Recent Match Report – England vs Pakistan 2nd Test 2022/23

close Pakistan Need 157 more runs to beat 202 (Babar 75, Shakeel 63, Leach 4-98) and 198/4 (Shakeel 54*, Faheem 3*) England 281 (Ducket 63, Pope 60, Abrar 7-114) and 275 (Brook 108, Abrar 4-120)

For the best part of 32 overs, Imam-ul-Haq and Saud Shakeel thwarted the England attack, which was buoyed by a trio of fine deliveries in the first hour after lunch, taking Pakistan to a potentially fourth-place finish. for going. The day climaxes, and puts England’s hopes of a famous series win on ice for another day… and potentially another Test.

But then, with the shadows getting longer, and England starting to sweat a route through a strong 107-run partnership for the fourth wicket, Imam leaned against Jack Leach in a massive drive from the rough, And that gives Root a sharp edge. Slip on to fall for 60 and crank the door ajar once more.

Although Saud Shakeel scored an unbeaten 54 in a partnership with Faheem Ashraf, the equation was easy at stumps. Six more wickets still to come for England to take a 2-0 lead in the series with Karachi, or 1-1 for Pakistan with their second highest successful Test run chase of 355 after scoring 157 .

It was another entertaining day of fluctuating Test cricket, with Pakistan’s evening line-up showcasing their free-flowing opening stand of 64 in the 15 overs before lunch, including Mohammad Rizwan – sending Imam to the scans Was promoted for opening after leaving. A damaged hamstring – and Abdullah Shafiq saw the new ball at a blistering 4.27 per over.

Earlier, England had effectively self-contained their second innings, with Harry Brook’s second Test century, the highlight of a fast-paced hour of batting, in which he added 73 runs to his total. The last five wickets were lost. Despite Tests still having the best part of nine seasons to go at that stage, England’s approach reflected their belief that the surface still had much to offer their own bowlers, and – as that with their 342 declared in Rawalpindi – leaving Pakistan with a nominally possible target of 355, they would be better placed to induce all errors.

And, as demonstrated in that first Test too, England have a trump card in James Anderson, as Abrar Ahmed proved during his 11-wicket haul in all but 177 Tests and 20 years were more experienced. , As of now, Anderson had been a notable absentee in the opening exchanges, as Stokes held back his main man to exploit the possibility of reverse swing. When he arrived for the first over of the afternoon, he quickly changed the predictions of the innings.

Anderson’s first four deliveries of the session were negotiated safely enough, but the fifth was simply unstoppable – a full-length seaming delivery that rattled over Rizwan and jagged badly around his outside edge. Went. Rizwan looked dumbfounded as he went to survey the wreckage, but he was to make 30 off 43 balls, and England were 66 for 1.

Leach was warming up to share the honors of the afternoon, but Stokes immediately signaled it for Ollie Robinson to make an all-seam attack. In his second over of the season, he also bowled an amazing ball. Pakistan captain Babar Azam was forced to play cautiously against the straight ball, with a hint of uneven bounce, Robinson instead hit it full leg out the seam, and Babar, seemingly grateful to be able to drop one As it happens, only the bewildered could see that the ball bounced back and hit the top of the off as well.

In the next over from Robinson, Shafiq fell victim to an almost identical delivery, but could not survive for long. Stokes made changes once again, missing his fastest bowler Mark Wood in the final over before drinks, and with his first ball he blasted another off-stump rattler through Shafiq’s defence, again just outside the crease. From wide but keeping it low as it slid in with extra oomph.

At 83 for 3, Pakistan’s innings was tied to the ropes. But with his notable willingness to save his fast bowlers for crucial moments, Stokes instead leaned heavily on his spinners with in-and-out fields, allowing Pakistan to hit through close catchers . Once again, his first-innings weapon, Jack Leach, was Stokes’ most reliable option, but with the two left-handers out, Leach found some tough dealing, going at 4.40 during his 20 overs. Unless, of course, he produced the moment that repaid the belief, and opened up England’s chances of closing out the game.

Up to that moment the opportunities kept coming regardless – on 4, Shakeel slog-swept a Root delivery that fell short of Wood, set a few meters too deep over midwicket, while on 19, Imam brought back a difficult chance did. Down pitch to Will Jaques, who couldn’t stick. The biggest lapse, however, occurred in the final session as Imam, then on 54, lofted his bat over a leg-side lifter, but Stokes disallowed the review, which appeared to have taken a faint tickle. It was a slight sign that the England skipper was starting to feel the heat, as Imam and Shakeel pumped up the confidence with a series of timed cover drives, notably from the then-leaky Leach.

Despite the excitement generated by England’s trio of early wickets, England found little in the way of reverse-swing as the innings progressed, on a day-three pitch that was playing arguably at its best. Stokes himself resisted any temptation to break the emergency glass and bring himself in for the spell, although that possibility remained open for the conclusion of the fourth day, when only a draw would be off the table.

Despite Pakistan’s relative success in the morning session, the major milestone was that of Brook, who converted his overnight 74 into his second century in four innings on the trip. By the time he was dismissed at deep square leg for 108, Brook had hit 14 fours and a six in his 149-ball innings, replete with powerful strokeplay and impressive judgment of length, especially against Abrar’s spin. against, who was once again Pakistan’s most dangerous bowler as he took 4/120 and took 11 wickets on debut.

Abrar suffered some heavy blows in the first hour, however, as Brook caught a series of drags down the leg-side, and Stokes launched the same bowler straight over the boundary for a six to equalize with his coach Brendon McCullum. did. on 107 Test sixes, most by any player,

Before he could convert that start into something more meaningful, however, Stokes went down leg, where Ali raced to a well-judged catch at the midwicket boundary. Robinson then missed leg as Abrar fired a googly through his gate for his 11th wicket, before Wood produced a sharp legbreak to slip past Zahid Mahmood and Anderson reverse swept to wrap up the innings. missed doing That time and again after lunch, England were fully satisfied with their match position. Up close, they were slightly less comfortable, despite Leach’s late success.

Andrew Miller is the UK editor for ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

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