Ashraf Ali Siddiqui describes an outstanding performance
Though the Pakistani cricket team lost the second cricket in Multan by 26 runs Pakistani Record setting debut Abrar Ahmed cast a spell over England grabbing seven wickets as the tourists were dismissed for 281 on the opening day of the second Test in Multan. The 24-year-old — nicknamed “Harry Potter” by friends because he wears glasses similar to those of the fictional boy wizard — produced magic of his own to finish with 7-114.
The Multan pitch took a turn from the outset and Abrar Ahmed was brought on in just the ninth over and the spinner repaid the captain by bowling Crawley with a sharp incoming delivery — only his fifth ball in Test cricket. Abrar Ahmed then trapped Duckett and Root leg-before — both given out only after captain Azam reviewed the on-field calls. He made it 167-5 when Pope and Brook miscued aggressive shots and were caught. Ben Stokes (30) and Will Jacks (31) defied the assault after lunch for a 61-run sixth-wicket stand before Abrar Ahmed removed the England captain.
Abrar Ahmed’s figures were the second-best on debut by a Pakistan bowler — behind pacer Mohammad Zahid’s 7-66 against New Zealand in Rawalpindi in 1996. He is the 13th Pakistan bowler to take five or more wickets in an innings on debut. He is an excellent find for Pakistani team and may go a long way in establishing the dominance of spinners in the game.
England, on their first tour of Pakistan since 2005, lead the three-match series 2-0 after winning the first Test in Rawalpindi by 74 runs. In the second test in Multan Mark Wood grabbed four Pakistan wickets to give England a hard-fought 26-run win in the second Test in Multan and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The England fast bowler finished with 4-65 as Pakistan were dismissed for 328 about 50 minutes after lunch, having been set a challenging 355-run target. Wood, who missed England’s 74-run win in the first Test in Rawalpindi with a hip injury, turned the match in England’s favour with the wickets of Mohammad Nawaz (45) and Saud Shakeel (94) in the space of just 12 balls and one run. Pakistan slumped to 291-7 at lunch, and after the break Agha Salman (20 not out) and Abrar Ahmed (17) tried to hit out for an unlikely win to keep the series alive. TW