Pakistan, who had a good chance of securing one of the first two spots in the World Test Championship (WTC) standings before the start of Test series against England, find themselves in jeopardy as they slip to number six on the table after losing the Multan Test by 26 runs.
Pakistan had earlier lost the Rawalpindi Test to England by 74 runs, before the loss to Multan on Monday confirmed their series defeat. Apart from their quest of being in WTC taking a serious beating, England have also leapfrogged Pakistan in the WTC standings.
Needing 157 with six wickets in hand to win on day four, Pakistan appeared on course to chase down an tricky 355 as Saud Shakeel (94) and Mohammad Nawaz (45) took the hosts to 290/5 through their 80-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
But tearaway pacer Mark Wood swung the momentum back in England’s favour by taking out both set batters in leg-side strangles just before lunch. From there onwards, the Pakistan batting order suffered a collapse despite some resistance from Agha Salman (20 not out) and debutant Abrar Ahmed (17) to be all out for 328 in 102.1 overs, giving England a Test series victory in Pakistan since the 2000/01 tour.
Now at the sixth position with a PCT of just 42.42%, Pakistan are in dire trouble. Not only will they have to win the next Test but also beat New Zealand when they tour Pakistan next month for two matches in Karachi (December 27-31) and Multan (January 4-8) and hope for other results to go their way.
Australia’s win against West Indies on Sunday in Adelaide has consolidated their position at the top with 75% PCT and it will be difficult to displace them from the top two. South Africa look secure at number two for now but with an important three-match series in Australia coming up, they would not want to relinquish their hold in the top two.
India are at number four spot and are in contention with their two-Test series against Bangladesh starting from December 14 and a big one, the four-match series against Australia coming up next year for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in February-March at home.