sports
Friday Dec 09 2022
By
AFP
|
Reuters
|
Web Desk

'I am not a magician,' debutant Abrar Ahmed says after dominating England

By
AFP
|
Reuters
|
Web Desk
Cricket - Second Test - Pakistan v England - Multan International Cricket Stadium, Multan, Pakistan - December 9, 2022. Pakistans Abrar Ahmed celebrates after taking the wicket of Englands Ben Stokes. — Reuters
Cricket - Second Test - Pakistan v England - Multan International Cricket Stadium, Multan, Pakistan - December 9, 2022. Pakistan's Abrar Ahmed celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Ben Stokes. — Reuters

Pakistan debutant Abrar Ahmed cast a spell over England Friday, grabbing seven wickets as the tourists were dismissed for 281 on the opening day of the second Test in Multan.

"People do call me Harry Potter, but I am not a magician," he said after stunning the visitors.

"I have done what is my job, and that is taking wickets."

The moment of the match for him was the scalp of England skipper Ben Stokes.

"My teammates were telling me that usually, it's the first wicket that you cherish, but for me, Stokes's wicket was the best."

"I will not forget this day," Abrar told Sky Sports via an interpreter. "I want to win this match for Pakistan and also do well in the coming matches."

"I bowled cross-seam to start to see what was required. Variations were the key on this pitch."

The 24-year-old — nicknamed "Harry Potter" by friends because he wears glasses similar to those of the fictional boy wizard — produced magic of his own to finish with 7-114.

In reply, Pakistan were 107-2 at the close, with skipper Babar Azam unbeaten on 61 and Saud Shakeel on 32, trailing by 174 runs.

Of the 12 wickets that fell on the day, James Anderson was the only fast bowler to dismiss a batter when he found an edge off Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq, who departed without scoring.

Abdullah Shafique scored 14 before edging spinner Jack Leach to keeper Ollie Pope, but Azam and Shakeel saw off the day with a third-wicket unbroken stand of 56.

The day belonged to the home team, and Ahmed in particular.

Under pressure to square the series, Azam's wish came true when the pitch took turn from the outset.

He brought on Ahmed in just the ninth over, and the spinner repaid him by bowling Crawley with a sharp incoming delivery — only his fifth ball in Test cricket.

Ahmed then trapped Duckett and Root leg-before — both given out only after Azam reviewed the on-field calls.

He made it 167-5 when Pope and Brook miscued aggressive shots and were caught.

Ahmed was delighted with his effort.