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Another stunning win by England has helped them secure an unassailable 2-0 series lead and leapfrog Pakistan in the ICC World Test Championship standings.
Pakistan, who had a good chance of securing one of the first two spots in the WTC standings before the series find themselves in jeopardy as they slip to No.6 on the table.
They have now lost two back-to-back Tests from positions of strength. In both cases, the results could have gone either way with Pakistan having the home advantage but England have crushed their opposition with ease.
Another famous win for England who take an unassailable 2-0 series lead 🙌#PAKvENG | #WTC23 | https://t.co/OroPZVteRn pic.twitter.com/ciNxpvhNuF
They lost the first Test in Rawalpindi – a veritable run-fest until England took the bold decision of declaring and setting Pakistan a target of 343. But despite fighting knocks from the middle order, the hosts were bowled out for 268, giving England one of their greatest away Test wins.
The second Test in Multan was Pakistan’s chance to get back. The runs tally was significantly lower and a terrific 10-wicket match haul from debutant Abrar Ahmed had set up the hosts nicely.
A target of 355 with two days left should have been gettable with Pakistan’s strong batting line-up and for most part the hosts looked in control with crucial partnerships building the innings.
Needing 157 with six wickets in hand on Day 4 with Saud Shakeel on the crease, the hosts had their task cut out. They lost Faheem Ashraf early but Mohammad Nawaz paired up with Shakeel to share a crucial 80-run stand.
Abrar Ahmed’s dream debut 😍
He becomes just the second Pakistan bowler to take a ten-wicket match haul on debut 😮#PAKvENG | #WTC23 | https://t.co/OroPZVteRn pic.twitter.com/h1fTJmLMlL
With 65 more needed, a victory seemed within grasp but Mark Wood dismissed Nawaz and Shakeel in back-to-back overs to trigger Pakistan’s collapse. From 290/5, they were all out on 328, giving England a 26-run victory in the second Test.
A massive wicket for England!
The well-set Saud Shakeel is gone ☝️#PAKvENG | #WTC23 | https://t.co/OroPZVKPIV pic.twitter.com/kt3rps8zE7
Now at the sixth position with a PCT of just 42.42%, Pakistan are in dire trouble. Not only will they have to win the next Test but also beat New Zealand when they tour Pakistan next month and hope for other results to go their way.
Australia’s win against West Indies yesterday has consolidated their position at the top with 75% PCT and it will be difficult to displace them from the top two. India at No.4 are in contention with their two-Test series against Bangladesh beginning this week and a big one with Australia coming up next year.
South Africa look secure on No.2 for now but with an important series in Australia coming up, they would not want to relinquish their hold in the top two.
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