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Pakistan v England 2nd Test preview: England aim to seal series win in Multan

The first Test of three between Pakistan and England in Rawalpindi was a true classic and the tourists now have an opportunity to tie up a series success after coming out on top.

The Three Lions raced to 657 all out in their first innings, with Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Harry Brook all scoring centuries, before the hosts responded with 579 all out.

England then blasted 264-7 declared from less than 36 overs, leaving them just enough time to secure a famous 74-run victory as they bowled Pakistan out for 268 on the final day.

What: Pakistan v England, 2nd Test
Where: Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan, Pakistan
When: 05:00, Friday 9th December
How to watch: Sky Sports Cricket
Odds: Pakistan 7/5, England 7/4, Draw 13/5

Reinforcements ready for Multan

Despite having won the series opener in amazing style, England may be tempted to make at least one change for the second Test, which starts in the early hours of Friday morning.

Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes is expected to return after missing out in Rawalpindi due to illness and he is expected to take the place of Liam Livingstone - who has been ruled out of the rest of the series due to a knee injury.

Fast bowler Mark Wood - 11/4 to be top team bowler in the first innings - may also be drafted in to add some serious pace to the England attack, although who he replaces is far from certain.

All-rounder Will Jacks impressed on debut with both bat and ball, but may still drop out, while veteran James Anderson could be rested after taking a crucial 4-36 on the final day of the series opener.

England have little to worry about with their explosive batting line-up, although Joe Root will be eager to go big after being the only member of the top five not to reach three figures in Rawalpindi.

He is priced at 12/5 to be top team batter in the first innings in Multan.

Pakistan have much to ponder

Hosts Pakistan went into the first Test with a seriously inexperienced bowling attack, with Haris Rauf, Mohammad Ali and Zahid Mahmood all handed their debuts, as was batter Saud Shakeel.

That proved to be a decisive factor as England piled on a record 506-4 on day one and the home side may want to draft in some more experienced performers to aid their cause.

Haris Rauf will definitely miss out due to a leg problem and reports suggest that both Hasan Ali and Mohammad Abbas are being considered for recalls.

With the bat Pakistan performed well enough in Rawalpinidi and will be confident of competing better if their bowlers can show an improvement.

Openers Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq both made first-innings centuries in the series opener, as did skipper Babar Azam and the latter is 9/4 to be top team batter in the first innings in Multan.

Elegant right-hander Babar averages 67.16 in Tests against England, while his average on home soil is an even more impressive 81.30.

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Multan has limited Test history

The clash between Pakistan and England this week will be only the sixth Test match to be staged at the Multan Cricket Ground.

The hosts won three of the previous five, while being beaten by an innings and 52 runs by India in 2004 and having to settle for a draw with West Indies two years later.

One of that quintet was a clash with the Three Lions back in November 2005, with Pakistan coming out on top by a narrow 22-run margin.

England looked well-placed to chase victory when they established a 144-run lead after the first innings, but they crumbled to 175 in the final innings of the match to hand the win to their hosts.

Of note in that game was the fact that the pace trio of Steve Harmison (6), Matthew Hoggard (4) and Andrew Flintoff (8) took 18 wickets in the match between them, while the spin pairing of Shaun Udal and Ashley Giles combined for just two wickets.


Should pace again prove crucial in Multan, England look well-stocked to take advantage, with a fit-again Wood ready to back up Anderson and Ollie Robinson, who both excelled in Rawalpindi.

The only minor blot on the seam map for the tourists is the fact that skipper Ben Stokes struggled with a sore knee in the first Test - taking just one wicket in the match, while contributing 41 and 0 with the bat.

Should Stokes fire more fully in Multan, then England may well have enough to wrap up the series win with a match to spare.

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