England was in command of the second Test against Pakistan in Multan on Saturday, leading by 281 at stumps on day two as they eyed a series-clinching win. The visitors were 202-5 in their second innings on a turning pitch — which has seen 25 wickets fall in two days — with the solid Harry Brook 74 not out, accompanied by skipper Ben Stokes on 16. Earlier, spinner Jack Leach took 4 for 98 as Pakistan were bundled out for 202, giving England a 79-run first-innings lead and putting them in a strong position to take the Test series — their first in Pakistan in 17 years.

“I thought it’s a pleasing day with 280 ahead, so looking forward to what tomorrow brings,” said Leach.

“We just hope of getting as many as we can. We would like 500 with Brook and Stokes still in.”

In their second innings, England opener Ben Duckett hit an aggressive 79 before he fell to spinner Abrar Ahmed, who took three wickets to add to his seven in the first innings. Will Jacks (four) and Joe Root (21) were his other victims.

With 3-81 in the second innings so far, Ahmed has become the second Pakistani bowler to take 10 or more wickets on debut, after Mohammad Zahid’s 11-130 against New Zealand in 1996.

Brook, who hit eight fours and a six, added 68 for the fourth wicket with Duckett.

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.

‘Soft dismissals’

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

“There were some soft dismissals and that pushed us back,” said Shakeel.

“We need to get them out for a lead of 300-320 and since there is enough time, a result will come. We have chased such totals before.”

Read more: https://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/england-in-command-of-multan-test-after-pakistan-batting-collapse-3595720

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