Fantastic fifties by Harry Brook and Ben Duckett helped England gain control over hosts Pakistan on Day 2 of the second Test, despite Abrar Ahmed’s 10 wickets on red-ball debut, here on Saturday.
After finishing with superb figures of 7-144 in the first innings, Abrar picked three of the five wickets to fall in England’s second innings but the visitors ended Day 2 on 202 for 5, with a lead of 281 runs.
Beginning the day, Ollie Pope bowled Babar Azam early in the morning session as England began to claw back into the game after a mixed opening day. Jack Leach then bowled a ripper to get rid of Mohammad Rizwan.
With the ball turning sharply, Ben Stokes threw the ball to his predecessor Joe Root and it brought success for England as the likes of Agha Salman and Mohammad Ali got out in the same over. As Pakistan crumbled, a proactive Stokes brought on Mark Wood towards the end of the first session to close out the innings and he obliged as Pakistan were bowled out for 202.
England had a vital lead of 79 runs but they suffered early blows in their second innings as Zak Crawley got run out and Abrar dismissed Will Jacks with a googly in his first over. Thereafter, Ben Duckett put a lid on the fall of wickets and stitched a partnership with Joe Root. The stand was broken when Root fell for 21 as England went to Tea at 79 for 3.
Duckett, who got his second fifty of the Test before the break, carried on in the final session in the company of Harry Brook. It was once again Abrar, who gave Pakistan a breakthrough by removing Duckett.
Ollie Pope’s run out just two overs later rattled England a bit but Brook took the responsibility of steering the ship from Duckett and went on to smash his own fifty. He had Stokes for company, who was extra watchful against the wily Abrar to take the team to stumps without any further damage.
Brief scores: England 281 & 202/5 in 49 overs (Ben Duckett 79; Harry Brook 74 not out; Abrar Ahmed 3-81) lead Pakistan 202 in 62.5 overs (Babar Azam 75, Saud Shakeel 63; Jack Leach 4-98, Joe Root 2-23, Mark Wood 2-40) by 281 runs