Mystery spinner Abrar becomes nightmare for England batters

England won the toss and elected to bat first in the second Test match being played at Multan Cricket Stadium and made 281 runs in their first innings. Mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed got record seven wickets on his Test debut.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam completed his 50 before the Day 1 concludes.

Pakistan (28 ov) 107/2

Debutant Abrar Ahmed strikes in the first over and bowled out Zak Crawley. Abrar is mobbed by his teammates after ripping one through Crawley’s defence! Crawley lunges forward, not expecting this to turn much, but it jags back sharply, past his inside edge, and into the top of off stump. Pakistan’s newbie makes an immediate impact, flicking out the front of his hand.

Abrar Ahmed to Duckett, OUT:  Tossed up and straightening on the stumps, Duckett sweeps and misses… not given this time, but Babar reviews with the timer running out. No glove on this one, pitching on leg and struck on the knee roll in front of middle and off. What does Hawk-Eye say? Hitting the stumps three-quarters of the way up! So Dar has to change his decision again, and Duckett ducks out.

 

Abrar Ahmed to Root, OUT.  Big-turning delivery on the stumps, huge appeal. Dar shakes his head! This looked close, and Babar opts to review. Root was grinning away at the appeal but might not be too comfortable now. Height possibly the main question, but he was back on his off stump. Long wait for UltraEdge, though I don’t think he hit it… Big gap between bat and ball. Now a delay for Hawk-Eye… and it’s hitting! Pakistan are jubilant as Dar reverses another decision and Root trudges from the field. Third of the morning for Abrar.

 

Abrar Ahmed to Pope, OUT:  Reverse-swept straight to backward point! Pope is furious with himself, as he gifts Abrar his fourth wicket… He’s on for all ten at the moment! Really scuffed the shot and it provided a simple catch. He walks off punching the back of the bat, England continuing to veer between triumph and disaster

Abrar Ahmed to Brook, OUT:  Slapped in the air… taken! Five for Abrar! Foxed in the flight and Brook’s attempt to take him downtown ends up in the safe hands of Nawaz at mid-off, where he took it safely despite the glare of the sun. Abrar performs a quick sajdah, what a magnificent debut he is having.

 

Pakistan: 1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Abdullah Shafique, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Saud Shakeel, 5 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 6 Agha Salman, 7 Mohammad Nawaz, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Zahid Mahmood, 10 Abrar Ahmed, 11 Mohammad Ali

England: England: 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Ben Duckett, 3 Ollie Pope (wk), 4 Joe Root, 5 Harry Brook, 6 Ben Stokes (capt), 7 Will Jacks, 8 Ollie Robinson, 9 Jack Leach, 10 Mark Wood, 11 James Anderson

 Ben Stokes wants to set the tempo again. “Have to wait and see what it [the pitch] offers but hopefully we can go out and set the same sort of benchmark with the bat,” he says.

England had named their XI in advance, with Mark Wood coming in for the injured Liam Livingstone.

Babar Azam says he too would have batted. “Pitch looks dry, we will have to bowl in the right areas.” Three changes confirmed: Naseem, Haris Rauf and Azhar drop out, with Abrar, Nawaz and Faheem coming in. Five genuine bowling options for them this time out.

Abrar Ahmed becomes Pakistan’s Test cap no.252

 Mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed became 252nd player from Pakistan to play Test cricketer as he was named in the XI announced by Pakistan captain Babar Azam at the toss for the second of the three Tests against England at the Multan Cricket Stadium.

Abrar had received maiden call-up in the Test squad ahead of this series following an impressive run in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2022-23. The 24-year-old right-arm spinner won the best bowler of the tournament award and topped the leading wicket-taker chart with 43 scalps in seven matches at an average of 21.95.

https://twitter.com/TheRealPCB/status/1601083844714582016b

Pakistan XI for the second Test: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (vc & wk), Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Zahid Mehmood, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammad Ali

Overall, Pakistan made three changes from the side that played the first Test at the Pindi Cricket Stadium with Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, who has a niggle in his bowling shoulder, and Azhar Ali being replaced with Abrar, Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Nawaz.