Tuesday, 31 January, 2023

Duckett's fifty extends England lead after Pakistan collapse

Duckett's fifty extends England lead after Pakistan collapse

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Opener Ben Duckett scored a steely half-century to put England in poll position in the second Test against Pakistan in Multan on Saturday.

The left-handed batter had compiled a solid 58 at the break, his second fifty of the match, to push the visitors to 89-3 and an overall 168-run lead.

England had bundled Pakistan out for 202 in their first innings.

Left-arm spinner Jack Leach destroyed the hosts with figures of 4-98, also completing 100 wickets in 31 Tests.

Spin was also Pakistan's key weapon, with debutant Abrar Ahmed dismissing Will Jacks (four) and Joe Root (21) to follow up his 7-114 in England's first innings of 281.

Ahmed also had a hand in Zak Crawley's dismissal for three, running him out with a direct hit from mid-on as the batter attempted a quick single.

Duckett, who smashed a maiden century in the first Test and 63 in the first innings, has so far hit five boundaries.

In the morning session, Pakistan's batters wasted a strong position after they resumed at 107-2 with skipper Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel looking to build a solid lead.

But once Azam was bowled off fast bowler Ollie Robinson for 75 in the seventh over of the day, the innings was jolted with seven wickets falling for just 37 runs.

Leach dismissed Shakeel (63), Mohammad Rizwan (ten) and Mohammad Nawaz (one) for his three wickets in the day.

After Leach's inroads, Root joined the act with his looping off-breaks, dismissing Agha Salman (four) and Mohammad Ali (nought).

With lunch extended for the last wicket, Faheem Ashraf (22) and Ahmed (seven not out) held on for 23 runs before Mark Wood broke the partnership.

Root had figures of 2-23 and Wood 2-40.

Azam hit ten boundaries and a six and added 91 for the third wicket with Shakeel.

Leach lured Shakeel into playing a lofted shot toward mid-on where James Anderson held a smart running catch, giving the spinner his 100th Test wicket.

England lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning the first Test by 74 runs in Rawalpindi.

England are on their first Test tour of Pakistan since 2005.