England beat Pakistan by 26 runs in 2nd Test
Multan: Mark Wood destroyed Pakistan hopes with his fearsome pace and led aggressive England to a sensational 26-run victory inside four days in the second Test.
Pakistan, in pursuit of a challenging victory target of 355, was bowled out for 328 within an hour after lunch on Day 4 to send England into the third match with an insurmountable 2-0 lead in its first Test tour of Pakistan in 17 years.
England won the first Test by 74 runs in dimming light on the last day through the aggressive approach that has now brought them eight victories in their past nine tests under new coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.
Wood grabbed 4-65 including a contentious, game-changing, caught-behind decision that denied lefthander Saud Shakeel (94) his maiden Test hundred before lunch.
Shakeel’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 Day 4 on 198-4, needing a further 157.
Shakeel shared an 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 Shakeel’s defiance with another short ball in the same area. Wicketkeeper Ollie Pope took a low catch down the legside 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 onfield umpire Aleem Dar referred the decision with a soft signal of out.
Shakeel 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. Pakistan lost Faheem Ashraf (10) in the day’s sixth over when Joe Root had the lefthander caught at slip as captain Ben Stokes chose to deploy spinners from one end.
But Shakeel, resuming on 54, and Nawaz, thwarted England’s seam and spin bowlers, rising in confidence even after England took the second new ball with Pakistan still needing 109 runs. Fast bowler Ollie Robinson thrice went past Nawaz’s bat, but the lefthander showed aggression against Root and leftarm spinner Jack Leach with some crisp boundaries before Stokes turned to the pace of Wood late in the first session and gained two crucial wickets.
Abrar Ahmed, who took 11 wickets in his debut test, made a brisk 17 that featured three extravagant boundaries against Wood after lunch before England seamers Robinson (2-23) and James Anderson (2-44) wrapped up the tail.