England earned a historic Test series victory in Pakistan after tearaway pacer Mark Wood took the tourists to a tense 26-run win in the second Test here on Monday.
Resuming from 198/4 on day four, Pakistan appeared on course to chase down an tricky 355 as Saud Shakeel (94) and Mohammad Nawaz (45) took the hosts to 290/5 through their 80-run partnership for the sixth wicket, only for Wood to swing the momentum back in England`s favour by taking out both set batters in leg-side strangles just before lunch.
From there onwards, the Pakistan batting order suffered a collapse despite some resistance from Agha Salman (20 not out) and debutant Abrar Ahmed (17). Eventually, Pakistan were all out for 328 in 102.1 overs, giving England a Test series victory in Pakistan since the 2000/01 tour, after having registered a thrilling last-session in the first Test at Rawalpindi on their return to the country after 17 years.
Also read: Pakistan fight back after England set stiff target
The close loss at Multan means Pakistan suffered their second successive series defeat at home, after losing 1-0 to Australia in a three-match series in March this year. Wood finished with figures of 4/65 in 21 overs with Ollie Robinson (2/23) and James Anderson (2/44) being impressive in another England victory.
On day four, Pakistan added just 12 runs to their overnight total before all-rounder Faheem Ashraf (10) hit a turning delivery from Joe Root straight to slip. Shakeel was serene in his stay at the crease, while Nawaz was quick in getting boundaries and giving Pakistan hope of chasing a tall total.
But Wood came in and forced Nawaz to glove a short ball behind to keeper Ollie Pope. Wood would also grab the key scalp of Shakeel on the stroke of lunch, though a huge debate erupted over whether the catch taken by Pope was clean or not, turning out to be a game-changing decision.
After a soft signal was given out, third umpire Joel Wilson had a lot of look at replays and concluded that Pope did manage to get his gloves under the ball to take the catch, ending a gritty innings of Shakeel lasting 213 deliveries.
From there, the result was a foregone conclusion as England now aim for a rare series sweep in Pakistan when the third and final Test at Karachi takes place from December 17-21.
Brief Scores: England 281 and 275 beat Pakistan 202 and 328 all out in 102.1 overs (Saud Shakeel 94, Imam-ul-Haq 60, Mark Wood 4/65) by 26 runs.
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