Abrar’s magic spin out England for 281 on opening day of Multan Test

MULTAN: Mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed stormed through the England batting line with astounding seven wickets on his debut Test to help Pakistan bundle out the visiting side on 281 on the opening day of the second Test, here at Multan Cricket Stadium on Friday. 

The 24-year-old becomes the third Pakistani bowler after Mohammad Nazir and Mohammad Nazir to take seven scalps on a maiden Test. His magical bowling effectively derailed England’s intent to continue their batting tempo of the Rawalpindi Test.

After Abrar struck down the seven wickets of England’s solid batting line, fellow spinner Zahid Mahmood ran through the lower order as the two shared ten wickets between them on a spinning track.

Opting to bat first, England tried to continue their momentum from the previous game, where they scored a record 506/4 on the opening day, but a mystery unleashed by Pakistan in form of Abrar had other plans.

A brilliant googly in the very first over which clean bowled last match centurion Zak Crawley on 19 from 37 balls had nearly set the stage for the new entrant.

Duckett and Pope, however, nullified the early scare and went with the full throttle as the two gathered 79 runs from just 61 balls before Abrar provided the breakthrough. He plumbed Duckett, who looked in sublime form on 63 off 49, while he was attempting to sweep with a successful call from Babar Azam to review the umpire’s original decision of not out.

At 117 for 2 in 19 overs, England looked indifferent and tried to continue the tempo with Joe Root, their best bid against spin, on the crease but a big leg break knock him down with a successful Pakistan review once again.

He then went on to hunt Pope at 60 and completed his five-wicket haul with Harry Brook’s miscued shot at mid-off which ended in the hands of Mohammad Nawaz.

Captain Ben Stokes, however, was left awe-struck after the break when a wrong one by the youngster knocked the stumps with an incredibly googly.

Will Jacks soon followed the suit as Abrar struck him down on 31 off 44 after he stitched a 61-run stand with skipper Stokes in the post-lunch session.

Mark Wood played an unbeaten knock of 36 off 27 lower down the order while the wickets kept on falling as Mahmood hunt down the tailenders Ollie Robinson Jack Leach and James Anderson.