Wood inspires England to memorable series win in Pakistan

By Sports Desk December 12, 2022

Mark Wood inspired England to a first away Test-series win against Pakistan in 21 years after another dramatic match finished in a 26-run victory in Multan.

An 80-run stand between the formidable Saud Shakeel (94) and Mohammad Nawaz (45) had put Pakistan in a great position to level this sensational series at 1-1.

But Wood snared both their wickets in a brilliant spell shortly before lunch to swing it back in England's favour and finished with 4-65 in the second innings.

Ollie Robinson had Mohammad Ali nick behind for the final wicket as Pakistan were all out for 328 in pursuit of 355.

England had just two wins on Pakistan soil in the preceding 60 years prior to this series and have chalked up as many in the past fortnight. For the hosts, it is the first time they have lost three straight home Test matches since 1959.

It had not looked a foregone conclusion either, even after Faheem Ashraf poked a Joe Root off-break to Zak Crawley in the clips.

Shakeel had batted valiantly for almost five-and-a-half hours as Pakistan put themselves in a great position for a series-levelling victory.

At 290-5, captain Ben Stokes pulled Wood for a chat and immediately a short one from the paceman saw Nawaz play behind.

From Wood's next over, the dangerous Shakeel was gone, albeit contentiously when caught by Pope, with replays unable to conclusively show whether he had dragged the ball along the ground.

The soft dismissal was upheld, but Abrar Ahmed's fine debut continued with a quickfire 17 that was ended when he whacked James Anderson to Ben Duckett at cover.

Wood came back to rip up Zahid Mahmood's off stump and, although Agha Salman (20no) continued to give Pakistan hope, Robinson finished the job to complete one of England's finest away series wins and make it eight victories from nine Tests under Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

 

Wood rises to the occasion

Wood's injury troubles have been well documented but when fit and firing he is a huge asset to England and so it proved here.

With his side under the cosh and facing the very realistic prospect of losing the Test, Wood turned a see-saw match back in the tourists' favour.

Shakeel fights hard

That Pakistan were in the game at all owes much to the efforts of Shakeel, who fell agonisingly short of a maiden Test century as he followed up his 63 from the first innings with a patient 213-ball knock.

He will be desperately disappointed with a dismissal that was far from conclusive but his fight gave Pakistan real hope.

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