Pak vs Eng 2nd Test Match Report: Abrar’s heroics in vain as England cricket team clinch Test series
Ben Stokes and co bundled out the Pakistan cricket team at 328, leaving the hosts 26 runs short of the target. This is a consecutive series loss at home for Babar Azam’s men. Pakistan cricket team has lost three home Tests in a row for the first time since 1959.
They were beaten by Pat Cummins-led Australia a few months back and now find themselves on the wrong end of the Bazball, trying to avoid a clean sweep in their own backyard.
On the other hand, this series win will be another feather in the hat of the Stokes-McCullum era. Ever since its inception, the England cricket team has won the last eight of its nine Tests.
The good news for the England cricket team is that they’re raking up vital points and they have a new opening pair that is finally working to perfection.
After trying a number of players up the order such as Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, and Haseeb Ahmed, they have found balance in Ben Duckett and Zack Crawley. Both players have a knack for playing attacking cricket, something that Ben Stokes and McCullum endorse in the red-ball arena.
Pak vs Eng: Abrar Ahmed impresses on debut
Karachi’s Abrar Ahmed wasted no time to show his impact in his first international red-ball game. It took him only five balls to claim his first wicket of an in-form Zack Crawley whose stumps he rattled with an inch-perfect googly.
Ahmed went on to take seven wickets in the first, and four more in the second innings to have a 11-wicket haul on his Test debut.
For the first time in this series, the Pakistan cricket team seemed to have threatened the England cricket team's batting line-up with Abrar Ahmed’s magic. However, the hosts let their batting go below par once again.
Nonetheless, this performance at home will have Abrar Ahmed, 24, brimming with confidence.
His dismissal of Ben Stokes spoke volumes of his quality and how he can cater to the Pakistan cricket team’s spin attack in years to come.
Moreover, Abrar Ahmed’s ability to score quick runs with the bat makes him a potent threat to the opposition. His 12-ball 17 in the second inning showed that he had a clear intent walking in, knowing that blocking every ball is not going to help the cause.
Pak vs Eng: Harry Brook continues golden touch
Harry Brook’s love affair with the Pakistan cricket team which began in the Pakistan Super League has only continued. He outplayed the hosts in the seven-game T20I series and is the top scorer of the series with over 350 runs in just two Tests.
On a tricky Multan track that supported spinners, he was able to read Mohammad Nawaz, Abrar Ahmed, and Zahid Mahmood.
He’s also the only centurion on the second Test. His 108 in the second innings allowed the visitors to reach 275 and set the Pakistan cricket team a big target.
For his exceptional dominance in Multan, the 23-year-old has been declared the Man of the Match. It will be interesting to see how the England cricket team manages Harry Brook when Johnny Bairstow returns to the side.
Pak vs Eng: Has Ollie Robinson made Babar Azam his bunny
Ollie Robinson has been on a roll ever since he made his Test debut last year. The 29-year-old has played 13 Tests since, amassing a whopping 59 wickets.
His average of 19.6 shows how consistent he has been with the ball, supporting Mark Wood and James Anderson with his rockets.
Babar Azam, who’s by far the best batter on the other side and the Pakistan cricket team’s backbone across any format, was seen struggling to judge Ollie Robinson’s deliveries.
In both innings of the Test, Ollie Robinson shattered Babar Azam’s stump and left the skipper too stunned to grasp what had happened.
Pak vs Eng: James Anderson defying the odds on flat decks
James Anderson has been a whirlwind for the England cricket team over the years. Not many thought that he would be able to trouble the Pakistan cricket team on flat decks that support no seam and swing, but the veteran quickly had other plans.
His delivery to dismiss Mohammad Rizwan in the second innings came back in sharp, leaving the Pakistan wicket-keeper clueless.
The 40-year-old picked three wickets in this contest, every scalp equally crucial in the content of the game. Rizwan, who was left amused by his dismissal, told Sky Sports after the end of play on Day 3 how good of a delivery that was.
James Anderson’s performance in the sub-continent has shut the critics who felt like he could only thrive in English conditions.
Pak vs Eng: The Saud Shakeel controversy
West Indies umpire Joe Wilson has been under fire on social media for declaring Saud Shakeel out. On a pacey Mark Wood delivery, Shakeel tried to play it on the fine leg but ended up edging it to Ollie Pope.
With a soft signal of out, the decision was taken to the third umpire because it was unclear to on-field umpires if Pope caught the ball cleanly.
The slow-motion footage seemed to support Shakeel’s cause as the ball was seemingly touching the ground, but the umpire ruled it out.
This is where the game turned in the England cricket team’s favor as Shakeel, who was in form and ready to steer his country to victory, walked back on 94.
Even India wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik gave his two cents on the affair.
Pak vs Eng: Should the Pakistan cricket team look for Rizwan’s replacement
Mohammad Rizwan has been phenomenal in T20Is for Men in Green, but he hasn't been able to replicate it in red-ball games.
The right-handed batter gets going more than often, but often gets dismissed in the 30s or 40s, which doesn’t help the Pakistan cricket team's cause in most cases.
The same is the case for Agha Salman. Both Salman and Rizwan will have to up the ante or the management has to bring in Sarfaraz Ahmed, who plays spin better than both Rizwan and Salman.
And Pakistan cricket team's struggles against top spinners were quite evident in this series as well as the Sri Lanka Tests.
One of the two things has to change to boost the Pakistan cricket team’s chances with the bat in the upcoming Test series against New Zealand.