Jack Leach (C) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Pakistan Muhammad Rizwan (R), during the second day of the second Test match in Multan on Saturday. AP
Leach dismissed Saud Shakeel (63), Mohammad Rizwan (ten) and Mohammad Nawaz (one) on a turning Multan Stadium pitch, leaving England with a 79-run lead and a golden opportunity to secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
England, which bagged a 79-run first innings lead, reached 89-3 at tea on the second day with Ben Duckett (58 not out) hitting his second half-century of the match.
It was a rare quiet session by England after it beat Pakistan by 74 runs in the first Test thanks to an ultra-attacking batting display.
Slow bowler Abrar Ahmed’s seven-wicket haul in his debut test had limited aggressive England to 281 in the first innings at the Multan Cricket Stadium.
Ahmed made an early impact in the second innings too and featured in all three dismissals.
The 24-year-old bespectacled Ahmed had Will Jacks bowled off a googly in his first over and Abdullah Shafique snapped up a brilliant low one-handed catch at short leg when Joe Root went for a sweep shot on 21.
Ahmed had earlier ran out Zak Crawley with a direct throw from short mid-on.
Earlier, Pakistan lost seven wickets for 37 runs before Faheem Ashraf and Ahmed added 23 for the 10th wicket to narrow England's lead.
Left-arm spinner Jack Leach struck three times and Root picked up two wickets in an over as Pakistan's lower order collapsed once Ollie Robinson had captain Babar Azam clean bowled off his second ball.
Leach finished with 4-98 while Root took 2-23.
Leach removed Saud Shakeel (63), Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz as most of the batters fell to poor shots.
Root then had Agha Salman caught at short mid-on and Mohammad Ali was caught in the slips as Pakistan lost three wickets without a run to stumble to 169-8.
Resuming on 107-2, Babar and Shakeel started confidently and took the score to 142 inside the first half-hour before Pakistan’s batting crumbled against Leach.
Left-handed Shakeel, who made a half-century on his debut in the first test at Rawalpindi, survived a close run-out call before completing his second successive 50 off 66 balls with a swept boundary against Leach.
Robinson ignited the collapse when Babar, who made 75 off 95 balls, was outsmarted by the tall fast bowler’s reverse swing and the ball tailed into him to crash into his stumps and end a 91-run stand.
England then tied down Rizwan for 27 balls before he finally got his first runs with a cover drive against Mark Wood.
Shakeel got frustrated and tried to break the shackles before he holed out to wide mid-on to give Leach his 100th test wicket.
Rizwan labored for 43 balls for his 10 runs before he was bowled by Leach off a delivery which turned sharply away from him.
England, on their first Test tour of Pakistan in 17 years, won the first Test in Rawalpindi by 74 runs and the second in Multan by 26 runs.
Stokes said it was "a very special time to be an England cricketer" but that the team need to keep their feet on the ground. "One thing we do is we stay in the moment," he said.
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