicket, hitting eight fours and a six in the process.
Zak Crawley was also out for three after Ahmed had a hand in it by hitting him directly in the back with a direct hit from mid-on as the hitter tried to get a single as quickly as possible.
After Pakistan’s batting lineup resumed the morning session at 107-2 with skipper Babar Azam and Shakeel seeking to build a comfortable lead, the Pakistani batters squandered a promising position and lost the game.
However, once Azam was bowled by the fast bowler Ollie Robinson for a score of 75 in the seventh over of the day, the innings quickly went downhill, with seven wickets falling for a total of only 37 runs.
Shakeel stated that there were some “easy dismissals,” and that this caused the team to fall behind.
“We need to get them out for a lead of between 300 and 320, and because we have enough time, we will eventually obtain a result. We have pursued totals of this kind in the past.”
Along with Leach, Root was successful with his looping off-breaks, resulting in the dismissal of Agha Salman (four) and Mohammad Ali (nought).
Faheem Ashraf (22) and Ahmed (seven not out) held on for 23 runs before Mark Wood broke the partnership for the last wicket. Lunch was delayed for the last wicket because of the situation.
Root’s numbers ranged from 2 to 23, and Wood’s were between 2 and 40.
Together with Shakeel, Azam scored eleven boundaries and a six while adding 91 runs for the third wicket.
Shakeel was deceived by Leach into playing a lofted ball towards mid-on, and James Anderson took a brilliant sprinting catch to give the spinner his 100th Test wicket.
Rawalpindi was the location of the inaugural test match, which England won by 74 runs.