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England beat Pakistan by 26 runs

Multan, 12 December 2022: Mark Wood led England to a 26-run win inside four days in the second Test against Pakistan on Monday at the Multan Cricket Stadium.

Pakistan, in pursuit of a challenging victory target of 355, were bowled out for 328 within an hour after lunch on day four to send England into the third match with an unassailable 2-0 lead in its first Test tour of Pakistan in 17 years.

England won the first Test by 74 runs at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.

Wood grabbed 4-65 including prized scalp of left-hander Saud Shakeel (94) who missed on his maiden Test hundred before lunch.

Saud’s patient, third successive half century in just over five hours nearly pulled off Pakistan’s highest-ever successful chase in a home Test after the hosts resumed on the fourth day on 198-4, needing a further 157.

Saud shared 80-run stand with Mohammad Nawaz (45) before Wood struck in his first over with the second new ball. He first had Nawaz caught down the leg side off a short ball and then ended Saud’s defiance with another short ball in the same area.

Wicket-keeper Ollie Pope took a low catch down the leg side after Wood got Shakeel tangled. The third umpire, Joel Wilson of the West Indies, ruled in the bowler’s favor after viewing several replays, after on-field umpire Aleem Dar referred the decision with a soft signal of out.

Resuming the fourth day with an overnight score of 198 for four with still 157 required, Pakistan lost Faheem Ashraf (10) in the day’s sixth over when Joe Root had the lefthander caught at slip as Stokes chose to deploy spinners from one end.

Saud and Nawaz stifled England for nearly 22 overs before Wood struck twice in quick succession to raise England’s hope of clinching the three-match series late in the first session.

Fast bowler Ollie Robinson thrice went past Nawaz’s bat, but the left-hander showed aggression against Root and left-arm spinner Jack Leach with some crisp boundaries before Stokes turned to the pace of Wood and gained two crucial wickets.

Abrar made a brisk 17 that featured three extravagant boundaries against Wood in one over after lunch before England seamers Robinson (2-23) and James Anderson (2-44) wrapped up the tail to seal England win.

Scores in brief:

England 281 all out, 51.4 overs (Ben Duckett 63, Ollie Pope 60, Mark Wood 36 not out, Will Jacks 31, Ben Stokes 20; Abrar Ahmed 7-114, Zahid Mehmood 3-63) and 275 all out, 64.5 overs (Harry Brook 108, Ben Duckett 79, Ben Stokes 41, Joe Root 21; Abrar Ahmed 4-120, Zahid Mehmood 3-52)

Pakistan 202 all out, 62.5 overs (Babar Azam 75, Saud Shakeel 63, Faheem Ashraf 22; Jack Leach 4-98, Joe Root 2-23, Mark Wood 2-40) and 328 all out, 102.1 overs (Saud Shakeel 94, Imam-ul-Haq 60, Abdullah Shafique 45, Mohammad Nawaz 45, Mohamad Rizwan 30; Mark Wood 4-65, James Anderson 2-44)

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