England’s Mark Wood celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Zahid Mahmood during the fourth day of the second test cricket match between Pakistan and England, in Multan, Pakistan, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. | Photo Credit: AP
Mark Wood took four wickets in Pakistan to give England an emphatic 26-run win on Monday in the second Test in Multan and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
The fast bowler finished with 4-65 as Pakistan were dismissed for 328 around 50 minutes after lunch on day four, having set a challenging 355-run target.
Wood, who missed England’s 74-run win in the first Test at Rawalpindi with a hip injury, turned England’s match around with the wickets of Mohammad Nawaz (45) and Saud Shakeel (94) in the space of 12 ball and a run .
Pakistan slumped to 291-7 at lunch, and after the break Agha Salman (20 not out) and Abrar Ahmed (17) tried to hit out for an unlikely win to keep the series alive.
But James Anderson caught Ahmed, Wood dismissed Zahid Mahmood not out and Ollie Robinson ended the match on the wicket of number eleven Mohammad Ali for a zero, sparking celebrations in the England camp.
Anderson and Robinson took two wickets each.
The win gives England their eighth win in nine Tests since Brendon McCullum took over as head coach and Ben Stokes as captain in May this year.
Those successes were built around “Bazball”, a term coined from McCullum’s nickname, and describes the aggressive free-wheeling approach the New Zealander has instilled in the side since taking over.
England are now world champions in the 50-over and T20 versions of the game and are rapidly climbing the Test rankings ladder.
It was England’s third series win over Pakistan after victories in 1961 and 2000 — although they haven’t toured for 17 years due to security issues.
“It was pleasing the way we stuck to the task of going out and putting them under pressure even when the conditions weren’t in our favour,” Stokes said afterwards.
“Jimmy, Robbo and Woody put in a great effort, so the lads reflected.
Shakeel, who hit eight boundaries in his 314-minute watch, added 80 runs with Nawaz as England struggled to get wickets on a Multan pitch that slowed considerably as the game progressed.
In a last-ditch effort, Stokes brought Wood before lunch and was immediately rewarded by Nawaz caught by wicketkeeper Ollie Pope.
On his next over Wood forced Shakeel to play a pull shot from a short ball that caught his glove, with Pope taking a diving catch to his left.
Replays were inconclusive as to whether the ball scraped the ground before Pope caught it, but, controversially, the third umpire deemed there was insufficient evidence to overturn the decision.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam accepted it as part of the game.
“As professionals we have to respect and follow the umpire’s decision,” he said.
“We made mistakes as a team,” Azam said after Pakistan lost their last six wickets for 37 in the first innings and their last five for 38 in the second.
Resuming on 198-4, Pakistan lost Faheem Ashraf in the sixth over of the day for 10, caught at slip for the 50th wicket of spinner Joe Root.
The third and final Test will begin in Karachi from Saturday.