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HomeSportsCricketJack Leach turns screw as England surge into command of second Test

Jack Leach turns screw as England surge into command of second Test

Pakistan 202 (Babar 75, Shakeel 63, Leach 4-98) path England 281 (Duckett 63, Pope 60, Abrar 7-114) by 79 runs

England surged into command of the second Test on the second morning at Multan, selecting up Pakistan’s remaining eight wickets for 95 together with a pre-lunch flurry of three for none in six balls, as Pakistan misplaced their composure towards the spin of Jack Leach and Joe Root, and with it probably the sequence.

After a misleadingly serene first six overs of the day, during which Pakistan’s in a single day pair of Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel had added 35 runs to take their third-wicket stand to an ominous 91, the dismissal of Babar in Ollie Robinson’s first over of the match was the earliest signal of the unsettled show to return.

Shakeel adopted quickly afterwards for 63, handing Leach his a hundredth Test wicket within the course of, and when Pakistan’s different kingpin, Mohammad Rizwan additionally fell to Leach for 10 – having taken 28 deliveries to open his account in a deeply cagey show – the decrease middle-order fell away, with Root’s lesser-spotted offspin claiming two wickets in his first 5 balls of the day.

Robinson, the Player of the Match from final week’s Rawalpindi victory, had been a notable absentee from England’s assault on the primary day, however made his presence felt from the second he entered the fray within the thirty fifth over of the innings. Reverse-swing had been a function of his match-winning spell within the first Test, and positive sufficient, his second supply bent again appreciably as Babar leaned into an ill-conceived drive, and crashed into the center and off stumps.

It was a hammer blow to Pakistan’s hopes of changing their in a single day 107 for two right into a dominant place, and Rizwan’s response to the setback was an innings of deep retrenchment. At the opposite finish, Shakeel no less than transformed his in a single day 32 right into a 65-ball half-century, his second in three innings in his fledgling Test profession, however with England drying up the runs, his eventual dismissal was an aberration that opened the floodgates.

A tremendous drive via long-off off Leach appeared to have signalled an upping of Shakeel’s tempo, however it gave approach, one ball later, to an terrible hoick via the road, as Anderson at mid-on rushed spherical to his left to cling onto an skewed exterior edge. And two overs later, Rizwan was gone as nicely, overwhelmed by a dipping ripper from Leach that turned and bounced into the highest of center and off from around the wicket. At 165 for five, the innings was all of a sudden in freefall.

In idea, the recall of Mohammad Nawaz had added some substance to Pakistan’s lower-middle order. In follow, his response to the mounting disaster was an impetuous skip to the pitch and a scuffed drive to Robinson at mid-off to offer Leach his fourth of the innings.

By this stage, Pakistan’s innings had lasted extra balls than England’s first-innings whole of 281 all out in 51.4 overs, however the lack of intent of their strategy had created a stage of stress over and above something England had felt, even whereas wickets have been falling with better frequency of their innings.

One supply later, Root returned to the assault with instantaneous success, as Agha Salman popped a gently looping offbreak straight to Ben Stokes at quick mid-on, and Root had two in 5 balls when Mohammad Ali snicked to Crawley at slip, the prospect looping off his again pad as he pressed ahead with no conviction.

At 169 for 8 and with lunch approaching, Stokes was in no temper to let up the stress. Back got here Wood for what might have been the ultimate over of the session, and along with his very first ball, Zahid Mahmood was smashed on the pad and despatched on his approach lbw for the third duck of the innings.

Abrar Ahmed – Pakistan’s first-innings hero – hung round with Faheem Ashraf as lunch was pushed again by half an hour, however after irritating England in a 25-minute stand of 23, Wood’s return to the assault induced an ethereal flick to deep midwicket from Ashraf, to wrap up a really passable session for the guests.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket



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