'My favourite wicket was Ben Stokes, my favourite player' – Abrar revels in dream Test debut

By Sports Desk December 09, 2022

Abrar Ahmed expressed his delight at capturing the wicket of his idol Ben Stokes after the Pakistan debutant tore through England on day one of the second test in Multan.

Abrar took seven wickets as Pakistan bowled England out for 281 on Friday, becoming the 13th Pakistani bowler to claim five wickets on debut before lunch.

Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, and Harry Brook all fell to the 24-year-old in the first session, with Stokes and Will Jacks following later in the day as Abrar recorded the best figures by any spinner on Test debut for 14 years.

Asked by Sky Sports for his thoughts on a remarkable first Test outing, Abrar said he took particular pleasure in dismissing England's skipper.

"My favourite wicket was Ben Stokes, my favourite player," Abrar said through a translator. "I definitely thought about taking five wickets, but not so quickly! 

"I cannot forget this day. I wanted to win this match for Pakistan, but also the coming matches as well.

"I started my journey with the Rashid Latif cricket academy in Karachi, then progressed to club cricket, divisional cricket, and then got picked up by the Pakistan Super League Karachi Kings franchise.

"I had two years out with a hairline fracture and then came back into the side."

England batsman Duckett was Abrar's second victim, and the 28-year-old is looking forward to further tussles with the Pakistan spinner after his remarkable introduction to Test cricket.

Asked if Abrar caught England by surprise, Duckett said: "I can only speak individually, I had my own plans for him, he was basically a leg spinner with a good googly, there was no real mystery to it.

"He bowled beautifully today. I'm sure we'll have our plans in the second innings, unfortunately for us, it was his day today.

"There was limited footage [of Abrar], but for me personally, I'd rather not know all of his tricks and worry about them, I'd rather focus on what I can do to him."

England hit back with late wickets from Jack Leach and James Anderson as Pakistan closed on 107-2, and Duckett is hopeful their attack will make inroads when play resumes.

"I'd say its level at the minute, we're a couple of quick wickets away from it being our day, so we'll have to see in the morning," he said. "I think the game's going to move forward really quickly."

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