England took a firm grip on the second Test in Multan despite Abrar Ahmed wrapping up a 10-wicket haul on his Pakistan debut.

Ben Duckett's second half-century of the match and another fine knock from Harry Brook put the tourists on top, leading by 281 runs at the end of day two with five second-innings wickets standing.

Pakistan began the day on 107-2 but crumbled once the third-wicket alliance between Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel came to an end. Babar was bowled for 75 by Ollie Robinson, with the team score on 142, and Shakeel soon followed for 63, fourth man down.

That wicket went to Jack Leach, with James Anderson taking a terrific catch at mid-on to give the England spinner a 100th Test scalp. It was Leach's second wicket of the innings and he went on to take 4-98 as England raced through the tail, knocking over Pakistan for 202.

Armed with a first-innings lead of 79, England had ample time to build on that advantage and set about their task knowing Abrar was the chief threat, after taking seven wickets on Friday.

He was at it again, removing three batters to become just the second Pakistan bowler to take a 10-wicket Test haul on debut and grabbing an early run-out to boot, with a direct hit removing Zak Crawley.

Crawley's opening partner Duckett made 79 before being bowled by an Abrar grubber, with Brook standing defiant on 74 at stumps as England ended the day on 202-5, with captain Ben Stokes 16 not out.

Abrar goes it alone again

He took the first seven wickets in England's first innings, before Zahid Mahmood mopped up the tail, and Abrar was the chief threat once more on Saturday. He was the only bowler to strike, ending the day with 3-81 after delivering 21 of the 49 overs in England's innings so far. The other dismissals were both run-outs.

Duckett chasing perfection

Stuart Broad, analysing for Sky Sports, described it as a "perfect day" for England. For Duckett, this tour has been a game-changer, coming six years after he last featured in the Test side.

Back-to-back fifties in this game should now fortify his position in the team. He made a century and a duck in England's win in the first Test, but this ranks as progress beyond that, as his highest aggregate runs haul in a Test to date (142). He would be unhappy with how he got out, though, so perhaps the day was not entirely "perfect".

Jordan Pickford has been practising penalties ahead of England's World Cup quarter-final against France and is more than willing to step up and take one if required.

The 28-year-old has been in inspired form for England across their four games in Qatar so far, keeping three clean sheets in a row and conceding just twice all tournament.

After finishing top of Group B and overcoming Senegal 3-0 in the last 16, the Three Lions now face a mouthwatering showdown with France at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday.

Friday's two quarter-finals went to penalties, with Croatia eliminating Brazil and Argentina defeating the Netherlands, and Pickford is prepared for England's tie to go the distance.

"You have to be ready for anything. You can't not practise them, you can't just go in and think 'I'll be alright'," Pickford said.

"I have to be prepared to take one and be prepared to save one. 

"If it comes down to it I'll step up and take one, but it's not my call. It's the manager's call and the backroom staff."

England have a chequered history when it comes to penalty shoot-outs, though Pickford has won two out of three during his time as the Three Lions' number one.

 

The Everton keeper saved two of the five penalties he faced in last year's Euro 2020 final against Italy, though it was not enough to prevent England falling to a 3-2 shoot-out loss.

"For me, penalty shoot-outs, I've got my same process which I do all the time," Pickford added. "In each individual penalty I'm facing, I will do the same thing. 

"I don't change my process and hopefully I go the right way and execute the save. You can do research but it's about executing your process, your dive on the night.

"They've got their process as a penalty taker, and as a goalkeeper I've got my process. It's whoever comes out on top on that individual penalty."

England have been eliminated from six of their past eight World Cup knockout matches against fellow European nations. 

By contrast, France have progressed from eight of their past 10 World Cup knockout matches against European opposition, including third-place play-offs and finals.

Football goes through phases and cycles where certain trends dictate the sport, whether that's specific formations and systems, or particular player styles.

The World Cup quarter-final between France and England will highlight one such feature of the modern game: the evolution of the striker.

What makes this clash so intriguing in that respect is the presence of three forwards who each represent a different era, with Olivier Giroud, Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe likely to attract much of the pre-match focus.

And what's more, there's a strong possibility the game will be decided – or influenced at the very least – by this trio.

Giroud – The throwback

For years the narrative around Giroud has been the suggestion he's "underrated". That discussion has been exhausted to the extent we should all now agree he is simply "rated".

That shouldn't detract from how he's polarised opinion for much of his career, but for the most part this comes down to personal preferences about what a striker should offer or be.

Arsene Wenger, the man who signed Giroud for Arsenal, said it best in 2014 after the striker scored a powerful header in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United: "He is like an English [-style] centre-forward. His first goal he scored was a typical 1970s goal. You saw those headers in the seventies and eighties. You love it because you see it less now."

Fast-forward eight years and Giroud is now France's all-time leading scorer after usurping another former Arsenal star in Thierry Henry.

But as Wenger alluded to, he's almost part of a dying breed.

 

Since the start of Giroud's breakout season in 2011-12 when he led Montpellier to the Ligue 1 title, only five players have scored more headed goals than him (34) across the top five leagues – that accounts for 28.3 per cent of his non-penalty goals.

While 27 players (minimum 40 goals total) in that time have scored a greater proportion of their non-penalty goals with headers, only one of those – Anthony Modeste (61) – has also netted more than 50 non-headers. Giroud has 86.

This speaks to Giroud's quality as not only a seventies throwback who'll get his head on almost anything, but just generally a reliable penalty-box striker, with his exploits in Qatar a rather succinct summary.

All three of his goals have been scored in the area, and one of those – his second against Australia – was a towering header.

 

Let's not forget, he was maligned at Russia 2018 because some deemed him to not be a scoring threat. Granted, he ended the tournament with no goals, yet he was a regular throughout the champions' run because of the physical presence he brought working as a kind of attacking pivot.

Four years on, despite looking a likely exclusion this time around, he's thriving in the absence of Karim Benzema.

'Classic' number nines like Giroud aren't particularly fashionable these days. How many of the best developing forwards under the age of 25 come under this umbrella? Not many.

But Giroud proves this sub-genre of striker retains relevancy even if the production line is drying up.

Kane – The playmaker

Kane does share certain strengths with Giroud – after all, he is one of those five strikers to score more headers (35 to 34) in the top five leagues than Giroud over aforementioned period.

But it's fair to say he's a more rounded, refined striker, which of course tallies with the idea of he and Giroud being of different eras in essence.

Jose Mourinho may not have been hugely popular as Tottenham coach, but to his credit, he clearly played a part in Kane redefining himself somewhat.

 

In November 2020, Kane said: "I think [Mourinho] saw in my game that I like to drop deep so he made it clear to the others that if I do drop deep then they need to be the ones running in behind. I think that's been the real difference. It's allowed me to create space and get the ball but have an option going forward as well. But I think obviously I've still been playing as a nine as well, and I think that's the beauty of what's been working well."

Since Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino 12 months prior to those comments, Kane has averaged 0.24 assists per 90 minutes in the Premier League, double the frequency he had under the Argentinian.

His other creative metrics haven't improved quite as dramatically, with key passes only up from 1.2 to 1.4, for instance. However, his expected assists increase (0.08 per 90, to 0.13 p90) highlights how Kane's general creativity carries greater threat now. Sure, it would seem he's benefiting from good finishing by team-mates, but his playmaking influence has demonstrably grown.

Since the start of the 2019-20 season, only Mohamed Salah (747), Bruno Fernandes (641) and Jack Grealish (588) have been involved in more shot-ending sequences in the Premier League than Kane (585), with 289 of those not ending with him having the shot – no out-and-out striker has been more involved in build-up play than Kane.

 

He's translated that to the World Cup as well. Twelve Opta-defined "strikers" can better his 11 open-play shot-ending sequence involvements, but among them are the likes of Lionel Messi, Memphis Depay and Thomas Muller; players not always picked to lead the line.

No forwards have recorded more involvements in goal-ending sequences than Kane (four), however, with the Spurs star becoming the first England player since David Beckham in 2002 to have three assists at a single World Cup.

 

Another Golden Boot success might not be on the cards, but you could argue Kane is more integral to England than ever before.

Mbappe – The wide forward

While Kane and Giroud might almost be deemed old-fashioned in some regards, Mbappe represents the archetypal modern forward – and he's essentially the perfect embodiment.

While it's not just 'emerging' players who qualify here, there certainly appears to be a greater concentration of them among a particular age group. So many have similar key characteristics in that they're generally quick, good on the ball and often prefer to play off one of the flanks.

The 'wide forward' role is very much in vogue.

 

What makes this particularly interesting in relation to Mbappe is that his playing role was apparently a major contributing factor in his reported unhappiness at PSG earlier this season.

While he didn't explicitly confirm that, he outlined what was different between representing France and PSG, where Christophe Galtier has this season often used him as a central striker.

"I play differently for France. I am asked other things [with the national team] compared to my club," he said in September. "I have a lot more freedom here. The coach knows there is a number nine in the side like Olivier [Giroud] who can occupy defences while I walk around and go into space. In Paris, it's different – you don't have that. I am asked to play as a pivot, which is different."

 

That said, Mbappe's still been able to tally the seventh-most carries (259) across the top five leagues this term, and his total carry progress of 1,562.2 metres is bettered by only Gerard Deulofeu among wingers and forwards, highlighting the fact the France talisman continues to play a vital role in getting PSG up the pitch and on the front foot.

It's a similar story at the World Cup, with his 70 carries fourth behind Lionel Messi (104), Christian Pulisic and Jamal Musiala (both 75) among forwards and wingers.

Clearly, Mbappe's good enough to play either as wide forward or central striker and still thrive. But, as he said in September, it's the freedom offered by the former role that he appears to value, and it certainly doesn't seem to have diminished his effectiveness massively in the box given he's had a hand in seven goals – three more than anyone else – and leads the scoring charts with five.

 

Understandably, he'll be the one to watch on Saturday. But as Giroud and Kane have already shown at this tournament, you don't have to be explosive to be decisive.

Eddie Jones should have been given until the conclusion of next year's Rugby World Cup to turn England's results around, according to former centre Mike Tindall. 

The Australian was dismissed on Tuesday following a review of recent results, with England enduring their worst calendar year since 2008 – winning just five of their 12 Tests in 2022.

A 27-13 defeat to South Africa proved to be the final straw for Jones, who walks away with the best win rate (73 per cent) of any head coach in England's history, having won 59 of his 81 Tests at the helm.

While Tindall acknowledges the reasons behind the decision to make a change, he would have preferred for Jones to lead England at the World Cup in France, which starts on September 8.

"It's a really difficult one because Eddie does divide opinion," Tindall, who won the World Cup in 2003, told ITV.

"I would say I don't agree with their decision to part ways, [but] I understand why they've done it.

"I still think he's still delivered an 18-game winning streak and he's produced probably the best England performance that's ever been seen against New Zealand in 2019.

"If you look from 2019 to where we are now, the results aren't quite as good, so it really is a difficult one, but I would've stuck with him and then changed after the World Cup."

 

Jones guided England to their first Six Nations Grand Slam in 13 years in 2016 before winning the tournament again in 2017 and 2020, while also reaching the 2019 World Cup final.

The 62-year-old also won his first 17 games with England, which was part of an 18-game winning streak overall, the joint longest of any Tier 1 nation.

Forwards coach Richard Cockerill will step up to lead England on an interim basis, with Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick the favourite for the permanent position.

Tindall added: "I think it's hard now. Say a new coach comes in now and does fantastically well through the Six Nations and then the World Cup, everyone will say it has Eddie's DNA on it. 

"It will be sort of like what he got off [predecessor] Stuart Lancaster when he came in too, and then if you do poorly, it's the new guy's fault."

Neither England nor France see a clear favourite as they prepare to face one another in a highly anticipated World Cup quarter-final.

The Three Lions and Les Bleus each eased through the last 16, beating Senegal and Poland respectively to set up a far trickier tie in the next round.

Although England have won both of the sides' previous World Cup meetings, France have lost just one of the past eight between the nations in all competitions.

Didier Deschamps' side are the world champions – albeit the first holders to feature in a quarter-final since Brazil in 2006.

Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate is hoping to become the first England manager to go to two World Cup semi-finals, and Kyle Walker – on whom there is plenty of focus ahead of a battle with Kylian Mbappe – cannot split the two teams.

"We're playing the world champions, but we are two good teams that will go toe to toe," the England right-back said. "You've seen what can happen in 90-plus minutes.

"There have been shocks and for us this is just another game. We take our hat off to them as world champions, but each and every one of us will not be rolling that red carpet out for them to treat it as a theatre.

"We have great talent – talk about the goals we have scored and the clean sheets that we've kept. In my eyes, neither team is the underdogs or the favourites."

It is an assessment France midfielder Adrien Rabiot agrees with, even if England have been eliminated from six of their past eight World Cup knockout matches against fellow European nations.

"They are a team that has the same characteristics as us, very fast on the wings, with attacking full-backs, midfielders who can get forward, and [Declan] Rice looks a bit like [Aurelien] Tchouameni," Rabiot said.

"I am not sure that we should say that we have to be careful. They will also be very careful because we have the possibility of putting them in difficulty.

"It's an open game with two teams who know how to counter. What can make a difference is set-pieces. They are very good, we will have to be vigilant and not make the same mistakes as against Denmark. They have weapons, but we are not inferior."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

England – Jude Bellingham

Teenage sensation Bellingham will play a huge role in getting England up the pitch. He has won possession more often than any team-mate (23), with only Harry Kane (six) doing so more often in the final third (five). England have won the most high turnovers at the tournament (38).

 

France – Olivier Giroud

Mbappe has the talent to decide the game not just by scoring but also by setting up Giroud, as he did against Poland. Mbappe (five) alone has scored more goals for France at this World Cup than the 36-year-old (three).

The only older player to net four at a single World Cup was 38-year-old Roger Milla for Cameroon in 1990.

PREDICTION

Neither Walker nor Rabiot may be able to choose a favourite, but Opta's supercomputer can – just.

France are given a 40.3 per cent chance of winning, ahead of slight underdogs England's 32.4 per cent. In a tie this tight, extra time or penalties could be required, with the draw rated at 27.3 per cent.

Harry Kane will change will nothing about his penalty routine if he has to take a spot-kick against Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris during England's World Cup quarter-final with France.

England captain Kane will lead the Three Lions against a Les Bleus team skippered by goalkeeper Lloris at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday.

Gareth Southgate's men will be underdogs against the defending world champions in a knockout game that predictably brings questions around penalties.

Though Kane and Lloris have played together at domestic level since 2011, when the England striker made his Spurs debut, lining up for a penalty against his club captain represents a largely unfamiliar experience for the 2018 Golden Boot winner.

"Surprisingly, I haven't practiced too much against Hugo, normally when I practice it's against the second or third-choice goalkeeper," Kane told a press conference. 

"The starting goalkeeper normally doesn't join in the practice the day before the game which is when I practice.

"Of course, we've taken them before, but I wouldn't say I've taken loads and loads against him.

"I have similar situations when I'm in the Premier League and I face England goalkeepers, I stick to my process and routine, go through the same training day before the game and hopefully try and deliver if called upon in the match.

"I'm someone who always backs myself in any situation against any goalkeeper, but I've seen Hugo pull off some fantastic saves.

"Hopefully I'll have some chances I'll be able to put away, but also I know I'll have to be at the top of my game to do that against one of the best goalkeepers there is."

Asked about his relationship with Lloris, Kane said: "I haven't spoken with Hugo before this match. Me and Hugo have a great relationship.

"We've been playing with each other a long, long time now. We spend some time away from football as well with our wives and families.

"He's a really good guy, one of the best goalkeepers in the world. For a game like this, we're not friends for that day for sure, we go to have a good battle against each other.

"It'll be two great teams going at it. I've known Hugo a long time, I can't speak highly enough of him. I'll enjoy playing against him if we win, but I know he'll be doing everything to make France win."

Southgate confirmed England have a plan for the shoot-out but is well aware of how quickly those preparations can be altered in the heat of the moment.

"We have a plan but when you get to the end of a game maybe some players don't feel as confident or feel more confident or have an injury," said the England boss. 

"All of those things have happened in the previous shoot-outs that we've had. We are as well prepared as we can be."

France's all-time top goalscorer Olivier Giroud is the most complete striker at the World Cup, according to Les Bleus legend David Trezeguet.

Giroud surpassed Thierry Henry's tally of 51 France goals as Didier Deschamps' men beat Poland in the last 16 in Qatar, teeing up Saturday's quarter-final clash with England.

The 36-year-old Milan striker has scored three goals at the tournament. Only one player has ever scored more goals at a single World Cup when aged 36 or older – Roger Milla in 1990 (four).  

Speaking to RMC Sport ahead of France's meeting with the Three Lions, Trezeguet – who sits sixth in his country's scoring charts with 34 goals – said there was a lack of genuine strikers on display in Qatar.

"Olivier Giroud is the centre-forward as in my time. There really aren't any more," he said.

"Germany have suffered a lot without a centre-forward, the Netherlands and others have a clear idea without a centre-forward. 

"It is difficult to explain. We saw Spain, who lacked efficiency, either there was [Alvaro] Morata or there was nothing. 

"There is beauty, the technical side but you have to finish the job and Giroud seems to me to be the most complete in this competition."

 

Meanwhile, Trezeguet is confident France can become the first nation to retain the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, hailing Deschamps' management of the side.

"The French team has a clear idea, it is going very well with Giroud doing an exceptional job up front, [Adrien] Rabiot at a very high level, [Theo] Hernandez has been a huge solution," he said.

"There are details, but I think it's the most complete team. Deschamps has always been clear, the team plays on his qualities."

However, the 1998 World Cup winner knows England will offer a stern challenge in the last eight, as he lauded their development under Gareth Southgate.

"Gareth Southgate, I had the chance to know him at FIFA level. He is not a classic English coach, he is much more disciplined on the tactical side," he said.

"Over time this team has progressed. This team has everything to compete with the France team."

England will go into their World Cup quarter-final showdown with France boasting "more belief than in 2018", according to Harry Kane.

The Three Lions are aiming to dethrone the reigning champions at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday and clinch a second successive appearance in the last four.

Though boasting the second-youngest squad at the finals, Gareth Southgate guided England to the semi-finals in Russia four years ago, before eventually succumbing to an experienced Croatia.

The Three Lions then reached the Euro 2020 final, only to suffer a heartbreaking defeat by Italy on penalties at Wembley.

Kane acknowledges expectations are different in Qatar, but says he and his team-mates are determined to go the extra steps this time around.

Addressing the media at a pre-match conference, the captain said: "In 2018, we didn't really know what to expect from the group. It was a new experience for a lot of us. 

"We got to the semi-final - whether we had the full belief to go and win the tournament, I'm not quite sure.

"The belief has been building and building over four or five years now. We entered this tournament believing we can win it. We face a really tough game tomorrow, we'll go into that game with maybe more belief than in 2018.

"We're not here just to reach the quarter-finals, let's put it that way. We know there are some very good teams in this tournament, and we also know that we're a very good team as well. If we did lose tomorrow, we'd be as disappointed as anyone.

"Between us - the players, the staff, everyone involved - we have a real belief and a real determination to be successful as an England team. We can only prove that on the pitch, we can only prove that by winning games like tomorrow.

"Also, tomorrow isn't a World Cup final, tomorrow is another step to trying to win the World Cup, we have to be fully focused on that and trying to get through to the next round."

Gareth Southgate believes it will take a collective effort from England to stop Kylian Mbappe in Saturday's mouthwatering World Cup quarter-final against France.

Mbappe is the tournament's top scorer with five goals in four matches, including a double in the reigning champions' 3-1 victory over Poland in the round of 16.

Kyle Walker is the player many believe will be chosen to deal with the power and pace of Mbappe, with the possibility that Southgate will opt to play with a back five.

The Three Lions boss does not think it will all be on Walker to stop the Paris Saint-Germain star, stating that every player will have to chip in.

"He’s [Walker] been a very important player for us over the last six years," Southgate said.

"Kyle is ready. We, of course, are talking about one of the opposition, but we play France who are a fantastic team.

"We're aware of the quality of the whole squad. He's [Didier Deschamps] created a team that is stronger than the individuals. That's great credit to him, we know we've got to be at our very best to win the game."

Asked how England will prepare for Mbappe, Southgate said: "Same as every position on the field, you have 10 one-v-one battles, but then everybody else round those battles has to support their team-mate.

"You've got to work collectively to stop any player like that. You’ve got to work the areas of the pitch zonally to make sure there's good coverage and support for every player on the pitch, simple as that."

France are unbeaten in the 13 games in which Mbappe has started in the World Cup and European Championship combined (W10 D3), winning all nine in which he has played from the beginning at the World Cup.

The 23-year-old has been directly involved in 12 goals in those 13 starts, scoring nine and making three assists.

England captain Harry Kane, though, believes Walker is in the form of his life and is more than capable of dealing with Mbappe.

"Kyle is a fantastic defender," Kane said. "He's been probably the most consistent right back there's been for the last 10 years or so.

"He's playing at the highest level I think he's ever played at. I know everyone's talking about Kyle and Kylian, but Kyle will be focused on doing his job for the team as he always does. He's one of the best defenders."

Gareth Southgate confirmed Raheem Sterling will be involved in England's World Cup quarter-final showdown with France, but the Three Lions will continue to assess the Chelsea forward's fitness.

Sterling returned home to be with his family after an apparent burglary at their house and missed the 3-0 win over Senegal in the round of 16 last Sunday.

An investigation has been launched by Surrey Police after the raid was reported on Saturday.

Sterling is now back with the squad in Qatar, and featured in a light training session on Friday ahead of the mouthwatering clash with the reigning champions on Saturday.

Southgate is delighted to have the former Manchester City player back at his disposal, but said the Three Lions will wait before deciding the role he will play at Al Bayt Stadium.

"I've spoken briefly with him at training, [I] need to pick up with him again later," Th England manager said. "It's great he’s back with us.

"He wanted to train today. Normally, we wouldn't do that having been on a long flight, but it was a lighter session.

"He'll be involved tomorrow, but what that looks like? Hard to tell what his level is. We'll just have to assess that, really pleased he's back, and he's an important player for us."

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."

Abrar Ahmed enjoyed a stunning Test debut, taking seven wickets to leave England in a spin and put Pakistan in a promising position on day one of the second contest in Multan.

In stark contrast to a flat track in Rawalpindi in the first Test, Abrar took full advantage of a pitch offering plenty of turn to post magnificent figures of 7-114.

Abrar was unable to become the first Test debutant to take all 10 wickets in an innings as Zahid Mahmood swept up the tail to leave England all out for 281.

Prolific Pakistan captain Babar Azam 61, while Saud Shakeel was 32 not out when the hosts closed on 107-2, trailing by 174 runs as they strive to level the three-match series.

England were five wickets down after a first session that would have been significantly worse had Ben Duckett (63) and Ollie Pope (60) not put on 79 for the second wicket.

Skipper Ben Stokes put on 61 with Will Jacks before looking on in astonishment when Abrar beat him all ends up with a sublime delivery that cleaned him up.

The fit-again Mark Wood contributed a rapid 36 as England added 36 potentially valuable runs for the final stand before James Anderson and Jack Leach struck early to send Imam-ul-Haq (0) and Abdullah Shafique (14) back to the pavilion.

But the elegant Babar steered Pakistan to the close alongside Shakeel to leave England work to do on a second day of what has the potential to be another classic after the tourists' sensational win in the first Test.

 

Abrar-cadabra!

Abrar, overlooked for the opening Test, was an absolute magician – coming in after eight overs and bowling 22 consecutively to bamboozle England with flicks and clicks.

He took all five wickets fell in the morning with Zak Crawley (19), Duckett, Pope, Joe Root (8) and Harry Brook (9) all departing, the former just Abrar's fifth ball in Test cricket that left England's opener perplexed with one that came back between bat and pad.

His 7-114 ranks as the third-best bowling figures in an innings for Pakistan on a Test debut - behind only Mohammed Zahid (7-66, 1996) and Mohammed Nazir (7-99, 1966).

'Bazball' faces stern test

England's exciting brand of attacking Test cricket under head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Stokes could be a rollercoaster ride, and a bold declaration in the first Test yielded its rewards with England securing one of their finest Test victories.

The situation here is far from dire but going with just one front-line spinner in Leach may prove problematic on a turning pitch, especially with Babar a daunting presence at the crease.

France captain Hugo Lloris reckons England are poised to win a major tournament, though he will do everything in his power to ensure that does not happen in Qatar.

England face France in a World Cup quarter-final on Saturday at Al Bayt Stadium.

It will be the third World Cup meeting between the Three Lions and Les Bleus, with the England winning both of the previous two, a 2-0 victory in 1966 and 3-1 in 1982.

World champions France have only lost one of their past eight meetings with England, suffering a 2-0 defeat in a friendly in November 2015. 

With England having reached the semi-finals in Russia and then the final of Euro 2020 last year, Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris, who will be tasked with keeping out an attack that has scored 12 goals in four games in Qatar, knows they must be treated as a major contender.

"To be honest, if we compare both sides there were more English players In Russia than French players," Lloris said in a press conference when asked if France's triumph in Russia gave them the edge.

"If you look at the England squad there were finalists and runners-up at the Euros and a real progression.

"Their team is mature and ready to compete and go for trophies. They were unlucky at the Euros, they came very close.

"For our side there has been a lot of changes, a new generation that are ready to compete, they play in the best teams in Europe, but we have a good mixture of experience and younger players.

"We try to become stronger step by step and we have to be ready to challenge England. It's going to be a big battle."

Didier Deschamps was also complimentary of France's opponents and believes Gareth Southgate is unfairly maligned by some sections of the British media.

"They don't have any," Deschamps replied when asked what weaknesses England have that France could exploit.

"You talk about the British media but you [the French press] also ask tough questions of the team sometimes. All teams have strengths, not many of them have too many weaknesses, just some slightly less strong points.

"I very much like Gareth, we've met on a number of occasions, talked about a number of things. It seems not everyone appreciates him so much in his own country.

"That’s not because he's not a good footballer, he had a distinguished career, and he's also a very good coach. He's enabled England to get some very good results, I very much like him."

France are not overly dependent on Kylian Mbappe, according to head coach Didier Deschamps.

Mbappe has been in sparkling form at the Qatar World Cup and is the top scorer in the competition with five goals from four appearances.

The 23-year-old's double in the last-16 win over Poland has taken his tally of World Cup goals to nine, as many as Lionel Messi and more than Cristiano Ronaldo.

World champions France are unbeaten in the 13 games Mbappe has started in major competitions – outside of penalty shoot-outs – and will be hoping that record continues against England at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.

Deschamps dismissed the idea France rely too heavily on the Paris Saint-Germain forward, who has now scored 250 goals for club and country.

"I'm sure England will have prepared to face Kylian as our previous opponents did, but he's in a position to make the difference," Deschamps said in a press conference.

"Even in the last match, he didn't show his top form, but he was still decisive.

"We have other players that can be dangerous as well, so that helps us not be over-dependent on Kylian.

"But Kylian is Kylian, and he has that capacity to make the difference in any moment."

A major talking point in the build-up to the game has been the match-up between Mbappe and England right-back Kyle Walker, who could play either in a back four or a back five in order to combat the France forward's threat.

France captain Hugo Lloris played with Walker at Tottenham and said Mbappe is putting the talk to one side.

"I think Kylian is preparing very well. Trying to ignore a lot of the talk about him, it's really not something he needs," he said.

"He's very focused on his objectives, individually and collectively. He seems very happy, playing with a smile on his face and seems very focused on the match ahead of us.

"That's how he's looked from the beginning of this tournament."

While the focus will be on Mbappe at one end of the pitch, England captain Harry Kane – who won the Golden Boot at Russia 2018 – could be decisive at the other, having scored his first goal of the tournament in the Three Lions' 3-0 defeat of Senegal in the round of 16.

"I only have positive things to say about Harry, he's very important for the team, club and for England as well," Lloris said of his Spurs team-mate.

"A real leader, an example for his team-mates, and he's a top player. 

"Harry's someone who is known all over the world – not sure I can add too much to what is known. Our focus will be on representing our countries."

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has hailed England midfielder Jordan Henderson for his "immaculate" World Cup performances.

Henderson was not named in the starting line-up for the Three Lions' opening two group games, but has made a big impression after featuring from the outset in the Group B closer against Wales and the last-16 triumph over Senegal.

The Liverpool midfielder scored the opener against Senegal, becoming his country's second-oldest scorer in the finals aged 32 years and 170 days, after Tom Finney against USSR in 1958 - at 36 years and 64 days.

Gerrard has been impressed with his former Reds team-mate's leadership qualities and believes his contribution can sometimes be undervalued.

"Obviously being an England fan I'm following England and Jordan from a personal point of view. I think he's been immaculate, both on and off the pitch," Gerrard told Liverpoolfc.com.

"His last performance he was obviously man of the match, very well deserved, and he shut a few critics up that for some reason seem to point fingers at Jordan. 

"Being a midfielder, being around Jordan on the daily basis, to see the sacrifices, his dedication and what he puts into his own preparation, the hard work that he puts in, I'm not surprised that he's putting in this level of performance and I'm delighted for him. 

"But it seems as if a lot of people outside the LFC family don't need an invite to point a finger towards him so I'm delighted that he has shut a few up."

Asked what attributes Henderson brings to the England midfield, Gerrard added: "Experience would be the most important thing. 

"I think England have got a lot of young, exciting talent, but you need experienced players that positionally give these younger players licence to go and cause a lot of damage.

"I think Jordan, what he's found in that performance is a typical Jordan Henderson performance where he is solid, his A to Bs are all really good, positionally he is bang on, but at the right time he joins in and gets himself forward. 

"He's a really strong runner and his timing for the goal and his execution of the goal was world-class and it was the perfect all-round performance, so credit to him."

Henderson will be hoping to start again alongside Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice in midfield when England take on France in a mouthwatering quarter-final on Saturday.

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